Maybrit Illner: Omikron ensures unusual unity

The linguistic peculiarities of the corona pandemic include not only such beautiful vocabulary as “free testing” and “nuclear family”, but also the tradition of dividing people with similar political views into teams. It started with the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), who initially made himself captain of the caution team, but recently switched to the caution team. Or at least holds a double membership in both teams.

In Maybrit Illner’s talk show, other alliances for dealing with the pandemic are emerging that evening. Franziska Giffey (SPD), recently the governing mayor of Berlin, initially gave a surprising application speech for Söder’s team of judgement: “It’s simply important that contacts are actually tracked in moderation, with a sense of proportion, whatever you like to call it.” Then she differentiates herself from the know-it-all team, “those are the ones who always know better afterwards and say you should have done it differently”.

The Hamburg virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit counts himself on another team: “I think there is only one team, and that is the Germany team. We may have lost something in the pandemic.”

But back to the beginning and the team changer Söder. After a clip that traces the Bavarian dance between stricter and looser measures, the Prime Minister defends his strategy. These are not contradictions, but “careful and clever pandemic management”. You’ve stuck to the scientific recommendations.

A sense of proportion and Söder? “I was wondering”

Spiegel-Journalist Anna Clauss sees it differently: “I was surprised when I heard the word sound judgment from Mr. Söder’s mouth.” She suspects that the upcoming state elections in 2023 could also have something to do with Söder’s change of course: “If he would like to accuse the Greens of being a ban party, as he has done lately, then he can do it to the citizens of Bavaria in the corona pandemic, yes don’t tighten the thumbscrews any further.” Violent Söder head shaking in front of the Bavarian winter forest (the prime minister is connected via video).

Otherwise, the debate is surprisingly harmonious. Omicron makes it possible. The guests agree that the new variant cannot yet be conclusively assessed, but it is significantly less bad than Delta – at least in terms of the severity of the courses in the vaccinated and those who have recovered and the utilization of the intensive care beds. Virologist Schmidt-Chanasit even speaks of “the final phase of the pandemic”. The Munich infectiologist Clemens Wendtner warns against relaxing the measures too quickly, but can also imagine “an endemic phase” by the end of 2022.

It can hardly be denied that politicians failed to set up an adequate test infrastructure. “Actually, in a highly industrialized country like Germany, it has to be managed not to fail because of the resource of the PCR test,” complains the doctor Wendtner. Nevertheless, the group on the whole supports Giffey’s initiative to focus on testing and contact tracing on vulnerable groups and employees in critical infrastructure.

The end of the program marks the compulsory vaccination survey. In principle, everyone is in favor of it, but journalist Clauss considers the implementation to be unlikely, and virologist Schmidt-Chanasit thinks the time is too late. There isn’t much time to do it. But the next Corona Talk will definitely come.

Maybrit Illner: Kathrin Müller-Lance would like to say that she only works in the Arte media library.  But then she likes to watch "RTL exclusive" after what the celebs do.

Kathrin Müller-Lance would like to claim that she only works in the Arte media library. But then she likes to look at “RTL exclusive” to see what the celebrities are doing.

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