Vaccine talk with Anne Will: "Any other strategy is better than the current one"

Vaccine talk with Anne Will
"Any other strategy is better than the current one"

Needed by David

Confidence in the political crisis management is falling, especially because of the vaccination stuttering start. More and more people are not complying with the corona rules. What has to happen now and does the lockdown continue? Asks Anne Will. Nobody learned from mistakes in the panel discussion.

Trust is always a thing. If it is seriously injured, it can only be rebuilt with difficulty and carefully – or never at all. The ARD panel discussion with Anne Will is also confronted with this. Because the trust of the citizens in the corona management of politics is on the ground these days. Although – or precisely because – Angela Merkel said in an ARD interview during the week that "on the whole nothing went wrong" with the vaccine procurement in Germany. But the ignoring of scientists who had urged tough measures early on, the miserable shuffling from lockdown extension to lockdown extension, the muddle of the federal and state governments with and against each other, the lack of a clear plan against the mutation B.1.1.7 , the high death rate and the stuttering start of vaccination induce more than half of German citizens to see politics as overwhelmed.

Foresight in pandemic policy? Nothing! Right at the beginning of the program, Cornelia Betsch gets straight to the point: "Any other strategy is better than the current one," says the professor for health communication at the University of Erfurt, who heads the Cosmo study, a weekly survey indicator for psychological problems Situation of the German population in the corona crisis. Political efforts are not a real "long-term strategy" and "not effective enough", especially with regard to vaccinations. As a result, society's confidence in the pandemic measures, which has fallen from around 60 to 40 percent from March 2020 to now, is suffering. Especially people "who actually advocated the rules no longer trust".

The mood is changing, Germany is at its limit. The problem with it: "Trust is the linchpin for behavior," says Betsch. In her surveys, the professor recognizes an increasing pandemic fatigue and increasing burden on citizens. "This is explosive," she says. In the first lockdown, for example, more people obeyed the rules than now. So what has to happen now, Anne Will wants to know. Because a common, clear and far-sighted line still seems complicated for politics even after a year of Corona, as the panel discussion shows. The confusion in the federal states repeatedly causes a loss of trust, for example what happened with the ban on accommodation. In order to counter this, according to Betsch, a nationwide strategy that all prime ministers support would finally be needed.

Manuela Schwesig also advocates this. "I would not recommend that we open everything when we have reached an incidence of under 50," says the SPD Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. But there are ways to open things up step by step. "We have to create a plan for the future, consistently and based on incidences, and not just extend the lockdown again." Then it must always be regionally decided what can be relaxed and when. The current lockdown, which is valid until February 14, is expected to be extended until the end of the month. The new plan will be discussed at the federal-state consultations on Wednesday. Cosmo study director Betsch criticizes: "The end of the lockdown should be linked to a certain number of cases rather than a certain date." That would also help motivate the population.

Spahn considers the stress test to have been passed

CDU Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, who speaks only in one individual interview with the talk show host, explains his plan for the immediate future as follows: "We have to keep the number of infections so low that we can track infection chains. That will not be achieved by next Sunday I would wait until we are well below the incidence of 50 and only then relax. " The strategy of the federal government is anyway from the beginning – and still – to bring the number of cases down in order to avoid excessive strain on the health system. "We succeeded in doing this, unlike other countries," said the Health Minister. "There were heavy loads, but no overloads. The system passed the stress test." It is a shame that the panel had not invited any nurses who would certainly have given Spahn a significantly different point of view. The fact that crises are made worse by poor communication and a lack of openness does not seem to have really hit Merkel or her health minister.

After all, when Will asked, Spahn also recognized the pandemic fatigue in the population. "The virus is not tired, but takes another run with the mutations," he says. "That's why we mustn't get tired." His CDU colleague Ralph Brinkhaus agrees with him. "We have to be honest now: The next few weeks will be tough again," says the Union parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag. Although he wants to get out of "this little bit", that is, from the constant lockdown extensions, he finally says: Lockdown again would be better than loosening it now.

Sahra Wagenknecht "does not want to ignore the virus and get out of the equation", but for her "after a year there is no longer any justification for driving entire professional groups to ruin without specific data. The left-wing member of the Bundestag wants to get out of the lockdown with more targeted measures "that protect those who are particularly affected", for example residents of old people's and nursing homes. The gastronomy, for example, should be allowed to reopen.

No vaccine, no trust

Confidence in the Corona measures is dwindling, as the ARD panel discussion recognizes in unison. Health Minister Spahn does not know exactly how he wants to regain the trust of society. Manuela Schwesig has an idea for this: "Vaccine would now be the weapon for a motivation boost," says the Prime Minister, only to immediately attack the federal government for the problems with vaccine procurement. "The federal government should get enough vaccine, but now there is not enough of it, we cannot protect risk groups and the threatened mutation is added," denounced the prime minister.

If you had full vaccination centers and smooth processing, the Germans would see that things were going ahead, then it would be easier to persevere, says Schwesig. But you don't have. "The federal politicians probably don't see what it looks like on site." A clear tip to the Chancellor and her "nothing went wrong". Spahn, on the other hand, thinks the "decision that the EU has made for us all is right." Some things would take longer if you were to vote with 26 other countries. "But when we stand together, we are stronger," said the health minister. He now wants to accelerate the vaccinations with a new regulation.

Professor Betsch concludes that a motivational push does not mean that people need to be relaxed. But vaccinations that are easy to get, uniform and clear rules and a change in objectives. Rewards could reduce burdens, and competition among regions could also be used. "But new communication from the government downwards is not enough, you have to involve society," she believes.

We need common goals. Neither the panel discussion nor the politicians are aware that society is repeatedly alienated rather than involved. Trust also dwindles when the mayor of Halle, Bernd Wiegand, does not want to acknowledge the irritating topic at all and presses ahead with the vaccination. When, for example, the soccer record champion FC Bayern flies to human rights-abusing Qatar for a completely insignificant trophy in the middle of a pandemic, while schools, daycare centers, retail stores or restaurants are closed and private individuals should refrain from traveling. Or if the Minister of Health thinks that the health system and its staff are not overloaded.

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