For months, the Saarland state government has been accused of acting without its own opinion in the corona pandemic. Either you follow the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), or you are a slave to the Federal Chancellor. That was the general tenor of the population.
On Tuesday night, after the memorable and unspeakable federal-state conference, the Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) defended the agreed regulations - including the Easter rest, as necessary.
Then, on Wednesday evening, the great news: Saarland is loosening up - after Easter. The confirmation followed yesterday: The so-called “Saarland model” is coming. It is a turnaround in corona policy. Triggered by the Chancellor rowing back and the associated apology to the people. And that's exactly where the crux of the matter lies: the people were no longer willing to quietly put up with every political decision. The uproar in the press and the population was huge. Probably bigger than it has been in 20 years.
This is likely to be the main reason for the model projects that have now been decided in many federal states. And then there are also elections. In the Saarland next spring. In September the federal election and some state elections will follow this year too…. Certainly some politicians are also thinking of this.
The Prime Minister had to listen to a lot for the Saarland advance. Whether from the Marburger Bund or Karl Lauterbach: Many beat the Saarland, although other countries have already announced similar steps. But the truth also includes: This project, now called the “Saarland Model”, is largely the implementation of the openings that are currently possible due to the incidence.
Be that as it may, the first thing to do is to return to a normal, if still not “old” normal. And that's right. Even after a year of the pandemic, everyone who is now calling for “blind opening” has not understood that this virus is incredibly dangerous.
But we have now finally managed to show people an alternative. An alternative to the eternal "We'll close it". One tries with speed in the vaccination campaign, a large test sector, FFP2 masks that are available everywhere and the known hygiene measures to maintain a bit of normality.
Und: Citizens are taken to their duties. They are given responsibility. Responsibility for oneself and for one's fellow human beings.
In other words: NOW, people have to show that they have recognized and understood the dangers of the virus and not carelessly throw all caution overboard. You could say: you are the maker of your luck. If the incidences remain under control and people do not deal with the new freedoms sensibly and to the full extent of what is available, further opening steps can be envisaged as early as April.
If the incidence figures explode and patients in hospitals rise massively, the project has failed and all those who advocate strict rules are right - and the result will be a hard lockdown.
This turned the whole corona management on its head: The rules are simple: Let yourself be tested, be sensible, keep the numbers flat with your measures, then you can also go to the cinema.
It's a concept that everyone can understand.
Still, the timing is risky. Germany is on the verge of losing control - at least in some federal areas. Germany is no longer just at the foot of the third wave, it is moving steeply upwards.
Now that Easter is approaching, citizens themselves can reduce contacts again and actively minimize the risk of infection. Then it makes the easing steps after Easter in particular easier and more manageable.
Is it the right decision to relax after Easter? From a human point of view: yes. Due to the infection situation nationwide: No. Based on the infection situation in Saarland: Yes. On the basis of federal-state resolutions: Rather no.
You see They see. There are many "pros" and "cons". In the end, however, it comes down to one thing: you, dear readers, are, just like me and our neighbors, jointly responsible for the infection process.
If we deal honestly with positive tests, put ourselves in quarantine, inform other contacts, behave responsibly, this project can be a success, similar to the one in Tübingen.
If everyone now enjoys their freedoms and thinks that this is the end of the pandemic, we will land on the hard ground of reality and will see how doctors increasingly have to fight for people's lives. WE have it largely in our own hands. Let's take the chance together.
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.