Corona numbers are on the rise. The concerned gaze drifts to Hamm, Würzburg, Munich. Information is provided in the news, special programs and talk shows. Is April repeating in September? Will there be a second wave? The perspective is German, very German.
The Germans are doing relatively well. Worldwide, almost two million new infections were registered in the past week. Especially in Europe, the number of deaths in one week soared to more than 4,000, an increase of 27 percent from the week before.
With more than 680,000 infections and 30,900 deaths, Spain is the country in Western Europe most affected by the pandemic. Nationally, more than 10,000 new infections were recently reported daily there (in Germany this was 1821). Hospitals are reaching their capacity limits. The situation in the south of France and Great Britain is also dramatic.
Everyone was next to themselves
In Berlin, on the other hand, the Jafféstraße corona treatment center on the exhibition grounds is empty. A hospital for all cases. In general, only a small proportion of the intensive care beds available to Corona are occupied in the capital.
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Six months ago, Covid-19 caused Europe to fall into nationalism. Borders were closed on one side, face masks in other countries were removed from under their noses, everyone stood next to themselves. Is it again? Unforgettable the embarrassment when Chinese, Russian and Cuban planes with protective suits, face masks and fans landed in Italy, France and Spain. European solidarity? Nothing. Help only came from outside.
“The world needs Europe’s strong voice”
The borders were reopened in mid-June. “The world needs the strong voice of Europe,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel. Two weeks later, Germany took over the presidency of the EU Council. Germany, located in the middle of Europe and networked internationally, will not emerge from this crisis “economically and also humanly”, “if it does not work across Europe,” said Merkel, the government spokesman.
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Is April repeating in September? Must there be a call for help from Spain before Europe can help? Startled by the events in Lesvos, Germany takes in 1,500 refugees from Greece. That’s right. But internal solidarity is just as fundamental. Otherwise, populists could benefit from the crisis.
Germany’s responsibility for the European Union does not begin and end with the Presidency of the Council. Anyone who sees the empty Corona hospital in Berlin and then the photos from Madrid immediately knows what to do.