Friday, October 16, 2020

The Mother of All Nonsense

On the train and on my way to Oberstdorf
This is what a deputy of the Liberal Party in Baden-W├╝rttemberg’s state parliament called the heatedly debated Beherbergungsverbot. Many of Germany’s big cities now exceed the official alert threshold of 50 daily Corona infections over a period of seven days per 100,000 people, so other less affected regions and states introduced an accommodation ban for those coming from hot spot areas supposedly protecting their own people. 

A father from Recklinghausen, a city in the Ruhr district, having booked a hotel for his family in Ravensburg at Lake Constance for the fall holidays suddenly was no longer allowed to travel south. He went to court in Baden-W├╝rttemberg and the judges overturned the administrative order that in turn led to the debate in the state parliament about the Beherbergungsverbot.

In fact, this accommodation ban hurts the right of free movement of people, a fundamental right that can only be restricted in the case of an emergency. The judges argued less fundamentally, namely that a family coming from a hot spot cannot per se be placed under general suspicion of being infected. In addition, the hotel business has so far shown good compliance with the sanitary rules – no Corona hot spots up to now - and should not be punished. The ban is disproportionate.

Where do we go from here? Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged from a meeting with governors this week greatly frustrated by the joint measures to fight the ongoing second wave of Covid-19 infections. The measures agreed upon were a lowest common denominator compromise. They will not stop the exponential increase of cases observed in Germany. It does not help to keep fingers crossed and the measures surely will have to be sharpened at the follow-up meeting in ten days.

The mother of all Corona infections is contact. The best way to reduce the spread of Covid-19 is to avoid contacts with other people. The AHAL-rules (distance, hygiene, wearing masks, and aeration of frequented rooms) help but no contact with your family members, friends, and fellow citizens is better.

Who can tolerate this when in Genesis 2:18 Jehovah God saith, 'Not good for the man to be alone?

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