Germany Going Into Lockdown For November, Banning Hotel Stays

Filed Under: Travel

I’ve been in Germany since mid-September, and have been meaning to write a post about my perception of how coronavirus is being handled here. Well, I guess this is as good of a time as any, given the new restrictions that have been announced today, which also impact travel.

Germany closing restaurants, hotels, and more

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has today announced a series of new measures that will take effect as of November 2, and will be valid through the end of the month. The hope is that with these new restrictions, things can start to return to normal before Christmas.

With this, we’ll see the closure of restaurants, bars, theaters, and concert halls. On top of that, hotel stays for leisure will be banned. Schools will continue to stay open.

As Merkel explained in a press conference, the most important thing the country can do is trace infections, but health agencies have reached their limits and are no longer able to do comprehensive tracing.

The government is promising an “extraordinary financial package” to help industries that will be impacted, including restaurants and hotels.

Winston doesn’t mind lockdowns one bit

How bad is coronavirus in Germany?

Germany’s coronavirus cases have indeed skyrocketed in recent weeks. During the first “wave” in the spring, Germany saw at most 6,300 cases per day. Now the situation has gotten significantly worse in terms of new case numbers, and this week Germany even saw a peak of 14,700 new cases in one day.

While that’s terrible, the death rate remains relatively low compared to the spring, and Germany hasn’t seen more than 50 deaths in a day so far.

To do some very rough math comparing Germany to the US:

  • Germany’s population is about a quarter that of the US
  • The US saw a high of 85,000 cases in a day within the past week, compared to 14,700 cases in Germany, so the “peak” date in the US is 45% worse as of now
  • While Germany has seen a peak of under 50 deaths per day in recent weeks, the US saw over 1,200 deaths in a single day, so in terms of deaths Germany is doing significantly better

But yeah, the situation in Germany is getting much worse, and Merkel has predicted that if nothing is done, the country will be at 28,000 daily cases within a week.

My impressions of coronavirus handling in Germany

I wanted to share some observations about how coronavirus is being handled in Germany, and what precautions are being taken, based on the past several weeks that I’ve spent here. Let me note that of course I’m not an epidemiologist, doctor, etc. I’m just sharing my observations, since I was curious to see firsthand how Germany compared to the US in this regard.

Testing & contract tracing is impressive

On a national level I’d say Germany’s government has done a great job:

Coronavirus test center in Frankfurt

Otherwise there’s huge inconsistency

Culturally I somewhat view Germany as being the Japan of Europe — there’s a “proper” way to do things, and the rules are rules. Unfortunately I found a lot more inconsistency than I was expecting to when it comes to coronavirus precautions, depending on the location. This largely comes down to Germany’s different Bundesländer, each of which has different coronavirus precautions.

Düsseldorf? OMG, I’ve never seen a city where people took coronavirus as seriously as there:

  • Virtually everyone was wearing masks (and wearing them properly), even when walking down the street
  • Restaurants had contact tracing forms when you sat down, and they’d remind you that you needed to wear your mask every time you got up, etc.
  • Since the pandemic started I simply haven’t been to a city where just about everyone seemed to “get it” and be on the same page


Düsseldorf

On the other end of the spectrum you have Dresden, where you’d assume coronavirus isn’t a thing:

  • Very few people were wearing a mask, including servers in restaurants
  • There weren’t hand sanitizer stations anywhere, including in hotels
  • There were no contact tracing forms in restaurants

Dresden

Then you have Berlin, where I’ve spent most of my time in Germany. Berlin is incredibly international, and in many ways not like the rest of Germany:

  • At 95% of restaurants servers are wearing masks, but at some restaurants they aren’t
  • Maybe 50% of the time there are contact tracing forms at restaurants
  • Mask policies inside businesses and public areas (like supermarkets, subways, etc.) are otherwise enforced
  • Taxi drivers and Uber drivers maybe only wear masks 50% of the time, even when policies say that they should
  • I’ve found that a vast majority of times cops aren’t wearing masks, even when in close contact with others

Berlin

So yeah, Düsseldorf impressed me in terms of precautions, while the rest of Germany, well… not so much.

Bottom line

Germany is going into lockdown for the month of November, as we’ll see the closure of restaurants and many other businesses, and hotel stays for leisure will also be banned.

While no one is excited to be in lockdown, I think it’s the right decision, so that the virus can be back under control, and the government can also get back to contact tracing well.

My experience over the past several weeks has been that precautions among the general population are highly dependent on the location, and I’ve seen both some highs and lows.

What do you make of Germany’s November lockdown? And to those who are in Germany, what has your experience been with precautions?

Comments
  1. Thanks for the update. But please stop mis-using the word “exponentially”. It is not a 1:1 synonym for “orders of magnitude”. Exponentially should only be used if you’re talking about rate of disease spread or a dependent variable that is an exponential (not quadratic or cubic etc.) function of some independent variable

  2. The definition of insanity is to keep trying the same thing over and over

    Lockdowns haven’t worked otherwise there wouldn’t be such spikes, and many African/MidEast countries without lockdowns have been doing just fine.

    There is basically no conclusive evidence that the benefits we get from lockdowns outweigh the negative impacts on mental health, suffering of the poor, and destruction of industries

  3. Düsseldorf is awesome. It has the largest concentration of Japanese-Germans and Japanese citizens in Germany.

  4. Lucky, you understood something wrong. There are states, where it wasn’t required to wear masks in restaurants. Servers and guest could do it but it was no must. Every state had different rules. What you observed in Dresden was the law. Same in Dusseldorf.

    And the help from the government, I can only laugh about that and most of the freelancers, artists and so on, too. No one help us so far. They helped Lufthansa and big companies that’s it.

    By the way, the experts were against the lockdown because it doesn’t really help. And no one knows what happens at Christmas.

  5. It’s amazing seeing how easily this virus spreads, we’ve had a fairly major outbreak at uni this week which blew up over 48 hours which has thankfully been contained but it’s really hard to appreciate until seeing it first hand. Don’t know if it applies to Germany as well but I believe our compliance rate in the UK following contact by test and trace is fairly low, which obviously for us is our biggest issue right now.

  6. With a federal system each state has different rules, as you experienced, with some been strictly (mainly because of higher case rates) some more relaxed (because of lower rates).

    Overall it seems that over the last couple of days people realized that everyone needs to follow the rules again and the incorrect wearing of masks, not using the provided hand sanitizer when shopping etc stopped or is much lower.
    Also a lot of People choose to wear a mask at all time when outside their own home compared to the summer months.

  7. The only country (Tanzania) to have completely eliminated COVID-19 did so with prayers and traditional ululation. Perhaps that might help?

  8. Just watched Macron’s address to announce national lockdown in France. I wonder if Italy will be next. I can only dream of going to Europe.

  9. Germany has lost a step. Back in the day they were able to track the movements of millions without any help from technology.

  10. It seems lockdown is only helpful if it stays locked down until a cure or vaccine is developed. Putting a temporary lockdown seems pointless, as shown by every country that had lockdowns. As soon as the lockdown is lifted, it immediately spikes.

  11. Did you notice that the death rate was high in the spring, but now it’s so much lower that is now comparable to flu. Why is that? Lockdowns may have been justified in the spring with the high death rate, but maybe not justified anymore, with more harm than good?

  12. The ‘ro is going to ‘ro. Dumb humans think they can outsmart the virus. Protect the vulnerable and let everyone else live their lives.

  13. Germany isn’t yet seeing the per capita caseload of the U.S., but Europe as a whole is actually worse. France is going into its version of lockdown as well.

    It’s not really correct to say that the current situation in Germany is “significantly worse” than in the spring. Testing is much more prevalent now than it was then, so Germany is catching a lot more of the cases compared to early in the pandemic. 6300 cases at the start of this may well be equivalent to 14,000 today.

    What is certainly good – while Germany didn’t have the terrible case outcomes of many countries early in the pandemic – we certainly know a lot more about it now. There are better treatments, (some) therapeutics, and there may be on the whole lower viral loads being transmitted now (though this remains somewhat speculative). All things that lead to better outcomes compared to 6-8 months ago.

    Contra the commenter above suggesting that “Dogs can transmit COVID-19” there have been some cases of human to canine transmission, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll see canine to human transmission.

  14. Hi Lucky, living in Berlin, we went to Gran Canaria in early May for 10 days (which is a whole other story) and upon arrival back into SXF went for the Covid testing. I’d say less than half the passengers went. The process was quick, easy and well organized. We had our (negative) results 24 hours later.

    Regarding your experience and what others have commented, yes, Germany is a Federal Republic so each State is responsible for the regulations. During the first wave, and now during the second, mostly every State is on the same page. This due to the wonderful job Merkel has done in getting a consensus and agreement between the States. Of course there are a few small exceptions.
    Looking at the the disaster and lack of leadership in the USA is, this was a positive action to keep the cases low on a nationwide level.

    Some people like to bash Merkel, but she has done a great job with the pandemic. She is a scientist who studied physics, and this reflects in her actions. This opposed to the incompetent Trump who has waged a war against science and is a total moron.

    Unfortunately there is no easy answer, but the actions are being done to ensure the health system doesn’t collapse. Which of course in Germany is socialized medicine, (and excellent) so no one needs to fear going to a doctor or the hospital and coming out with a bill for €50,000.

    Science is truth.

  15. I’ve noticed cops have some of the worst mask compliance regardless of where you go. Responded to an incident a few weeks ago and there were 12 officers from various law enforcement agencies and only two wore masks even though we were all crammed in a small space. Not a good way to improve the public’s view of police when that’s at an all time low.

    Appreciate your take on the situation as always, Lucky.

  16. I have to believe that if every single person on this planet got a test right now today that you would see cases and % normalized. Lockdowns dont suppress cases they just delay the inevitable.

  17. Echino – transmission was likely much higher in the spring (more of it was undetected), viral load in each case higher (due to lower mask wearing in the spring), better treatments and more awareness of symptoms, etc.

  18. France will commence a lockdown from November 1 with people only permitted to leave home for work and essential reasons All restaurant, cafes bars gyms and nonessential businesses etc will close

    Meantime, in Sweden it’s like “ what’s Covid “ ?

  19. Absolute nonsense. The genie is out of the bottle and isn’t going back in no matter how long you lockdown. The sooner people realize this, the sooner life will get back to normal. Stop living scared.

  20. Makes me appreciate the Seattle area where I live even more now. I haven’t seen a single maskless server at a restaurant, and some people wear masks on the street though some don’t (this isn’t that big of a deal unless there’s crowding on the street). There are no contact tracing forms that I’ve seen however. And enforcement doesn’t seem to be much of a thing yet.

  21. Even now, Germany remains a relative outlier, particularly with respect to deaths. I’ve heard a lot of theories, but one intriguing one is the relative lack of nursing homes (apparently home care is a big thing and people like to stay in their homes until they die, if possible). Contrast that to France, Italy, Spain, and the US.

    Also, if you’re going to include case numbers, at least adjust for population. 14k cases to 85k in the US is marginally better, but neither is great. And both countries are doing decently on that metric compared to France, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and especially Belgium. France has consistently been reporting double the US rate of new infections for a while now.

    At the end of the day there is no Covid stat Olympics, though what is happening in Europe kind of throws cold water on the idea that the US mishandled things in some epic way relative to our friends across the pond. Some states (e.g., Hawaii, Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont) have lower death rates than Germany, while others (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Louisiana) have astronomically high rates even by European standards. Though the latter are all states that were hit early on before the therapeutics improved dramatically.

  22. I am from Germany and I do not want another lockdown.

    I hope that the US opens its borders soon, so that I can escape the lockdown and go to Florida for the month of November. If that is not going to happen I will stick with Mexico or Sweden for the time being.

  23. I’m curious if the infection rate/hospitalization usage is lower in Düsseldorf than less mask-forward cities. Does anyone have info on that?

  24. So I live in Melbourne. We were in a strict lockdown for over 100 days and for around 80 days could only go 5kms and out once a day for food etc and 1 hour a day for exercise.

    In the last 3 days we have had 0, 0 and 2 new cases. As of 2 nights ago restaurants and retail opened back up, and can now go 25km. Can still only have 1 visit or visitor per home per day. Come Nov 8th the 25km restriction is hoping to be lifted and we can go anywhere in the state. We are hoping it opens up more to visiting family and friends in homes.

    We are coming out of winter (mind you still cold) but COVID went through our aged care facilities impacting staff and the elderly. Sadly of the 907 deaths in Australia, 819 have been in Victoria mostly as a result of the aged care debacle.

    Yesterday over 150,000 people returned to work. I live inner city on the bay, and it was fantastic to see people out having coffee, beer (very early in the morning) and just having fun. It will be interesting to see how we in Melbourne cope moving forward.

  25. @Rico If you have a close look, Covid19-prevalence greatly depends on culture.

    Areas with a high number of Arab/Turkish/Balkan immigrants who regularly hang out in big (family) groups are mainly spreading the disease.
    Areas in eastern Germany with less immigrants have better Covid-numbers even though measures are less strict.

  26. All the anti lockdown people need to be reminded that so many Asian countries contained the virus well and life is back to normal. This time West has failed enormously.

  27. Max, try São Paulo if you can’t get into the states. I came here from Canada two weeks ago to visit family. The weather is great. Traffic is reduced. Shops and restaurants are open. Folks are taking the virus very seriously but there is no longer any lockdown. Masks are worn everywhere. Sanitizer is given out by all establishments. Overall it seems quite safe and more organised than Quebec. I’m returning to Canada next week and coming back here for Christmas. I take precautions and live my life. I’m not giving up seeing my kids (who are spread among the US, Canada and Brazil).

  28. Why is it that New Zealand, South Korea, and Taiwan, all of which are democratic countries, are able to contain Covid19 while rest of the Europe, US, South America aren’t able to? One can say both New Zealand and Taiwan are island countries and once you close the border, it’s easier for them to control the virus. Surely many countries in Europe can easily do the same thing right? Now people in New Zealand and Taiwan go about their daily routines like Covid never happened; no requirement to wear masks and everyone can go to restaurants with friends.

  29. Here in Melbourne, Australia we have proven that lockdown worked. It was a very tough 15 weeks but cases came down from over 700 a day to now 0 community transmission. It is not the only way to fight the pandemic, but it gives time for the government to build a contract tracing system whilst protecting the precious public health system. We have proven that it can be done in a Western city of 5 million people. You just need a strong leader who stick to the plan and ignore the naysayers and educated public who support it. Now, restaurants and bars are opening again with expansion of capacity to cover the losses. There’s a real buzz about to spend money locally. Summer is coming and things are looking good. Soon, the interstate borders will open and visitors will come. Economy will bounce back and all the economists predict that we will be back to normal early next year.
    So sorry to see the situation in Europe and the US at the moment especially going into winter in lockdowns. Please be safe and stay strong.

  30. Lockdown is a huge mistake.

    Search for Covid in Peru. The country had one of the most strict lockdowns anywhere in the world. They added curfew, basically closed their airspace where Peruvians outside of Peru could not get home and foreigners inside Peru could not live the country. Do you know the results? A destroyed economy and almost 70% of the population infected. Peru’s per capita COVID-19 mortality rate reached 93.28 per 100,000 which is higher than that of any other nation. Also, apparently Peru has reached herd immunity since almost everyone got Covid.

  31. Mark: You are 100% correct in saying that the main reason for lockdowns is to keep the health services from being overwhelmed with demand. I know that there are some major, major unreported problems in India and Russia where several regions have severe shortage of basic medication and the hospitals are full to the brim. Do you see an indication of this in Germany? We seems to be doing OK with hospital capacity in USA. What is great in Germany is that you keep schools and Universities open. It is opposite in USA. Our Universities with medical schools are having particular problems: limited or no in person classes, huge holes in budget because of losses in revenue. ..

  32. France is also going into a lockdown on November 2nd for 4 weeks as well as my son’s in laws live in Paris but are coming to their states side home Friday or Saturday. They are US citizens. We need to control the virus and that is that! If it means lockdowns so be it! Just to note No one wants that but to get back to any sense of normality we need to do this now.

  33. @Kevin “Why is it that New Zealand…and Taiwan, all of which are democratic countries, are able to contain Covid19 while rest of the Europe, US, South America aren’t able to? One can say both New Zealand and Taiwan are island countries and once you close the border, it’s easier for them to control the virus.”

    Kevin the answer is so close to your nose your can’t see it. Taiwan and NZ are able to handle covid because unlike Hawaii, which is also an island but has exploding covid, they are not ruled by incompetent USA Democrat politicians.

  34. Every article about her needs to begin with “German strongwoman, Angela Merkel…”

    How many more years will this fascist thug cling to power?

  35. France under lockdown for 4 weeks too.

    I expect the USA will have to impose strict measures too. Thanksgiving will see family gatherings and huge increase in Covid cases.

  36. Germany, like the US, is made up of a variety of “states,” each of which has meaningfully different cultural and political histories and approaches. Dresden is Alabama. Duesseldorf is probably more like Seattle. Berlin is Washington DC. That’s why you can see different approaches across the country of 85 million people.

  37. Lucky: Something doesn’t compute. With airlines now and then announcing ramping up of TATL flights one does not see any reports, news regarding how full the TATL flights are. Again, with the 2nd Covid surge in Europe and now Germany, Switzerland announcing partial lockdowns and tonight, 28 Oct., France announcing effective Friday a strict lockdown to Dec. 1 (people will have to have permission slips as to why they are out of doors – I viewed Macron’s TV address to his nation) and other countries imposing restrictions (Czech, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway) from the airline announcements, including AA and UAL, one has the impression that, if anything, hordes are descending on the airports in Europe and the U.S./Canada to take the TATL flights.

    What really is going on with the TATL load factors? Stay safe, Lucky.

  38. Germany is doing great, compared to France. We’ve had several days of over 50,000 new cases, and 500+ deaths.

    So we definitely need to go back into lockdown. In fact, I think all of Europe should, and will probably end up there before it’s over. Well, all of Europe except Sweden… ‍♂️

  39. What should be clear by now is that for a lock down to be remotely successful it needs to be a strict, long-term commitment without reopening borders and preferably in an island nation. A month long lock down from European nations is an exercise in futility.

  40. @Greg To put it bluntly, you’re wrong. Lockdowns can and do work. You only need to look at Melbourne as a case study where following recording over 700 cases per day a couple of months ago, they just recorded multiple days of 0 cases per day.

  41. @MDA & @Melburnian, Congratulations! You guys in Victoria have done an amazing job, thank you! Over 15 weeks during Winter, in a second wave lockdown with lots of politics thrown in, brilliant effort and the numbers show it.

    I know it seems hard for other nations to understand but in Australia (&NZ) we all went hard on lockdown early and it seems to have worked despite the restrictions on all of us, our families and the economy. I should also add that many of us were also locked down in the grips of our worst bush fires ever for December, January & February so it truly feels like we have been wearing masks for a very long time!

    I doubt there is one of us that is happy with the new normal but…….And now, after all the hard work, a relatively unrestricted Summer lies ahead for us and fingers crossed a third wave is not around the corner! I just yearn for the days when we can actually leave the country again. Despite the efficacy of it, not being able to leave Australia really does grate on my democratic principles!

  42. Ridiculous!
    I live in Germany – what do the Goverment think what happens after this lockdown “light” end of November?
    Everything will be fine and the curve is flattered?
    Nope….Restaurants etc will open again and after another 2-3 weeks we will have the same situation with high levels of infection like now…autumn and cold winter ahead means new infections.

    So….what will the gov do?
    Another lockdown after another lockdown every 2 months till summer?

    Come on guys…learn to live with the virus until medicine is available and our health systems not collapsing…

    Dont kill our economy….

  43. There’s still no evidence that lockdowns in and of themselves work in any kind of lasting manner without a whole lot more. Lots of folks like to pat their countries on the back for “getting it right” with a long, harsh lockdown. In Australia, do you really think cases would be that low if there also hadn’t been a severe border closure and quarantine requirements? Likewise, American and European privacy laws would (rightly) never permit the type of tracking and tracing and other controls that some Asian countries have used to successfully get Covid under control.

    Demographics also matter a lot. In Belgium, almost 20% of the population is over 65. In many African countries, that number is 3% or less.

    By all accounts, many of these European countries did lockdown “right,” but it doesn’t take long after you open yourself back up to travel that things will spike. Similar principle in the US. When NYC was experiencing 1k+ deaths per day, thousands of people were fleeing daily to Florida and other places with less severe outbreaks. Given the internal connectedness of Europe and the US, there’s zero appetite on anyone’s part for ongoing, more localized travel restrictions. If you live on an island at the edge of the world, like New Zealand, then sure.

  44. I really think people here are misunderstanding the purpose of the lockdown. At the current trajectory, Germany runs out of ICU beds in 2-3 weeks, which then drives the death rate up.
    The lockdown is designed to buffer down the spread of the disease and prevent hospitals from running out of capacity. It’s protecting the finite resources that exist to battle the disease.

    Also the people repping Sweden, Sweden has what, a 5% death rate? so 2.5x the rest of the civilized world? I guess congrats to Sweden for leading there?

    3rd point. African nations are not a good point of comparison due to weather, we’ve seen from reduced contagion this northern hemisphere summer that this virus much prefers winter.

  45. I wouldn’t call Germany the ‘Japan of Europe’.

    If that title were to go to any country, it would be Switzerland, but in general the Swiss are boring, whilst the Japanese like bright colourful lights, and ‘cartoonising’ everything. Try that with a Swiss person and they would probably think you were two years old.

    Monaco, perhaps, but it isn’t a ‘real’ country.

    Germany, on the other hand, is dirty, people generally dislike each other (which is not the case in the other Germanic nations like Austria and Switzerland. Northern Italians and Eastern French do share the Germanic disdain for others, but that’s another story), there is a lack of unity, the food couldn’t be more different to Japanese, Japan is a centralised economy, with Tokyo being the hub, and Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto (Keihanshin) being the 2nd runner. Much like the UK in fact, with London, being the hub and whilst Birmingham being 2nd runner, the North-West with Manchester/Liverpool/Leeds being pretty similar to the Keihanshin. German cities are akin to places like Slough or Oxford in the UK, only just considered cities.

    The Germany that Germany dreamt of being may be like Japan, and there are clusters – The Volkswagen city of Wolfsburg, the Potsdammer Platz, the remnants of Nazi supporting firms like Bayer, IG Farben, Hugo Boss and VW, may resemble high Japanese industry, like Mitsubishi, Toyota, Mizuho, and Honda, but the Nazi era IG Farben is far removed from what the company does today, as are the others.

    Germany might have aspirations to be the ‘Japan of Europe’ but this is far from the reality.

    Children in Japan are forced to study, most average middle class German children spend more time socialising than in school. Japan has very low speed limits, Germany does not! ……. too many things to list.

  46. The lockdown is entirely justified and appropriate. Merkel has been a wonderful leader for Germany and Europe, certainly right up there with Adenauer and Brandt. She’s reassuring and comforting just like a slice of strudel .
    The merchants of doom and gloom will continue to moan, bitch, whine and whimper about the economic impact. But ,with appropriate support measures in place, the downside is limited and the rebound will be fast and furious. Similarly they prattle-on interminably about loss of freedom, via things like mask requirements, as if their ‘right’ to meaningless trivia somehow trumps public health. Morons.

  47. @ Dave,
    The freedom we are used to in the USA brings about a feeling that we can each do as we desire and ignore rules. there is also the fact that those violating the rules face minimal repercussions.

    The above clearly show why some Countries do better at controlling Covid19.

  48. @ Greg,
    There are many factors that explain why other Counties report less cases.
    Some Countries either do not have accurate statistics or publish false information.
    There might be genetic differences in populations, much akin to those with sickle cell trait have certain medical advantages.

  49. @Paolo +1. Lockdowns work. Italy was hit hard earlier this year and instituted a 12 week lockdown that saved a lot of lives. Merkel deserves high marks for her Covid management. Perhaps this is the last lockdown as we are all hopeful that the vaccines are close. Meanwhile, everyone stay safe.

  50. Marc, I could not have said it better. Regarding Melbourne/Victoria, congrats, you have shown the world how to do it, lockdown until it’s completely under control. Not all those ridiculous compromises. Regarding Sweden, and for Max from Deutschland, here are some numbers for you: Germany has 8.11 times the population of Sweden. 83.02 M versus 10.23 M. Germany has 10,035 deaths, Sweden has 5,933 deaths. If you project Germany’s proportion unto Sweden, you would end up with 48,116 deaths, which is about 4.8 as many as Germany. The economy in Sweden is doing a bit better, down 8.6% in Q2, versus down 10.1% in Germany. So what’s more important? Economy that will come back or lives that are lost forever? Oh, and good luck with your November vacation in Florida. What’s happening in Europe now, will happen in two to three weeks in the US, especially with all the election related super-spreader events, and ‘we are rounding the curve’. Merkel gave an address to the nation mid March, saying that this is the most serious threat to the nation since WW2, while in the US they were ‘waiting for a miracle’ and for the warm April temperatures to ‘just make it go away.’

  51. Lockdowns work. Nothing is perfect. All my German friends prefer were they are right now. None of them wants to visit me in sunny California. They have seen the charts. Those who are against lockdown have never been in charge of large numbers of people in an emergency. Covid-19 is very complex problem, those who feel lockdowns are nonsense, are not involved in any kind patients care.
    Science is not their strength.

  52. Dear denialists, Um, Have u noticed the death rate wiped out one in 500 people in the whole state of New York in one half of a virus season? Or that it killed one in a 1000 Floridans in half a season? Tell me when the flu did that? I will take my answer off the air.

    Come on ICU rounds with me and see. Till then, I am not sure what reality u are in. The virus was exactly what it was in January and kills about 1 percent of people who get it. It hospitalizes about 4% and, if left uncheck, can probably infect about 20% of the population or more per year.

  53. What is your plan to vote? Will you be returning for Election Day? You live in FL, it’s a critical state for Biden.

  54. I live in a European country with approximately 5.3 million people, and we’ve had 280 deaths so far with the average age being 82. Infection rates have increased dramatically over the last few weeks, but so far very few deaths as it’s mainly been young adults infected. There are basically three groups that drive the numbers: young adults, immigrants and guest workers.

    The rules here are pretty lax, with masks only recommended in situations where 1 metre distance can not be maintained. As of tomorrow, the rules are being tightened but we’re still able to go to the pub, the cinema and gyms. Also, there is a difference between quarantine for contacts (do not meet others, but you can go outside and even the shops if necessary) vs isolation for those who’ve tested positive. Testing is not mandatory for arrivals from overseas, but quarantine is.

    The vast majority of people have followed recommendations of keeping your distance, washing hands and staying home if you’re sick. We’re also blessed with a sensible government and our health authorities have done a remarkable job in keeping us informed.

  55. Also, mind u, the Swedes are Rational. They essentially isolated themselves about 2/3 as well as those who were forced to isolate.

    Most people don’t “restaurant” or “theme park” in pandemics, whether allowed to or not.

  56. I live in Seattle, where most folks follow the proper precautions. I just got back from Las Vegas and wow. What a difference. How is that place even open? Crowds of maskless people everywhere. Sheer lunacy.

  57. I find it interesting how the media tends to talk about how Europe has handled the pandemic better. There’s no coverage of the rest of the world like Africa or Asia. If you compare Germany to Vietnam, Germany has done a terrible job. Germany has more cases per day than Vietnam ever had since the pandemic started. Compared to the rest of the world, Western countries should not be lauded for their handling of the pandemic.

    If the media does cover the pandemic in Asia or Africa, they think the low death rates are due to their genetics and not because of proper health protocols. It’s racism in journalism.

  58. “Once politicians take power, they don’t give it back.”

    True ‘dat.

    It’s what the dotard is attempting to do in the USA

  59. @Eric, your comment is spot on. The numbers are very misleading. The number of testing and method/equipment used are not standardized. The only way to say they did a wonderful job is to stop testing. If you look at the number of testing done in those self proclaimed successful countries it is laughable.

  60. As a Deutschamerikaner I completly miss the point of what the government is planning. Sure, the lockdown makes sense and probably saves lives, but what´s the endgame here? We had low numbers, then we opened up, now we have high numbers, now we lock down, then we spend roughly 200 billion EUR for the last lockdown, and now we do another one, and then we open up… And so on.

    China got it right imo. They locked down and closed the border. 2 weeks in government managed quarantine. Seems to work. Having voluntary tests at airport and all land borders open doesnt seem to work so well. So, I miss the point of what their plan is other than planning from now till then.

  61. @Dave neglects to mention New Zealand in his right-wing diatribe.
    Essentially NZ can claim to have eliminated the virus, although it is not being so cocky as to say so.
    The sensible left-wing Labor government has just been re-elected with a majority not seen in over a half century. A ringing endorsement of a competent ‘left-wing’ government, wouldn’t you say so @Dave?
    Lets hope Americans will come to their sences and vote Democrat (not that they are especially left-wing in reality) next week to have a fighting chance of defeating this awful virus. Maintaining the status quo certainly won’t achieve that.

  62. I watched a documentary about the Spanish flu, produced in 2018 actually! It was very interesting. Happened in 1918 and governments basically didn’t or coudln’t do anything to stop (no lock downs and such obviously) and there where 2 waves with the 2nd being more deadly then the 1st. So many people got infected that imunity was achieved. 50-100M dead. Sometimes I think we are just delaying the inevitable…

  63. It is so frustrating for me to read the comments here and the fear level and the fact that people are seemingly totally the effect of this virus. You can do things to help your body besides staying away from people and being terrified of the virus. In any pandemic, including the Black Plague there were people who were not effected. You want to do what you can to become like those that survive. It’s not random, there are characteristics you can achieve.

    The correct thing to do is to find which things you can do to increase your chances of doing well if you run into the disease or if you get the disease. Some things you can’t change such as your age and your blood type. Other things you can certainly do something about. High Vit D levels are highly correlated with good outcomes and low are correlated with bad outcomes. Fauci says he takes it so for those of you who can’t do anything without his ok, there you go, you have it. Get those levels up before the winter. If you have dark skin you are even more at risk for low D levels. This isn’t rocket science. Viruses cull the “weak.” If you are deficient in certain minerals or vitamins then you are more at risk. Check out Dr. Paul Marik’s protocol. He is the Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care East Virginia Medical School.

    End result for me is two family members who had very mild cases we treated at home and feel better than ever now with no residual problems and who now have immunity. I was around them constantly and never got it. You can do many things to make your body stronger and more capable of dealing with this virus.

  64. I think the first lockdown in March/April was justified as no one knew exactly what they were dealing with at that time. But further lockdowns I don’t think are helpful or useful. There is much evidence to suggest that lockdowns cause far more damage than the virus itself such as mental health issues, domestic violence, suicide & business failures etc. It is interesting that the most strident supporters of lockdowns, tend to be those employed in the public sector who’s jobs and incomes are unaffected by this.

    To those commenting about Melbourne trumpeting the success of Chairman Dan and his strict lockdown. They forgot to mention that it was the sheer incompetence of the Victorian Government that led to this second wave, allowing the virus to escape from hotel quarantine that was totally mismanaged. Putting politics and ideology ahead of what they should have done, i.e. have the army and the police guard hotels, not untrained private security guards hired via WhatsApp.

  65. To those saying “lockdown” doesn’t work, seriously?
    I live in Melbourne like a few others who have already posted before me.
    We went from over 800+ cases daily to 0
    Guess what we did? Yes that’s right, a hard lockdown
    No shops were allowed to be open other than supermarkets, pharmacies, post & banks.
    You were not allowed to leave your house unless it was for one hour of exercise, essential food shopping & medical treatments. On top of this you had to stay within a 5 klm radius of your home. Working from home was mandatory as was wearing of masks at all times outside of your home.
    We endured 112 days of this and now we have close to 0 daily cases. So it does work

  66. It does seem like Germany is pretty backward in handling of the situation. Being based in Singapore is both a blessing and curse since home is so far away. That said Dusseldorf is no longer impressive when you see what’s done here. Contact tracing is through a physical device that automatically communicates with sensors installed at indoor public areas, everything is QR code based and you go to jail for not wearing a mask as soon as you set foot out of your home. The curse would be a perceived lack of freedom which has since been rewarded with next to no community cases at all and we are free to dine out and do most of the activities we’d like, just with a mask on. Still a lot of room for Germany to learn, and quit thankfully I am not back stateside.

  67. JW I am pretty darn sure that those measures while technically superior would be possible to introduce in Germany. Data protection and freedom are valued far more than in other places. Seeing the examples of tracing in places like Singapore, Hong Kong or China is certainly nothing anyone around here would ever approve.

  68. Contact tracing need not be complicated nor expensive. In Malaysia, contact tracing was set up overnight with every allowed venue displaying a QR code which you scan with an app which registers you as having visited it. In addition each outlet has a temperature check device and a bottle of sanitizer. The QR displays are numerous. Even at the entrance to Malls, and again before entering any individual store.

    If you don’t have mobile phone, the outlet provides a book where you write your name, contact number, date and temperature.

    Using this tracing system the authorities have been quickly able to track down a specific area or Zone, designate it as Red, and restrict movement only in that locality.

    I’m sure the human rights idiots will say this is intrusive. So is Covid. Choose

  69. Looking at contact tracing, I’m wondering if in Germany things are done by pen and paper… sign in at a restaurant, supermarket etc? If that’s so, the compliance rate might be sub-optimal as it is clumsy. And collating those forms for contact tracing would be a nightmare.
    This was a problem in Melbourne as the tracing team was understaffed and used pen and paper level of technology.A year ago the health department contact tracing team was mostly involved with sexual disease tracking, so was very much attuned to only that. Then things got out of hand in Melbourne with covid19, then seemed ok, then got really out of hand. . During the lockdown the contact tracing staffing was increased, and new technology introduced.People will soon be using one of the qr code tap in systems, so people’s movements are easy to track.
    The problem is each state here uses differing contact tracing technology and tracking , so that’s the next thing to address here. I imagine the federal system in Germany is similar.
    In countries such as Taiwan and New Zealand, I’d assume a national approach was used from the start.

  70. COVID-19 culls the aged and unhealthy. East Asian countries were better able to deal with the pandemic as they have decades of experience with infectious respiratory diseases and their monocultures are far more willing to tolerate intrusions on their privacy, but more importantly, perhaps, they are not overrun with obesity. Someone earlier mentioned how poorly Peru has done despite imposing strict lockdowns. Well over half its adult population is overweight or obese. South Korean adults are about 30% overweight, including 4% obese. I don’t think I need to tell anyone how fat Americans tend to be. COVID-19’s lethality is highly correlated to obesity. Obesity is deadly and diseases associated with it kill far more people than COVID-19 (if in fact deaths are even FROM COVID-19 and not just WITH it). Should governments be mandating closures of private businesses and limiting freedom of movement in the name of a disease that is not an existential threat and largely killing people who are intent on killing themselves through overeating? Oh, and for those of you (fatties) who are waiting for vaccines to rescue you, look into how obesity inhibits vaccine effectiveness.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02946-6

    On a side note, I was on the London Underground recently and observed laughable mask compliance, be it masks with valves, masks not covering noses or no masks worn at all. Regulations require masks be worn on public transportation, for what it’s worth. I wonder when Rishi Sunak will replace Boris.

  71. One of the major reasons Merkel has put forward justifying the lockdown-like measures being introduced now is that 75% of cases cannot be traced to their source anymore at this point. To me this seems like a convincing argument. Regardless how high the numbers, if you can trace, you can perhaps control. If you cannot trace, controlling further spreading becomes impossible.

  72. @ Kenny C — Worry not, our votes have already been cast and counted, that was really important to us. 🙂

  73. @cargocult
    39% of people who died from COVID in the US were obese, in a country where 42% of the entire population were obese. Let that sink in.

  74. “39% of people who died from COVID in the US were obese, in a country where 42% of the entire population were obese. Let that sink in.”

    Oh dear me. Statistics. It’s not about whether those who have died from Covid-19 are representative for the whole population by whatever characteristic. It’s whether obesity is a major factor of excess risk i.e. whether those who were obese and have died from Covid-19 could have survived if they had led a healthier lifestyle.

    We can start the conversation around the former once the whole population has been infected, or if we somehow are able to ensure infections happen in a representative manner across factors like income, age, race, health status, employment status, access to healthcare, genetic predisposition etc.

  75. Here (in Dresden/Saxony) the rules were not as strict as in other Bundesländern, because we had very low infection numbers during the first wave.

    Now (this week) that has changed as well as the rules:
    contact lists everywhere, contact limitations in public, masks in the open air everywhere in the center (annoying when walking the dog at night 😉
    (https://stadtplan.dresden.de/?TH=VA_CORONAMNBGEBIET&noRedir=true&lang=en)

    You were lucky that you came that weekend without the harder restrictions

  76. Would recommend not publishing “rough math.” I get the points you’re making, but the picture it paints is a bit murky.

    “The US saw a high of 85,000 cases in a day within the past week, compared to 14,700 cases in Germany, so the “peak” date in the US is 45% worse as of now.” Could it be relative number of tests performed driving this and not the difference in population size, as you imply from the earlier point?

    “While Germany has seen a peak of under 50 deaths per day in recent weeks, the US saw over 1,200 deaths in a single day, so in terms of deaths Germany is doing significantly better.” A more relevant metric would be a mortality rate instead of absolute counts.

  77. Hey lucky you math is wrong. Going from 14k to 85k cases isn’t 46% it’s something in the neighborhood of 460%.

  78. @The Original Donna

    “Lockdowns work. Italy was hit hard earlier this year and instituted a 12 week lockdown that saved a lot of lives. ”

    Yet, Italy is going back into lockdown.

    So you might say lockdowns work to slow the spread but once the lockdown ends the virus will begin to spread again.

    @ Chris
    “We endured 112 days of this and now we have close to 0 daily cases. So it does work”

    Until the spread starts again……… Sorry to say that is how a virus works

    New Zealand and Australia are both susceptible to a new wave. Unless they stamp out all virus and lock down the country forever, don’t allow sailors from Russia. I think Lucky had a post on that.

    At the end of the Covid-19 pandemic we will then find out the best approach to the virus. I think it is still too early.

  79. Nobody even mention China from outbreak to almost zero case after 1 month of the most restrictive lockdown nationwide? Their domestic air passenger number is back to Normal

  80. Everyone that talks about how lockdowns are pointless should read Peter K’s comment. The lockdown is not meant to eliminate the virus, it’s meant to stop the hospitals from being overwhelmed. Similar to Germany, here in France 60% of ICU beds are occupied (and depending on the region/city, much higher %). The goal is to stop the spread before they fill up, because if it they all fill up the death rate will speak when people can’t get proper treatment.

    So people that say lockdowns are just slowing down the inevitable… that’s the point.

  81. I agree with Greg! How many businesses will be destroyed thus how many lives due to depression and suicide.

  82. After months of lock down, it only proves that approach failed. Let us not discount the mental health issues a lockdown causes along with other medical issue. Florida was taking heat from global media, yet our hospitals are at normal capacity, we only had limited lockdowns for a much shorter period. Perhaps Sweden has this figured out with heard immunity and the rest of Europe needs to learn from this.
    Looks like Americans will be spending their tourist dollars stateside for a while.

  83. @Craig

    I also live in Florida and have a totally different perspective. With the “let ‘er rip” mentality our leaders have implemented in this state, many people (me included) simply won’t go to establishments where crowding is evident. I have seen bars cheek by jowl which in my opinion is totally irresponsible yet there is very little local governments can do about it. Florida is most definitely NOT a shining example of anything. Business will continue to struggle because many of us (obviously not you) simply do not feel safe and will only go out in limited amounts and certainly not to venues attracting large crowds.

    We had a temporary reprieve in Sept, but cases all over the state are on the rise (my county just reported the highest case count seen since June). It is only a matter of time before hospitals feel the stress. It is an inevitable lagged response to the rise in cases. I applaud the German government for its responsible handling of the current situation. We should be taking a cue from them, not the other way around. I only wish our Washington leadership were as responsible as Merkel. Perhaps after next week they will be!

  84. Julian says:
    October 28, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Every article about her needs to begin with “German strongwoman, Angela Merkel…”

    How many more years will this fascist thug cling to power?

    *********

    Don’t use words like ‘fascist’ that you clearly have no idea the meaning of and especially when Germany in involved. Nor is she a ‘thug’

    She isn’t clinging to power. She is Chancellor of Germany because her party wins the most seats in the elections to the Federal German Parliament and then she has to negotiate with partners to form a coalition government and gain a majority in Parliament.

    A google search would have enlightened you as to her retirement plans.

  85. The important thing to remember is that lockdowns aren’t a solution, they are an emergency break. We can’t stay locked down forever. So the big question is, what then? It might be justifed to temporarily lock down if the health care system gets too stressed but there’s need to be some kind of a plan what to do after we reopen – and I’m afraid no one has a clue, so when we reopen, cases will rise again, eventually leading to another lockdown.

    The sad truth is that the stuff we tried after the first wave simply doesn’t work. Cases are universally rising across the Europe, in no correlation with severity of restrictions. They seem to have made no difference at all.

    I’m currently in Sweden, the government advice until today was essentially to keep distance, work from home and maintain good hand hygiene. Otherwise it’s very normal and apart from an occasional mask wearer you wouldn’t notice a difference. And yet, Sweden is doing better than most of Europe – there is an increase of cases and it’s worrying, but it’s slower than in most EU states (including Germany).

    Ultimately it seems that meassures we tried in recent months were essentially worthless. We need a new and different strategy when we reopen and I’m afraid no one presented it so far.

  86. LOL @ those who bring examples like New Zealand and Taiwan as an example and say Europe or North America did a bad job.

    New Zealand is the armpit of the world with more sheep than humans (5 million – NYC has 9 million people alone), Taiwan doesn’t have many people either (22M) and also locked down all borders early. Taiwan did indeed do a good job because they don’t trust China and saw the threat of the CCP engineered virus early.

    Australia is a joke. 3-4 months of lockdown under a radical nanny government that forbids it’s citizens to leave the country.

    Something like this doesn’t work in Europe and North America that are economic powerhouses.

  87. Oh just stop your ‘Sweden is better’ illusion. I posted the numbers somewhere above, if you care to look them up. 4.8 more deaths percentage wise than Germany. I agree that no lockdown will help ultimately, apart from creating temporary relief for the overburdened health system, IF people remain irresponsible, completely unaware and reckless. And that’s what they are in countries where the virus explodes again. Parties, weddings, baby luaus, election super spreader events. Really? Are they ever going to get it that we are in the middle of a pandemic? That everybody needs to contribute? Maybe the folks in Melbourne and New Zealand are just smarter. Maybe people are just more experienced like in South Korea, where they had three previous pandemics and gladly gave up their illusion of ‘personal freedom’, where they traded in some paranoia of somebody implanting a microchip via vaccination for some kind of ‘responsibility for the safety of all’. Obviously somewhere man turned from ‘homo sapiens’ into ‘homo oblivious’, and unfortunately it seems to depend on the degree of their antisocial ego centered conditioning, Perversion capitalism. Me, me me first and f…everybody else.

  88. @mauipeter – In the last 14 days, Sweden reported 0.3 Covid-related deaths per 100 000 population. For Germany, the number is 0.7. Sweden is doing better, that’s the fact. You base your claim on an old data from the spring when Sweden indeed was one of the worst-hit countries, but that was 6 months ago. Situation is very different today. So the question is, what did Germany’s strict policies achieve, except lowering quality of life, when countries with much more relaxed attitudes (not only SE but also FI, NO, EE…) are outperforming them in Covid statistics?

    I’m afraid that we will be stuck in an endless cycle, until we’ll find courage to at least consider that we’re dealing with the pandemic the wrong way.

    Not sure about the relevance of “personal freedom” narrative, we’re discussing Europe, not the US.

  89. @Betty – you are incorrect.

    The government has helped freelancers/self-employed people…and very efficiently and generously since March. I’m speaking from firsthand experience.

  90. Unfortunately some people not wearing masks and refusing to socially distance etc have resulted in a surge of cases and now the lockdowns come. Its sad to think that if people just did what they were supposed to and took this virus seriously it would never get to this point. While the numbers are bad in Europe in a few weeks I think we will see the US overwhelmed and a massive death toll in the US, so I would rather be in Europe right now. Lot of people are going to die in the US unnecessarily because some people are ignorant.

  91. Good for Germany. Lock things down and tight. In the US we should have just closed down everything for a few months, levy harsh penalties on people and businesses who violate them and institute a massive contact tracing system (forget about privacy).

    Many of these businesses should be closed. Restaurants shouldn’t be open even for takeaway. I would even argue about shuttering mail for a few months. Put a complete freeze on society except for medical services, emergency services, and basic utilities like water, power, and refuse disposal.

  92. Samo, sorry to disappoint, but I am using data from maximum 5 hours ago from CSSE at Johns Hopkins University. And I am not discussing Germany, the US, but Covid19.

  93. Wow, so many pandemic ‘experts’ here.
    I am no expert but to me it is very clear, countries’ responses depended on the strategy they employed and implemented (properly) until vaccines are available and safe to use.
    For those who have the advantage of being an island nation (meaning easier to control the incoming passenger through quarantine at hotels or home monitoring via electronic devices), ‘hard suppression'(single digit cases) or ‘elimination’ (zero community transmission) strategy can be achieved.
    Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea are some examples.
    Autocratic countries such as China, Vietnam and Thailand and some African countries do employ this strategy as well because they can mobilise and force compliance easily.
    Europe, Canada & Russia chose ‘soft suppresion’ (lower than few hundred cases a day) because of land border, movements and soften the effect to the economy. This is a very hard strategy to implement and transmission can spiral out of control easily. That’s when lockdown needed to be employed as a circuit breaker.
    Sweden is not a good example to compare to. The government did not have the power to force lockdown without a mandate and it would’ve taken them months to do so. Perhaps, if they did, over 5000 deaths would’ve been avoided through lockdown. So, the only choice they have is civic compliance and it worked to a certain extend.
    Then there’s USA, South America (exception of Uruguay) and India with haphazard or lack of national strategy which inevitably descend into ‘let it rip’ strategy. It’s madness but it is a choice.

    In the end, all of these strategies come with costs. Cost to the economy, human lives and livelihood. The balance is tough to manage but I rather live in a country that values human lives even if they are at the end. Economy will bounce back.

  94. @Jay

    Where did you find this 39% number? Are you claiming that being fat does not increase one’s risk for negative outcomes with COVID-19?

    Why COVID-19 is more deadly in people with obesity—even if they’re young
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/why-covid-19-more-deadly-people-obesity-even-if-theyre-young

    Covid-19: Why are age and obesity risk factors for serious disease?
    https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4130

    Individuals with obesity and COVID‐19: A global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/obr.13128

    Excess weight can increase risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/excess-weight-can-increase-risk-of-serious-illness-and-death-from-covid-19

    Obesity increases risk of Covid-19 death by 48%, study finds
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/26/obesity-increases-risk-of-covid-19-death-by-48-study-finds

    When Two Pandemics Meet: Why Is Obesity Associated with Increased COVID-19 Mortality?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7323660/

    Obesity and COVID-19: A Perspective from the European Association for the Study of Obesity on Immunological Perturbations, Therapeutic Challenges, and Opportunities in Obesity
    https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/510719

    How obesity could create problems for a COVID vaccine
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02946-6

    The time to act is now: Accelerating action on obesity during COVID-19
    https://www.wcrf.org/int/blog/articles/2020/09/time-act-now-accelerating-action-obesity-during-covid-19

  95. @mauipeter – You are using data which are based on SE’s performance in the past. Yes, situation was bad in the spring. But these days, SE reports one of lowest deaths per capita in Europe and it has been the case for several months.

  96. “Unfortunately some people not wearing masks and refusing to socially distance etc have resulted in a surge of cases and now the lockdowns come.”
    Nice theory, except it’s not supported by the data. In Europe there is no positive correlation between mask mandates and Covid performance. Spain had one of the worst second waves despite extremely strict mask requirements. Same for France or Belgium. Italy sees extreme increase right now, again, despite strict and well-enforced mask mandate.

    On the other hand, mask-free states (SE, FI, EE) and also Norway are doing much better than the rest of Europe, although they do see some increase.

    Masks are not they key and as long as we keep basing our strategy on them, we will continue to fail.

  97. @Samo – unless you live in every location, maybe don’t comment. The so-called data you refer to is possibly not accurate?

    Many of us have experienced, and are currently experiencing, restrictions and lockdowns because of people – many who we know have flaunted mask wearing and keeping social distance! – who have your opinion and follow/apply an arrogant attitude, and lack of consideration towards others, when it comes to this pandemic.

    Stay safe everyone x

  98. Thanks for the latest. Already have Lufthansa BC, booked (Lifemiles) for mid-December for the Christmas markets. We will avoid Düsseldorf, as we are senior citizens and are not going to put our travel life on hold.

    We have two weeks and will probably jump up to Sweden just for grins. They are doing fine and never locked down Jack.

  99. John Galt Sorry to disappoint you, but one after another the German Christmas markets this year are being cancelled. Latest was Nuremberg, Munich might close on short notice. I happen to know, because I check two German news sites daily. And in regards to Sweden: ‘The Swedish Government has decided to suspend non-essential travel to Sweden from countries outside the EU. This ban will apply until December 22. This ban has been introduced to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, and to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.’This is from October 25, and I guess with numbers shooting up that won’t get any better. ‘According to a study published Oct. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which pointed out that, of the countries the researchers investigated, Sweden and the U.S. essentially make up a category of two: they are the only countries with high overall mortality rates that failed to rapidly reduce those numbers as the pandemic progressed.’ (Quote from Time magazine). Just saying, and maybe time to do a bit of research before you do not put your senior citizen travel life on hold.

  100. @Mauipeter – Well said (regarding a number of your comments).

    @John Galt – your logic for travel right now seems selfish, dumb, unaware and highly arrogant.

    Having said that? I do hope you and your partner can enjoy your travel options again soon.

  101. @Samo You do realize that Norway and Sweden are at an all time high for new cases for their countries right?

  102. What concerns me about Germany going into lockdown is there doesn’t seem to be any “game plan”. Merkel has told parliament that the Winter will be a long and difficult 4 months, so I’m wondering if that’s a code to expect the lockdown to be extended. At present there seem to be no announcements of what the German governments (Federal and State) are going to achieve during the lockdown. Will there be new dedicated COVID hospitals to avoid future cross infections? Are they going to train up an increased contact tracing team? What happens if infection rates are still high in 5 weeks time? What plans are being made to protect the vulnerable in nursing homes? Are they still planning to use pens bits of paper to sign in at shops, or planning to use tracking technology? Are they going to continue telling us what didn’t have any effect on the virus before… that Merkel is a scientist, that Germany is doing better than such and such a country, and that everyone should take a leaf out of Sweden’s book? Are Germans being given the expectation to do planning to go travelling again for Christmas , just like they did during Summer? What plans do they have if people disagree and protest? Do they have any plans to engage the population so everyone feels like they have a role to play and are valued? Or is it just going to be a navel gazing/virtue signalling period for the next months?

  103. Hopefully each country is taking good notes when the next pandemic occurs on the do’s and dont’s of how to handle a situation such as Covid. It is quite a learning experience for all. No one has the perfect solution. These opinions amd views are interesting, especially from international replies.

  104. @LMcK – The data I use comes directly from ECDC. You can’t find anything more official. The data are accurate and mask-free countries are doing well. There is no correlation between mask wearing and country’s results. Physical distancing on the other hand is very important.

    @Billy – So does everyone in Europe. We are in the second wave, so of course cases go up. But that doesn’t change my point: mask-free states don’t perform worse than other EU states.

    @mauipeter – Here we go again with this narrative of Sweden’s high mortality rate. One more time: Sweden had a lot of deaths IN THE SPRING, this is why the number is high. Some mistakes were made back then and everyone admits that – an inquiry into this is slated after the pandemic. But instead of looking back, let’s focus on the present: Sweden CURRENTLY reports one of lowest number of new deaths per capita in Europe. This has been the case for several months. Just look at this table and compare data in the column on the right: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea?fbclid=IwAR2IMeGbF-hEF_Wc5UXbelCdc_qMCidGHdh9ALi4iOptPvr2xTksJYG-GoU

  105. Seems like in South Florida the virus is gone. Bars are packs no masks being worn. I don’t feel safe down here. I’m so confused how Florida is open beach bars packed nobody wearing masks many not wearing shoes and the rest of the country is ready to lock down again. I’m ready to catch a flight to the jungles of Central America and build a tree house until this is over. My heart don’t stop racing this is like slow death there taken years off my life. Then to see trump lose made me realize America in general is confused. How do you put a guy in office Whose 83 years old that has no back bone seems that he’s scared of his own shadow. I do wish biden does well. I just can’t even believe how people think That trump did so much bad. I’m glad I spent half of my life without the iphone era. This is all to much for out human brains to handle. These poor kids don’t even understand how great life was without technology. Just saying

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