The numbers rose steadily as soon as October began.

At the beginning of the month, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) calculated a nationwide seven-day incidence of 17 cases per 100,000 inhabitants based on the corona infections reported by the health authorities.

Kim Bjorn Becker

Editor in politics.

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Rudiger Soldt

Political correspondent in Baden-Württemberg.

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By the middle of the month the number had climbed to 45, and Angela Merkel said in exasperation: “It's just not enough what we're doing here.” That was 2020, and the Chancellor was referring to the federal and state governments.

The Chancellor's sentence fell in a crisis meeting with the Prime Minister in mid-October 2020, and several participants in the round have confirmed it.

At that time, private celebrations indoors drove up the number of infections, and the federal and state governments decided on stricter rules.

But the restrictions did not work immediately, and were not immediately reflected in the official figures.

By the end of October the incidence had reached 91.

The federal and state governments closed restaurants, theaters and other leisure facilities.

Merkel swore the Germans to a "difficult winter".

Again at the end of October, a year later.

If you look at the development of the incidence these days, the fever curve of the pandemic shows some parallels.

While the nationwide seven-day incidence was 68 at the beginning of the month, it reached 110.1 on Monday - on Sunday it was three-digit again for the first time since May.

Within one day, the health authorities reported 6,573 new infections across the country.

Seniors are at risk again

“It is to be expected that the rise in the number of cases will accelerate further in the autumn and winter,” warns the RKI in its latest assessment of the situation.

Children between the ages of ten and 14 are hit hardest; the most recent incidence was 175.

Overall, Corona is spreading particularly among children and adolescents aged five to 19 years.

But the statisticians at the RKI are concerned with something else.

For the first time since the beginning of May, the incidence in people over 90 years of age has risen again to more than 50, it said - namely to just under 64. That could soon become a problem.

Because seniors are particularly at risk of getting seriously ill with Covid-19.

Christian Karagiannidis is also alarmed.

The internist heads the intensive care register of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), which records intensive care bed capacities in real time.

He superimposes two curves: Here the development of the incidence, there the number of first admissions to the intensive care units because of Covid-19.

The numbers are currently "closely linked," he says.

Karagiannidis is convinced that incidence continues to play a decisive role in assessing the pandemic.

He assumes that the number of infections is underestimated, since after the end of the free citizen tests at the beginning of October, fewer tests will be carried out.

In the case of infections, there are currently rates of increase of 20 to 30 percent within a short time.

Karagiannidis says: "This is really questionable."

Why doesn't vaccination change everything?

The current development strongly reminds him of October a year ago.

If you put the incidences of today and then next to each other, then that is "unbelievable," says Karagiannidis.

There are visible similarities down to the level of the individual circles.

"We're making the same mistakes one on one that we made a year ago."