Tag Archives: coronavirus

About the Coronavirus and our individual responsibilities

Ádám Bakai is a Hungarian individual member living in Munich and the Vice President of Momentum in Munich, Germany. He wrote about Coronavirus pandemic

The  corona virus crisis and the different restrictions and regulations are impacting all of us heavily. Unfortunately lots of regulations can’t be understood very easily or are even controversial. However, we must protect ourselves against the virus, if possible without having to lock down entire countries again.

I read a lot, that some people still choose to ignore the rules. They are not just outraged, when new restrictions and possible penalties attached to those are introduced, but they desperately try to play the system. “They don’t know where I am travelling from”, “ I won’t pay the penalty and I won’t wear masks either!”, “Others don’t keep the rules either, why should I?” These are few examples of many reactions I meet day by day. I saw in the news the other day, that the German authorities are not able to trace back the infected people in a bar in Hamburg, just because hundreds of guests chose to give fake personal information to the restaurant.

Adam Bakai

I do understand, that we would all like to go home to our families without any problems, that we need to go to work, we need to take care of different matters. We would also like to go to restaurants, meet friends and live our life as good as possible. Our individual life does not stop from the corona virus – of course only if we pay attention to ourselves and to each other as well. The different regulations are not worth anything, if a significant part of people don’t keep the rules. Because of that, the virus will probably spread quicker, which will lead to further restrictions.

I am asking you: do we need that? Do we need kindergartens and schools to be closed down again? Do we need to get locked in between the 4 walls of our apartments again? Do we need workplaces to get locked down again, just because we were unable to step up together against the virus? Do we need to risk our own life as well as other people’s lives?

Let’s wear the masks regularly, by covering both our mouth and nose as well. Let’s be a role model for our children and let’s protect our older loved ones. If we don’t really have to travel somewhere, let’s stay at home and let’s discover our own surroundings instead! Let’s keep a safe distance from the people! Let’s disinfect our hands on a regular basis! These are all compromises, which we can all live with, without bigger sacrifices. If we see someone who is not keeping the rules, let’s kindly explain them what to do! Shall we really need to travel somewhere, let’s do that with the biggest care and caution! If we don’t understand the new rules, let’s dig into them thoroughly, what we need to do!

We should not be role models of playing the system and breaking the rules, but we should be role models of keeping those rules. Only this way we can protect our own health and also others’, and we can also avoid further restrictions on our personal lives.

Ádám Bakai

COVID-19, LOCKDOWN AND EUROPEAN EFFORTS

Theresa Zettl is an ALDE individual member from Germany and was recently elected as delegate for the upcoming ALDE Congress. She is a member of the COVID-19 working group of the individual members. She talks here about Coronavirus pandemic, and EU efforts during and after lockdown

“In my opinion, the EU [European Union] has faced the hardest trial since the moment it was established.” Angela Merkel, German chancellor, emphasised this in April pointing out that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit all countries of the EU.With more than 27.6 million infected people and almost one million deaths worldwide,2 the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to become at least as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, scientists warned in a study published in the medical journal, JAMA Network Open, in August 2020.3 While European countries like Italy and Spain called for a complete lockdown to keep COVID-19 from spreading, other countries like Brazil still refuse to recognize the seriousness of the virus.4

Surely, lockdowns were a good decision with regard to containment of the virus, but the impact of the lockdown on people and economy has been and remains tremendous. For example, comparing lockdowns has already shown which countries have done their homework with regards to digitalisation. Switching from regular school to homeschooling and from workplace to home offices made clear which governments urgently need to act to make high-speed broadband available.

Work-life balances have been completely turned upside down, especially for single parents. It has been even more challenging for working single parents who are now supervising their school-age children and simultaneously working from home – or struggling to find someone to take care of their children where homeworking is not an option.

Unfortunately, lockdown has also increased the cases of domestic violence, as victims – mostly women – are trapped at home with their abusers. The United Nations published numbers that domestic abuse increased by 20% worldwide during lockdowns.5 Doctors are also reporting a rise of severe mental health issues as a direct result of the pandemic itself: isolation, substance abuse, domestic violence, economic uncertainty as well as the job loss fears are considered as factors that might contribute to the need for extra support to prevent people from burnout, depression or committing suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic.6

So how can we all prevent further lockdowns until the vaccine has been approved? We should trust our scientists more. It’s likely none have ever been exposed to a virus with such a high mortality rate. As time has passed, we have learnt more about the virus and have had to change how we respond to it. Unfortunately, it has become popular to spread conspiracy theories on social media – even when it is more than obvious these theories are fake and not based on scientific fact. There are too many people claiming they are living under dictatorship because they are facing short-term restrictions such as wearing masks and social distancing.

Those of us who live in democratic countries, and especially in Europe, should be grateful that we do not live in a genuine dictatorship. 

Theresa Zettl

Sources: 

1) https://tass.com/world/1140903
2) John Hopkins University & Medicine | Coronavirus Resource Center: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
    Global cases: 27.583.796, global deaths: 897.671; numbers as at 9th September 2020
3) https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/13/scientists-say-the-coronavirus-is-at-least-as-deadly-as-the-1918-flu-pandemic.html
4) https://peoplesdispatch.org/2020/08/14/brazils-national-government-has-undermined-COVID-19-containment-measures/
5) https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-53014211 
6) https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53742121