The corona crisis is far from over, but it is approaching a stage where the end seems at least within reach: in Great Britain, the omicron wave is ebbing, although things are being let go. In France, hospitals are not overwhelmed, despite the fact that almost half a million people have been infected every day. And in many other countries, too, the mutated virus variant spreads less terror in politics and the population than in Germany. The Federal Government's expert commission still considers the current 2-G rules and contact restrictions to be appropriate. Whether this strategy is overly cautious or not remains to be seen in the coming weeks.

But one thing is certain: the debate must now begin about when and under what conditions Germany should step by step follow the British path.

Because if the risk situation takes a lasting positive turn, the restrictions must also be lifted.

Saying that should be a matter of course in an enlightened society that debates on the basis of scientific facts.

Unfortunately, after almost two years of Corona, it is clear that this matter of course has fallen victim to the pandemic.

Less dangerous Omicron variant

It seems to be particularly difficult for many to bear when someone changes their assessment. When experts and celebrities strike a new note, they are either accused of defecting to the lateral thinkers camp, or they are greeted happily by those who have always been critical or even hostile towards the “Caution Team”. Both are absurd and reveal harmful camp thinking. Perhaps a comparison will help: There is a patient who is slowly but surely recovering. Reducing one's medication does not mean denying the disease or questioning previous therapy. On the contrary: The therapy is the prerequisite for being able to send the patient to rehabilitation.

The vaccinations and the omicron variant, which is less dangerous for many people, are now changing the assessment of which measures are necessary.

It is therefore possible to be against a tough lockdown today when you were in favor of it yesterday.

The previous measures were therefore not wrong.

On the contrary.

It is and remains a major omission on the part of the federal government at the time to have initially relied on a “lockdown light” in autumn 2020, despite many warnings.

Only when far too many people had died were there stricter measures, which then had to be maintained for a long time.

Not yet at pre-crisis level

Retail and gastronomy are now increasing the pressure on politicians to relax measures quickly. This is understandable from the point of view of employees and many of those threatened by unemployment. Politicians would do well to price in the precarious situation, but not to make it the focus of their considerations. Ultimately, after all experience, there is no longer any doubt that it is not the lockdowns that are stalling the economy, but waves of infection and people's fear of being infected in public.

In contrast to other national economies, the German economy has not yet reached the pre-crisis level. However, it is a myth that this is primarily due to the corona measures, which are currently strict by international standards. Due to its strong industry, Germany is particularly affected by supply bottlenecks, and dependence on foreign trade is choking the recovery. It is also not true that the measures in this country were always particularly tough. Stricter rules applied in several waves in countries such as Italy, France and Great Britain. When to relax must primarily depend on the pandemic situation, not the economic one.

The order of the day is to discuss the right way out of the pandemic without blinkers.

What is the condition for relaxing the measures?

What residual uncertainties is society willing to accept?

And with a view to the coming autumn, will Germany perhaps also need compulsory vaccination when the omicron wave has lost its terror?

Those who remain camp-minded and just wait for new ammunition to ignite are lost in this debate.

Those who are immune to such extreme positions are now all the more in demand.

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