Corona in Germany!

As the public life closes down due to the epidemic, I start this thread to exchange information and ideas on how to cope with living through the emergency.

Let me post my thoughts first, please add yours!

- First and foremost, DO NOT PANIC!
   Germany as a rich and well-organized country will manage this in a reasonable manner. You are lucky to be in one of the best places to live through this global emergency!

- There is no need to stockpile, except on good humour and a few books for the coming days or weeks without social contacts and other entertainment.

- Do not believe rumours and horror szenarios on Facebook, twitter, etc.!
    Germany has open, honest and informative authorities. Read the webpages of the health ministry (https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de), Robert Koch institute (https://www.rki.de) and your local health authorities ( which you can find in the local press) and follow their guidelines strictly!

- Realize that you are not doing this for yourself (as the risk for individuals is low), but for Germany and the world.
    Read up on „flattening the curve“ to understand why!

- Be flexible and adaptable.
    Shaw‘s „unreasonable man“, whose fan I am under normal circumstances, has to wait until those normal circumstances return!

I wish a great day and good health to you all!

Thanks for the information!

On flattening the curve - this means we are only delaying the rate people get infected correct? Eventually up to 80% of the population will have had exposure to the virus?

Also how long will it really be feasible and responsible therefore to pause economic activity for if exposure to the virus is inevitable?

Good question actually. I don't believe that the government will be able to keep this up for a long period of time. In 3 to 4 months shops will be allowed to open again I suppose.

Do you think travel will be allowed to go back to normal once shops reopen?

One should not expect easy answers since the situation is unprecedented in modern times. Which restrictions might be a few weeks and which might be months or longer is no more than a guess. Obviously there will be tremendous pressure to see that economic activity can be increased. But things like large events might be much further off. I see some hope since it was contained in China without tens of millions getting infected. But it takes some time to spread and like they see, now more people seem to be bringing it back into China than domestic cases. And lightening up the restriction can mean it returns to an exponential rate of spreading again. But what happens when it really hits many third world countries that don't have the resources China or Europe have to combat it? How many will die when refugee and displaced persons camps are infected?

Well, as a German living in SE Asia, I'm quite disturbed by receent developments. Please allow me to speak openly.

- Economic suicide? Two countries, 2 approaches to real issues.

- Minister Altmeier, in BILD (aka BLOED): "not 1 job will be lost".
-UK: "we expect a million jobs to be lost..."
***

A Freench expert prefers extensive testing & treatment to the general 'lockdown' (stayat-home) policy.

People fall through the cracks. Yes, think of the self-employed. Many have no insurance. Got a toothache? Want to eat, pay the dentist, stiff the dentist?

Got a father? HE will be forced to repay it all, if a son in hi 50s fails and needs welfare.

If I was to arrive, with no job, no apartment and hostels being closed. Where would I go? To the Bahnhofsmission?!?

Yesterday, I met an Indian teacher. My hotel wouldn't let him check in, although he has a TRC, a residence card and a QR code for the health app in Vietnam. The hotel is going under, occupancy will be near 5%.

He reports, how hundreds of millions rely on their daily wage to buy food in the evening. Go figure.

There is also a French expert, who scorns lockdowns and demands excessive testing & treatment instead.

Closing, what do you guys think of the greater picture here?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oygBg6ETYIM

KruChris, Maybe you need to analyze the situation better and stop with the misinformation! The German response that no jobs will be lost is of course not possible but shows an attitude. They are setting up programs to help small businesses and self-employed but it is overly bureaucratic until now. But the difference is the attitude of the Germans not to just let millions be financially ruined.

And your claims that a father would have to be financially responsible for his adult son in case of needing welfare is false. Not at 50 or 40 or 30. And no, many self-employed do not fail to have health insurance, it is required. I'm self-employed, and have an adult son getting Hartz 4, so I can say with certainty.

And the idea of testing and treatment as an alternative to shut down is 100% delusional. The point is to flatten the curve. Germany is doing a better job of testing than most countries but even here only people with serious symptoms and known contact to infected people or having been in a hotspot gets one tested. They are doing over 100,000 tests a week but there are 80 million people in Germany. There is no way to test everyone!

And many countries like Italy, Spain, France and now part of the USA are already over their capacity to properly treat people and deciding who gets lifesaving ventilators and who is left to die. There is no alternative between the 2 strategies. Without shutting down and isolating, then the hospitals everywhere will be completely overwhelmed. Your flippant idea that they can just be treated when the facilities cannot handle the numbers that would be infected with no isolation efforts is just ignorant.

And you scoff that you could arrive with no accommodation and then go to the Bahnhofsmission. Feel lucky that such emergency shelters even exist. What do you expect? Everyone is first responsible for their own needs. If they are really down and out then they can get such emergency shelter. What could one expect, a 4 star hotel?

I just saw a representative survey, which shows that 89 % of all Germans approve of the way the authorities are handling the crisis - only 8% disapprove.
The government never ever had such high ratings before!

Yeah, NOBODY likes the Covid-19 situation. Many of us are worried. The immediate help being touted to help self-employed and small business in Germany is actually going to take time and is hopelessly bureaucratic. But not isolating would be like dumping gasoline on a fire; not a solution at all. And until now the German response has worked pretty well; very low mortality rate anyway. One need just look at Italy or Spain to see what falling behind the curve means.

Germany is doing much better than my home country of India in coping with the outbreak.  I think it is responding very appropriately and despite large number of cases, the death rate is low. 

Probably there will be restrictions for some time, but I think it will not get much worse here.  Can't say the same about other countries like UK, USA, India, Brazil, etc.

I spotted in the Dutch press yesterday that with effect today, Germany now requires all people crossing into Germany from the Netherlands to enter 14 days quarantine; which is amazing as the part of Holland where I live is practically entwined with Gronau on the German side.  My sister-in-law's back garden is the border; they share bus routes, doctors and dental surgery, Saturday and Wednesday half of Gronau cross over to Enschede for the street markets

I used to live in Koln for 5 years, and was hoping to return and live in Stuttgart this Summer, but now I feel like it may have to wait even longer.  Does anybody know if someone coming from the U.S is required to quarantine in Germany for any length of time?
Thanks

Henryd7 wrote:

I used to live in Koln for 5 years, and was hoping to return and live in Stuttgart this Summer, but now I feel like it may have to wait even longer.  Does anybody know if someone coming from the U.S is required to quarantine in Germany for any length of time?
Thanks

My understanding is that anyone entering the country must quarantine for 14 days. This is in place till further notice.

Henryd7 wrote:

I used to live in Koln for 5 years, and was hoping to return and live in Stuttgart this Summer, but now I feel like it may have to wait even longer.  Does anybody know if someone coming from the U.S is required to quarantine in Germany for any length of time?
Thanks

I'm not sure if one can come from the US at this point if they don't have residency already. Stuttgart airport is closed. Frankfurt, the biggest airport in Germany was working at 5% of capacity yesterday; I think no commerical flights only freight bringing in neccesary supplies. Things will lighten up eventually but at the moment it is pretty much shut down to international travel.

I mean the situation may be better here in Germany than in other countries, but the question is for how long?? Here in Germany they are already talking about loosening the restrictions which is just blowing my mind.

kolibriex wrote:

I mean the situation may be better here in Germany than in other countries, but the question is for how long?? Here in Germany they are already talking about loosening the restrictions which is just blowing my mind.

Haven't they already relaxed some restrictions already?

SimCityAT wrote:

Haven't they already relaxed some restrictions already?

Yes, but very slowly and cautiously.

True and I get that this time has been crutial for retail for example, but I think we are gonna have it much worse if they already start relaxing restrictions.

Hello,
Any informed estimates of when international travel may be allowed? I am trying to get to Germany, and realize it may be awhile, but do you think travel to Germany is weeks, or months, away?
Thanks for your thoughts,
Lisa

Immigration into the EU is stopped until at least mid-June.
It might or might not be extended.

kolibriex wrote:

True and I get that this time has been crutial for retail for example, but I think we are gonna have it much worse if they already start relaxing restrictions.

Medically? Remember the seasonal flu? IT will go away!

Normally, when 75-80% have been infected, the virus will disappear.

Economically: the stuff of nightmares Isn't anyone concerned about SUICIDES?

I get that but this virus is more aggresive than the flu. If 75- 80 % get infected a whole lot more are gonna die. I feel sorry for those people. I have talked to some people who do not care about the virus because they do not feel concerned for older and sick people. Some have called it even "natural selection".

As for suicides yeah that is definitely a good point. Something that a lot of media outlets do not report about.

kolibriex wrote:

I get that but this virus is more aggresive than the flu. If 75- 80 % get infected a whole lot more are gonna die. I feel sorry for those people. I have talked to some people who do not care about the virus because they do not feel concerned for older and sick people. Some have called it even "natural selection".

As for suicides yeah that is definitely a good point. Something that a lot of media outlets do not report about.

Not wanting to lecture  or pretend to know it all, how have we been handling the seasonal flu?

The "at risk" groups have been told to shelter. The rest has been getting on with their lives.

food for thought:

- People die. Old and sick people die more often. There have been mortatility statistics.
- Covid-19 is extremely infectious. Henceforth, by now, it should have infected most everyone (irrespective of government measures). NATURE is kind, it would soon infect about 80% and it would be over

Most years, 650,000 or more die from the flu. Covid-19 is like a mild flu. COD: mostly preexisting conditions!!!

I wish for 80% infections, world wide. But nature usually ends these epidemics in Spring.

Humans have had bacteria and viruses in their bodies since the very beginning. You think you can eliminate our buddies radically? Dream on!

Whjat's different this time? The economic devastation due to governments' overreaction!

KruChris wrote:
kolibriex wrote:

I get that but this virus is more aggresive than the flu. If 75- 80 % get infected a whole lot more are gonna die. I feel sorry for those people. I have talked to some people who do not care about the virus because they do not feel concerned for older and sick people. Some have called it even "natural selection".

As for suicides yeah that is definitely a good point. Something that a lot of media outlets do not report about.

Not wanting to lecture  or pretend to know it all, how have we been handling the seasonal flu?

The "at risk" groups have been told to shelter. The rest has been getting on with their lives.

food for thought:

- People die. Old and sick people die more often. There have been mortatility statistics.
- Covid-19 is extremely infectious. Henceforth, by now, it should have infected most everyone (irrespective of government measures). NATURE is kind, it would soon infect about 80% and it would be over

Most years, 650,000 or more die from the flu. Covid-19 is like a mild flu. COD: mostly preexisting conditions!!!

I wish for 80% infections, world wide. But nature usually ends these epidemics in Spring.

Humans have had bacteria and viruses in their bodies since the very beginning. You think you can eliminate our buddies radically? Dream on!

Whjat's different this time? The economic devastation due to governments' overreaction!

Your rationalizations are both wrong and dangerous. Comparing Covid-19 to the flu is a false equivalency. Most people have not been infected yet although the numbers obviously are larger than official statistics since testing is so inadequate until now. Of course people with advanced age or other underlying conditions are most likely to die – from nearly any ailment. But while advanced age is highly correlated with mortality from Covid-19 it is NOT the only factor. And while many younger victims survive, many have permeant or long term damage. But there IS enhanced mortality with Covid-19 compared to most yearly flues. In America alone there have been 3 times as many death in 8 weeks due to Covid-19 compared to all of 2019 due to flu. And this has been despite all of the social isolation and other efforts. And for such flues many have partial immunity and/or get vaccinated; neither exist for Covid-19.

If no vaccine is possible then one could say that social isolation might be extending the time line on the inevitable. But it keeps the health system from being overwhelmed and gives hope that a vaccine could be developed. Otherwise people would die unnecessarily that just a year or 2 down the road might be saved by a vaccine. Of course it is  struggle to find the right strategies, at the right time, to deal with the situation in context of work but just doing nothing and expecting herd immunity to solve the problem is naïve. Herd immunity eventually caused the Spanish flu to end as well  but only after 50 million dead. And with advanced international travel and much large populations the risk is even larger despite advanced medicine because it is only available to a minority of people and can be ever whelmed even where it exists.

Governments haven't overreacted, they have actually done much too little. Social isolation should have been stricter and done earlier and then it would have stopped the spread like they managed in China. And the economic impacts are directly due to how the capitalist system works. Even in Europe which is better than the USA, the rich and connected still have the power and manage to take the majority of benefits in every situation at the cost of the poor. That so many people don't have the resources to survive but a few weeks without income is pathetic. Even worse is that oil companies, airlines and others that regularly make billions are suddenly broke and needing assistance?! They could keep reserves for the bad times but no, not how they work.  They deserve no handouts. They can be loaned the money and/or give up shares or make concessions in return for aid.

My opinion.

The significant difference between Covid-19 and its predecessors is the lack of a vaccine; because of this, it cannot be dismissed as just another flu without suffering similar consequences as to what the world suffered from the Spanish flu.

It's also impossible to compare Covid-19 to any previous outbreaks because "normal flu" has no standard, the death rates in the UK, for example, have a high 28,330 in 2014/15 to a low of 1,692 in 2018/19; the difference caused (maybe) by the efficacy of that year's flu-jab campaign and whether previous exposure/jabs had built up any immunity.

All that leads to the current campaign of social distancing and hygiene on top of necessity.  It just dawned on me of something I normally think back on when people do stuff that isn't nice to others or is selfish, it's something my grandad said to me a long, long time ago, that being "Just because you can or want to do something, doesn't always mean you should" - very relevant and something all should consider.

Lets remembers beppi's opening post...

beppi wrote:

As the public life closes down due to the epidemic, I start this thread to exchange information and ideas on how to cope with living through the emergency.

It's not to start saying this and that about other flues it's asking for ideas and how to cope. Lets keep on Topic

SimCityAT wrote:

Lets remembers beppi's opening post...

beppi wrote:

As the public life closes down due to the epidemic, I start this thread to exchange information and ideas on how to cope with living through the emergency.

It's not to start saying this and that about other flues it's asking for ideas and how to cope. Lets keep on Topic

I second this sentiment! I am science based and will always push back on what I know to be misinformation. But that said; I don't think this site is really the place to discuss the subject. The focus should rather be on what is happening and what can be done - without denial or conspiracy theories getting brought in. Even when there is no ill intention, speculation can be harmful in such circumstances.

Yeah, as a former regulator, I much prefer process and evidence to internet based speculation.

TominStuttgart wrote:

I am science based

Hahaha, to hear this from a professional clown made me laugh.
Wait - that's exactly what clowns are suppoesd to do!
Humour is a good way to deal with difficult situations. Thanks, Tom!

Hi everyone! As an "essential worker", I have not been "cooped up" like some. I have, however, had a LOT of digital meetings! I put together a few Vlog videos on my YouTube channel contrasting the difference in the German approach and American approach. Here is one. Check it out and let me know what you think: youtu.be/SaBgnsGTAJc

UPDATE: Many may know that Germany is in a lockdown. Unless one is a Schengen citizen or resident they are not likely to be allowed to enter the country. The Swiss border (again) has now closed for all but essential travel and people going to a job; not tourism, travel or shopping. Most shops other than food, pharmaceuticals and basic needs are closed. Theaters, cinemas, bars -virtually all entertainment is closed as are the ski slopes. Hotels are closed to non-necessary or non-business travel; no tourism or travel. There is a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am.

The vaccination process has just begun. There will be a prioritized approach and people will be informed when they can make an appointment. People traveling and not in the Germany health system are thus eliminated from the chance at this point – although anyone can go to hospital for emergency treatment of course. 1st priority – people over 80 and essential works like heath care providers, second priority people over 70. 3rd priority people over 60 and/or with certain serious medical conditions plus public service people like police, firefighters, teachers etc. After that is the general population.

This is an overview by me and not every detail. What I have yet to find out is how exactly they know who to prioritize for medical conditions. Age and profession is readily known by government offices but to determine what is exactly a prioritized medical condition is not so straight forward. And this aspect is not addressed on the Ministry of Health website but other information is readily available; links listed below. I have to say that the site is not easily to navigate to find specific answers. There are some pages in English but they are not nearly so complete as the German version ones and tend towards informing travelers rather than residents.

Information about traveling to Germany due to Covid

https://www.zusammengegencorona.de/en/i … %80%AF%20/

Information for residents of Germany.

https://www.zusammengegencorona.de/en/

https://www.zusammengegencorona.de/en/i … -covid-19/

Overview of all topics about Covid measures, testing  and vaccination in German:
https://www.bundesgesundheitsministeriu … tml#c18672

This thread is a bit old but since Covid continues to be a major concern for people coming to Germany I am sharing this link that gives the official information in English about Covid travel restrictions.

https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs … #f13919566

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