When Ranga Yogeshwar says after 53 minutes that “in a way we have to make sure globally” that “we take others with us”, almost all the boxes are ticked again in the imaginary Corona Talk Bingo. Global scope of the pandemic: Check. Criticism of the lack of digitization and groaning health authorities: Check. Rhetorical jumping around about compulsory vaccination: check.
“It’s you, it’s us,” Maybrit Illner greets the viewers at the beginning of the show, and it sounds like something between a familiar appointment and self-assurance. The topic this Thursday evening: “Wave or turn – is Omikron changing the corona policy?”
It’s actually not that easy: on the one hand, the new variant pushes up the number of infections, but on the other hand it should cause milder courses than its predecessors. In his podcast, the virologist Christian Drosten recently even said that the door had to be opened to the virus in some places.
But be careful, as his colleague Melanie Brinkmann makes clear, “the word mild somehow suggests that it’s something positive, like mild temperatures. But it’s still a virus that can make you very ill.” The virologist would therefore prefer to “open the door very slowly”.
Schwesig replies in the finest I’m not angry but disappointed tone
If you want to stay with this picture, German politics, represented in the round by Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) and Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU), is more aimed at spreading the virus by constantly opening and closing doors slamming to confuse. As is well known, the 2-G-Plus rule for gastronomy, decided last week by the Prime Ministers’ Conference, does not apply in Bavaria for the time being. “I don’t rule out that happening,” says Holetschek, “but we’ll take the time to balance and weigh it up, and then we’ll make the right decisions.”
Schwesig replies in the finest I-am-not-angry-but-disappointed tone: “Bavaria must now decide for itself. We met at a joint prime ministers’ conference and said we want to make joint decisions […]. I’m amazed that Bayern is doing that.”
The group agrees that the reliable figures in Germany must improve. Keyword health authorities. “Since 2003 attempts have been made to bring the healthcare system into an electronic form,” says Brinkmann. “This urgently needs to happen now. If I’m still sitting here in two years’ time during the next pandemic and we’re talking about it again, then I won’t know what to say anymore.”
Finally, there are still a few mandatory topics, face-to-face teaching, a lack of testing capacities, and of course the obligation to vaccinate. Schwesig defends her party colleagues Scholz and Lauterbach, considers it “very clever” to move the debate about mandatory vaccination to the Bundestag and expects it to be a “great hour for parliament”. Holetschek, on the other hand, thinks it is the government’s job to introduce a bill. The Chancellor must now deliver. “You have to say that if you want to be in the opposition,” comments Illner. Check.