Is This the Next Step? Germany Bans Gatherings of More Than Two People
While countries all over the world are moving to ban larger gatherings and placing their own arbitrary numbers on it, the nation of Germany has taken an extraordinary step. Chancellor Angela Merkel has elected to ban any and all gatherings involving TWO people or more. You read that last sentence correctly.
The country is currently scrambling to handle the outbreak and they are doing everything in their power to mitigate the spread. Germans are now being kept away from the general public. They are expected to spend time with their immediate families (and no one else). It’s an astonishing measure and it makes us wonder if America is headed in a similar direction.
The German policy is going to be addressed by the pertinent authorities. The police will be patrolling neighborhoods to make sure that the policy is being followed. The ban does not apply to any of the families that are currently residing in Germany. We are sure that all of the parents out there are breathing a major sigh of relief.
Fines will be levied against those who are not willing to listen to these orders. The fines are expected to reach up to 25,000 EUR. This is roughly the equivalent of $26,908 in American dollars. It is clear to see that this country is taking the coronavirus pandemic as seriously as possible. It remains to be seen as to whether this bold strategy is going to be successful.
These new rules were decided upon during a Sunday meeting between the heads of the 16 states of Germany and Chancellor Merkel. Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet also delivered a press conference on the same day, speaking out about the importance of cutting down on contact outside of an immediate family setting.
The government is now strongly encouraging Germans to remain their homes until the pandemic has cleared. If these citizens are forced to go out in public, they are being asked to maintain a respectful distance of at least 1.5 meters. The decision has been made after German states have experienced a sizable amount of tension.
Merkel did not want to take these types of measures and believes that there is a chance that the decision could backfire. The restrictions that are causing restrictions to public life need to be kept in place at the current moment and this is something that Merkel believes in strongly.
That’s why she is taking a coordinated approach. Helge Braun is the chief of staff for the Merkel administration and she says that citizens were closely monitored over the weekend before the decision was made. The mortality rate in Germany is very low when compared to other countries. They have only experienced 92 deaths out of over 23,000 positive diagnoses.
How did Germany manage to keep their death toll so low? The answer is a simple one: they are looking to test all of their citizens, whenever possible. Their rate of testing is believed to be much higher than the rates in other countries. This allows them to detect an outbreak early and keeps their mortality rate from having a chance to skyrocket.
While Italy and France are currently struggling with high mortality rates, Germany’s is still quite low. Countries that have the ability to test as early and as often as possible are not going to have the same mortality rate as those with limited resources. Since Germany does not have any sort of public health laboratory to keep other labs from being able to do tests, an open market has been created that benefits the nation’s citizens greatly.
The Robert Koch Institute is this country’s answer to our U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are allowed to make any recommendations that they see fit but they are not given the chance to call the shots in the same way that the CDC can. This frees up testing for those who are in dire need and each of the German states is given the power to make their own decisions about how they are going to handle the coronavirus testing process.
Each of these states is expected to remain responsible for their own health care systems. All of these factors create a more robust atmosphere for testing than what exists in other countries. All of this begs the obvious question: why ban such small gatherings? It remains to be seen as to whether this particular measure is going to be truly helpful or if it is going to be overkill. The rest of the world is curious to see how this works out.