Germany Locks Down before Christmas Due to Increasing Coronavirus Deaths
By Julia Xiao
Due to the increase in Covid-19 deaths, Germans would go into their second lockdown over Christmas break.
Stores, schools, and hair salons are required to close starting on Wednesday and extended holidays are greatly encouraged. The number of people allowed to meet up will be further tightened and New Years celebrations outdoors are allowed but public gatherings and the sale of fireworks are banned.
In November, Germany experienced more than 21,500 new infections within a day, fulfilling Ms. Merkel, the chancellor’s, prediction made a month before the sudden increase of infections.
The German government has debated over this matter and finally settled on a solution. This lockdown is named, “the lockdown light” by many German media, due to its flexible, softer measures.
The goal was to have reduced physical contact by 75%, but due to the people going outside shopping and gathering for the Christmas holidays, physical contact has only been reduced by 40%.
The “lockdown light” only had a small effect in protecting the German citizens and it is not enough to enable the number of infected people to decrease. Infections and death numbers have continued to increase in recent weeks. 21,787 Germans have been lost to the virus and the number of people in need of treatment is increasing. The rate of increasing new infections remains dangerously high and can put the country’s health system at risk.
Last week, Germany’s National Academy of Sciences called for a better and more effective lockdown over the holidays. The chancellor has greatly encouraged the citizens of Germany to listen to the scientists.