Corona virus: when the shutdown may end

opinion Risky exit strategy

When the shutdown may end

Status: 6:12 a.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes

How long can the economy take?

The Corona crisis has brought calm to almost all of Germany. Most stores are closed, the economy is shutting down. The only question is: how long is this good?

All of Germany is looking forward to the end of the corona shutdown. Clear criteria must be used to prevent such an important question of mood from being decided. But the scientists of all people are on strike.

WHow long can this go on? How long should this go on? These are the questions that we get up with these days and that we go to bed with.

“Now?” One might reply – the shutdown has only been going on for a few days, and it was clear from the start that the effective suppression of the corona epidemic would be a matter of weeks, at least.

But yes, now, of course – the status quo is too unbearable, even for the majority whose work and income have not already been lost. It is hard to imagine that this standstill could last for months.

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And so the debate will continue to accompany us, incessantly. Dates are already mentioned. Donald Trump would have liked to “open” America again “by Easter”, ie within two and a half weeks, as he says. Rüdiger Grube, ex-train boss and now chairman of the supervisory board at Hamburg’s largest port terminal operator HHLA, is bringing a six-week period into play – the only way to create predictability for companies and peace of mind for the financial markets.

Such intentions are understandable: they are dangerous in the matter. As long as epidemiological alternative strategies – such as systematic, largely nationwide testing – are clearly not feasible in Germany, the shutdown must not be stopped one day early.

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If he does, the epidemic could be expected to flare up again, with the result that normalization of everyday social and economic life will be a long time coming. Opinion polls or economic indicators should not be the deciding factor when the shutdown ends.

The only problem is: Representatives of politics and business can enter into a vacuum here that virologists and epidemiologists have created. There should be clear, understandable, transparent and traceable standards by which to measure when at least a relaxation of the shutdown would be possible. These standards would, for example, be linked to the number of new infections and could also be adjusted over time if the epidemiological events so suggest.

So far, however, the decision-makers from science have completely refused. Lothar Wieler, the president of the Robert Koch Institute, expressly wants to “make no statement” about the criteria that can or will be put on before giving the all-clear. Wieler’s boss would have to help out. Its name is Spahn. Jens Spahn.

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