Letter to the editor

Does the coronavirus gather our wits?

Not only Germany is in an absolutely exceptional state now, but in fact this goes for all countries around the globe. We can notice that we have a very capable country, from our Chancellor to the Governors of the federal states to the authorities in the municipalities. Now the federal nation state with all its instruments demonstrates its abilities. No polarising attacks, no personal vanities of individual politicians, but stick together now is experiencing in this crisis. I’m also thinking of the executive bodies in the municipalities, the public order offices, police officers and the like who ensure the rules being observed. District governments in North Rhine-Westfalia alone employ numerous staff over a weekend to process the incoming applications for emergency aid from small businesses with few employees and also freelancers who are not allowed to carry out their work, without any red tape. They will receive a non-repayable one-off payment of between 9,000 – 25,000 Euro to bridge the gap. The cash flow is made within a few days.

Furthermore, we observe that a large majority has understood now to behave appropriately and to offer each other help in order to protect their own lives and the lives of others. Despite so many criticisms of our healthcare system we can see now that it works very well and that there, too, a solidarity-based approach to intensive care beds is being exemplified between the federal states. Here we come to the conclusion that cooperation between nations and the importance of national borders for their protection, here for the purpose of containing the pandemic, are not mutually exclusive.

Perhaps this pandemic can also be a global trigger that makes us all come to our wits. No more agitation against political “opponents”, no more increasing the arms budget, no more wars in the world, towards a peaceful coexistence between peoples and a good community within the different societies. The global economy will slide into a deep recession, that is to be expected. The Western financial system is in danger of being rocked. But precisely this brings hope that the human family will move closer together and the bogeyman Russia, China or Assad will be buried. Rather, the common enemy now is the virus and its global impacts which we can only defeat together.

Werner Voss, Wiehl (Germany)

(Translation Current Concerns)


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