Column / Opinion

It's not all black!

It is time to say it again: We are finally seeing progress in the vaccination strategy, in delivery management and in the number of expected vaccine doses. But also in protecting the population. A comment.

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Anyone who follows our portal carefully knows how critical our comments have been in relation to fighting pandemics for months.

But it is also time to acknowledge that things are not going badly. The “Federal Emergency Brake” is currently overriding the progress made and an increasingly negative picture is emerging within the population. This is understandable based on the stresses and strains of the past few months, but does not quite do justice to the situation.

Germany has relatively few deaths

(Statistics as of April 23.04.2021, XNUMX)
However, if you look at the statistics of coronavirus-related deaths per million inhabitants, you can also see that all of these sometimes tough measures have been successful.

Covid-19 / per million related deaths

CountryDeaths per million people
Czech Republic2691
Belgium2056
Italy1960
Great Britain1868
Spain1657
France1562
Sweden1368
Germany973

The United States is hardest hit by the pandemic - in absolute numbers - with 570.346 deaths, followed by Brazil with 383.502, Mexico (214.095), India (186.920), Great Britain (127.597) and Italy (118.357).

The statistics per million inhabitants show the clearer picture.

So we all succeeded together, especially with a view to our neighboring countries, in having to endure significantly fewer deaths.

There is also progress in vaccination

Finally good news about vaccinations. Substantial progress is emerging. The vaccination campaign in Germany, but also in the EU, is picking up speed. This is proven by the manufacturers' delivery data just as impressively as the reports from the ministries.

The manufacturer's delivery data (available from the Regio-Journal) show that in the first quarter 19.695.375 Vaccination doses were delivered. It's already in the second quarter 56.724.150 cans. In addition, there would be around 2,8 million more from AstraZeneca and 10,1 million from Johnson & Johnson (only to be inoculated once) and an undisclosed amount of CureVac, provided that approval is granted at EU level.

EU learns from mistakes

It is and will remain unforgivable that the EU has allowed itself to be duped in ordering vaccines. This endangered thousands of human lives or, in the worst case, even "cost" them, and thus brought unbelievable suffering to families.

The fact that the EU has already concluded a mega-deal with BioNtech shows that you can also learn at EU level. 1,8 billion vaccine doses for the EU by 2023 to ensure the booster vaccinations reliably are a clear sign that you have learned from your mistakes.

The fact that it has been made a condition that all materials required for production must be manufactured in the EU shows that one would like to become more independent from other countries.

This realization comes late, too late from my point of view, but it came.

Spahn announces the end of the prioritization

Another indication that the vaccination campaign in Germany is finally picking up speed is the announcement by Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) that vaccination prioritization will be given up in June. Then anyone who wants to can make an appointment to be vaccinated against Sars-CoV-2. A good sign - it would still have been nicer in the past.

More than a million people lost their jobs

Nevertheless, Corona hit the German economy hard. Despite short-time working, many people have lost their jobs. More than a million people, submitted the federal government. 477.000 employees subject to social insurance contributions and 526.000 marginal employees lost their jobs. The hospitality industry, such as the hotel and catering industry, was particularly affected. 398.000 people became unemployed here.

Without the option of short-time work, there would have been many more. At times, around 6 million people were outsourced to short-time work. The protective screen was therefore full of holes and was not able to cushion all hardships. In March, almost 500.000 more people were looking for work than in March 2019.

Economy collapsed significantly, high government deficit

The effects of the corona crisis are also brutal for the state. 4,9% economic output was lost in 2020. It is the biggest slump since 1970. In 2020, the state made a loss of almost 140 billion euros. This is the second highest government deficit since reunification.

There are numerous fates of small businesses associated with this. Despite economic aid, which in some cases was not paid out correctly or too late, not every company could be helped.

At the same time, however, the state has also made over one trillion euros available in economic aid. As is so often the case, there are winners but also losers with such measures. In addition to large corporations, especially from the automotive industry, who were able to reorganize themselves with short-time allowance, there were numerous fraudsters. So it would be time to pray for those who benefited from the crisis to checkout. If you don't do this, the taxpayers have to work again in the end.

Conclusion: light and shadow

It is too early to judge the work of the federal government. But already now one can say: there is light and also shadow. The Federal Government succeeded in saving human lives in cooperation with the citizens. The price for this is high: national debt, loss of economic output, companies that had to give up.

Basically, the economic modes paint a positive picture from the year 2022. The robust German economy could recover faster than one dares to dream today. But this primarily requires inner-city investments in order to bring the cities back to life. It also needs a "restart aid" in order to stimulate the economy, large and small, and above all, it finally needs a positive look ahead.

What is no longer needed are political squabbles, squabbles and know-it-alls. It is time to start making preparations for July. Because then it's about getting the economy back on track.

Column note

This article is a column by the named author. At where the editor expresses his opinion. This does not have to match that of the publisher.





Picture sources:

  • Forest in morning sun: Image rights with the author

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