On February 2, the obligation to wear masks on trains and long-distance buses ended throughout Germany. This requirement has now also been lifted in public transport in all federal states. This step, which is not based on any scientific evidence, opens the door to the spread of new, even more dangerous variants of the coronavirus.
The abolition of the requirement to wear a mask goes hand in hand with another momentous decision: the cabinet and federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil (Social Democrat, SPD) have declared the early termination of the Coronavirus Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Originally due to end on April 7, this regulation now only applies primarily to medical and geriatric care facilities.
In all other workplaces, the “company hygiene concept” is also no longer applicable. This provided that employees who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 had to isolate themselves (most recently for five days). They will now be even more reluctant to stay at home with a coronavirus illness as the pressure of staff shortages and workloads increases in many workplaces. The fight against coronavirus is thus declared a private matter for each individual.
Parallel to these fatal decisions, politicians’ mollifying statements that there is no longer any coronavirus danger are piling up. “We have the pandemic under control,” claimed Stephan Weil (SPD), Minister President of Lower Saxony, for example. That was why the nationwide uniform requirements for occupational infection control were “no longer necessary.” Bundestag (parliamentary) deputy Andrew Ullmann (Liberal Democrats, FDP) declared categorically: “The pandemic in Germany is over.” Christian Social Union (CSU) state Health Minister Klaus Holetschek in Bavaria cheered: “This [end of mandatory mask wearing] is a milestone. It shows that normality is taking hold more and more.”
In an interview with the Rheinische Post, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) made clear what kind of normality was taking hold. “What we observe in people who have had several coronavirus infections is alarming. ... If someone has a severely aged immune system after two infections, it is advisable that they avoid further Covid infections.” This is from the same man who, as federal health minister, is responsible for lifting the regulations and personally announced the end of mandatory mask wearing on trains and buses.
Politicians are lifting all protective measures in a situation where life expectancy is falling for the first time since the Second World War. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, excess mortality has been shown to increase year by year. But the spread of the virus, the allowing of new mass infections, is no accident. Such decisions are politically deliberate.
They coincide with the decision to send heavy battle tanks, the Leopards, to war against Russia. The German economy is being converted more and more into a war economy. The ruling class and its lackeys in the traffic light coalition—the SPD, FDP and Greens—are gearing up for a new, big war, and in this context they are prepared to walk over corpses.
They are also prepared to throw all scientific knowledge overboard. “Coronavirus is becoming endemic,” for example, is a frequently heard whitewash. For example, there was much to suggest that the virus had “changed to an endemic state,” said Hesse’s state Social Affairs Minister Kai Klose (Greens) in Wiesbaden on January 30.
This claim is completely unscientific and has already been clearly refuted by serious virologists. SARS-CoV-2 is not an endemic but an epidemic disease: it has spread worldwide, is highly contagious and is transmitted from person to person. The virus is also constantly mutating and producing new, increasingly dangerous variants. This finding has already been demonstrated in detail by the Global Workers Inquest into the COVID-19 Pandemic. In reality, the claim “Coronavirus is becoming endemic” is synonymous with the endless spread of the virus and mass deaths.
This is why even the World Health Organisation (WHO) maintains the highest warning level, three years after the start of the pandemic. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has continued to classify the pandemic as an “emergency of international concern.” Ghebreyesus added that he “remains very concerned about the situation in many countries and the rising number of deaths.”
Probably the most important reason for the WHO decision now is the unprecedented coronavirus wave in China. The country, which maintained an effective zero-COVID policy for almost three years, dropped all protective measures in early December due to massive pressure from Western states. Since then, it has been overwhelmed by an unprecedented wave of infections and deaths.
In China, a large part of the 1.4 billion population has already been infected and almost one million people are estimated to have died from SARS-CoV-2 in the last two months alone. Infections have peaked at 4.8 million a day, according to calculations by London-based Airfinity, which specialises in health data. Deaths are estimated to have climbed to the horrendous figure of more than 36,000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours on January 26.
It is obvious that under such conditions it is only a matter of time before an even more deadly mutation once again takes hold of the whole world. Further, the example of China shows strikingly that no single country can declare the pandemic “over” until it is over worldwide.
In the United States, an average of 500 people die every day from SARS-CoV-2. Coronavirus variant XXB.1.5, also called “Kraken,” was first widespread in the northeastern United States. Now it is spreading to the UK, and virologists believe that this extremely easily transmitted Omicron subtype could also become the dominant variant in Germany.
So far, more than 21 million people worldwide have died from COVID-19. Germany has officially registered almost 166,000 coronavirus deaths, very many of whom could still be alive today with a better pandemic policy. According to data from the Robert Koch Institute, 150 or more coronavirus deaths have been reported almost daily recently, with 154 on Thursday. In total, 726 COVID-19 patients died in the last week, as many deaths in one week as if two jumbo jets had crashed.
The number of unreported cases is high because the data become more unreliable every day. Since the infection has been declared a private matter, there are neither free lateral flow tests available nor easily accessible PCR tests nor reliable daily reports.
Meanwhile, cries for help are piling up on social networks: “For three years I was able to protect myself—now coronavirus has caught me after all.” And often they come from people who, as high-risk patients, have been very careful all along. As a result of the removal of all protective measures, they have now fallen badly ill after all. Also, the deleterious effects of post-COVID and Long-COVID on an entire society cannot yet really be assessed.