The number of new corona infections is still high.

And the pandemic is still an issue that moves Germans.

For this reason, FAZ science department head Joachim Müller-Jung discussed the future of the pandemic with Sandra Ciesek, the head of the Institute for Medical Virology at the University Hospital Frankfurt, who was connected via video, and Lothar Wieler, the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

When will normality return is one of the questions that both are supposed to answer almost every day.

But it was also emphasized in this debate that although the situation had calmed down, as can be seen from the current weekly report by the RKI, the pandemic is not over yet.

And we might have to expect a new variant in autumn.

Why is five days of isolation enough?

Kevin Hanschke


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The severity of the disease decreased with the omicron variant, Wieler explained: "That's also why the signals are positive." The overall risk of COVID-19 for the health of the population in Germany is now only rated as "high".

Ciesek reported from her everyday clinical work and corresponding studies that unvaccinated people in particular have a serious course of a corona infection.

"Even young people who are fit can be affected." It is still the case that the risks are minimized with the vaccination.

Both experts also expressed hope for possible treatments that can reduce the number of patients who have to go to the hospital.

When asked by Müller-Jung, Wieler commented on his recommendation to shorten the duration of the isolation to five days: “The situation has changed.

For the future, Wieler and Ciesek recommend "listening to the Stiko and the RKI" and implementing the vaccination recommendations.

This is the most sensible way to arm yourself against the virus in winter.

And when asked about the cause of the approximately 300 mysterious cases of hepatitis among children, which are noticeable worldwide, but especially in Great Britain, Ciesek warned against drawing hasty conclusions: the cause is not yet known and the suspicion that there is a connection to a corona infection you go of course.

But such cases should have been noticed earlier.

When searching, one should therefore remain open-ended so that one does not overlook the actual reason.