Is the marching band worth the time

The fight against pandemics is becoming grotesque


Read on one side

Anyone who takes this sentence seriously cannot simply accept the more than 5,000 corona deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. In spring, in the first wave, the number of deaths exceeded 60 on a single day - in the second wave this figure was exceeded on 35 days. 1,000 people have died from or with the coronavirus in the past two weeks; for comparison: In Germany that would be 10,000 deaths. A small town, every two weeks.

On the subject: Corona in Switzerland

Corona deaths: there are too many

Corona case numbers in Switzerland: The kiss of death factor

Intensive care units in Switzerland: who is allowed to live, who has to die?

But nothing there. It is as if an attempt was actually being made this Corona autumn in Switzerland, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned about in her emotional speech in the Bundestag on Wednesday: to undermine the laws of mathematics. So far, the government has not even been able to bring itself to a decent funeral speech. A minute's silence in parliament must be enough.

Worst possible turn

The Swiss pandemic policy has degenerated into the grotesque. The country is threatened by what the local playwright Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt wrote in his Physicists: "A story is thought through to the end when it has taken its worst possible turn."

How could that happen?

The mess begins in late summer when, above all, bourgeois politicians and business representatives disregard the warnings of the experts and loudly demand that it be opened up quickly and completely.

At the same time, the cantonal governments insist on their federal autonomy. They are responsible for health policy, so they want to be in charge of disease control too. The Federal Council accepts this and persuades himself and the population for weeks and months that the cantons can also use Corona. They were badly prepared for the first wave. Now they are also overwhelmed with the second wave. Contact tracing does not work, the staff is becoming scarce and overworked in the hospitals.

The "kiss of death factor"

First it hits French-speaking Switzerland. Also for cultural reasons. Too much closeness is maintained, too many festivals are celebrated. The term "kiss of death factor" is making the rounds. But when the local governments imposed a regional lockdown, which closed restaurants, bars, museums and cinemas, the situation calmed down: the number of cases fell.

Now the second wave hits the German-speaking Swiss with full force. But they are extremely hesitant to react. Come on, somehow, is the motto. There is only a short howl when the World Economic Forum announces: It is too dangerous for us in Switzerland, we are moving to Singapore. There are fears that the country's reputation as a safe haven could suffer, and with it its business model. But even in this eye-opening moment, the narrow-minded association lobbyists and economic politicians do not want to admit what countless economists have been calculating for them for months: that it is not the measures against the virus, but its unchecked spread that harm the economy and the stability of the country the most.

Swiss strengths become weaknesses

In the crisis, Swiss politicians get in the way of all those characteristics to which they owe their success and strength in the past decades - or at least ascribe them: their closeness to the organized economy and their freedom rhetoric. Or as Thomas Held, the former director of the liberal think tank Avenir Suisse, recently told ZEIT: "You cover your own action deficits with a privatist ideology of freedom."

Only when the Federal Council warned the cantons concerned last week that it would no longer watch their Corona dawdling and threaten to adopt national measures over and above them in the future, did they move.

What then follows is the preliminary low point of the federal corona grotesque.