Daily Host Nation Stories for May 20, 2020
Victim of corona demonstration assault in critical condition
An incident around the Stuttgart corona demonstrations has more severe consequences than previously known: After the attack on three men who were on their way to the large demonstration against the corona measures on the Cannstatter Wasen on Saturday afternoon, police have now announced that one of the victims is in mortal danger. The doctors confirmed this to the investigating team on Tuesday. The public prosecutor’s office is investigating on suspicion of attempted homicide.
It is still not clear to the police what the background of the attack by masked men on the three men aged 38, 45 and 54 on Saturday at 2 pm in the Mercedesstraße in Bad Cannstatt was. However, the attack was probably targeted. “According to the testimonies so far, there are said to have been between 10 and 40 attackers,” said police spokeswoman Monika Ackermann. (Stuttgarter Zeitung, May 19)
Masks also mandatory in public toilets
On Wednesday, May 20, the Stuttgart AWS waste management company will be pointing out that mouth and nose masks must also be worn in public toilet facilities in the city. In general, the state capital Stuttgart points out the obligation to wear a mouth-nose cover when shopping and using public transport. It also reminds people to observe the distance rules (at least 1.5 meters) for their own protection and for the wellbeing of everyone. (City of Stuttgart press release, May 20)
Stranger breathes on young woman
A 22-year-old woman turned to police officers of the police station Waldenbuch on Monday around 11.30 a.m. because she had been breathed on shortly before by a stranger. The young woman even had to dodge the stranger in order to gain enough distance again. The man then moved away towards the youth center. The unknown person is described as being about 50 years old. He is said to be about 1.65 meters tall and of slim stature. He also had medium-length white hair and an unkempt appearance. The police station Waldenbuch asks witnesses who observed the incident to call them. (Böblinger Zeitung, May 19)
Heavy argument with the mayor
The relationship between some of Schönaich’s municipal councilors and the mayor, Dr. Daniel Schamburek, is extremely tense. This can be observed in every single local council meeting. Where there is supposed to be constructive cooperation in local political work, the relationship sometimes crunches and cracks violently. Now the permanent dispute has reached a new level of escalation. District Administrator Roland Bernhard acted as mediator.
For some months the conflict, which a year ago had already been openly presented in the local council (the SZ/BZ reported), remained rather hidden. Here and there a pointed remark, and a little teasing, and local councils of the CDU/FWV and the FDP/UWG against the administration. Much more was hardly to be observed in public. Behind the scenes, however, according to information from the SZ/BZ, things were boiling on for months. In some cases, both sides voiced accusations or spread nasty rumors in the town.
After the general meeting of the German Trade and Commerce Association in early March, the conflict escalated again. Dr. Daniel Schamburek provided information on the current trade policy in Schönaich and felt disturbed by the local council members, and also because of some heckling among the members of the council. In addition, he saw decisions made by the municipal council and the work of the administration denigrated by incorrect statements made by the municipal councils. He summarized all his annoyance in a six-page letter of complaint to Norbert Mezger, leader of the CDU/FWV parliamentary group and deputy mayor. (Böblinger Zeitung, May 19)
Start of nationwide antibody study delayed
The tests for a nationwide representative antibody study on the spread of coronavirus announced by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) are starting months later than originally announced. The tests of about 30,000 people from about 14,000 households are to start in September, said Thomas Lampert, head of the Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring at the RKI. Results are expected in October or November. In April, the RKI had announced that the study would start in May. Originally, the study had also been mentioned by about 15,000 participants. “That seems a little low by now,” said Lampert. (Robert Koch Institute, May 19)
Doctor warns Covid-19 can have “terrible consequences”
University physician Michael Albrecht has warned against underestimating the danger of Covid-19 disease. Covid-19 is not a classical pneumonia like flu, said Albrecht, Medical Director of the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus in Dresden. The disease was something very special and “highly complex.” This has been shown by many cases of seriously ill patients at the clinics in recent weeks. Patients with severe courses of the disease show diseases of the central nervous system, the spinal cord or the vessels. They even lead to temporary paraplegia or organ failure of kidney and liver. “It has been so well managed and so well done in recent weeks that the view of these dreadful consequences and effects have been lost from sight, not only for individuals, but for entire social classes,” said Albrecht with regard to the criticism of the anti-corona measures. (Ntv, May 19)
New early warning system installed
In the fight against the coronavirus, the government of Baden-Wuerttemberg has extended the “emergency brake” of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, as decided by federal and state governments. “We are not waiting until the Red 50 alert level is reached and only then will we react,” said Minister President Winfried Kretschmann to journalists. Rather, he said, the cabinet had decided on a nationwide early warning system – with a threshold of 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. “That would then be a yellow alert”. As soon as the “early warning level,” as it is called in the official German, targeted measures would be taken to avoid the “intervention level”.
“35 is already very yellow,” says Social Minister Manfred Lucha. At this level, the reported infections would be analyzed in detail from day to day – no longer just over a period of seven days. In addition, testing would be expanded and local authorities would be supported by a task force.
As an example he cites the infections in the meat industry: Müller Fleisch in Birkenfeld (Enzkreis) had presented a pandemic concept on May 14; the workforce had been “completely tested.” “You see, we are reacting quickly and systematically.” Currently, there are only 14 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the Enzkreis, “although we have had an acute course in the last two weeks,” says Lucha, who assumes a high number of unidentified infected persons – up to 200,000 nationwide. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 19)
Retailers prefer visors to masks
Some dealers in the city were already happy: they had bought plastic protective visors for the face at the beginning of the corona regulation on the mandatory wearing of masks. “I don’t get on very well with the mouth-nose mask,” says Julia Graser, owner of the Swan Pharmacy on the market square. She says she can’t breathe well with it, can’t see the facial expressions and her customers don’t understand her very well.
The pharmacist had therefore ordered some of the so-called “face shields” for herself and her employees. To be on the safe side, she had asked the public order office whether these face shields were approved as a substitute for masks. “I was told there that this was okay,” Graser reported. She passed the information on to the Stuttgart City Initiative (CIS), and several retailers subsequently ordered these face shields through her. A number of hairdressers had also used them after the salons reopened. Many retailers find the visors more comfortable than the masks
But only a few days later there was mail from the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Chamber of Commerce with the information that the visors alone were not allowed as protection. The reason: they were not closed systems. “Fortunately, I was able to cancel the orders,” says Graser. However, the pharmacist cannot understand the reason: “A mask is not a closed system either. She believes that the signs offer better or at least equivalent protection than scarves or fabric masks, for example. In addition, the eyes are also protected. And, in shops as well as in her pharmacy, the employees are also behind a Plexiglas panel, and the rules of distance are strictly observed. “I wonder who makes the decisions there,” says Glaser.
The municipal public order office had initially approved it. The problem is, however, that local authorities are allowed to tighten the corona regulations of the state of Baden-Württemberg if necessary, but not to weaken them. “A face shield does not correspond to a mouth and nose protector,” says Pascal Murmann, deputy press spokesman for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration. Shields are merely a kind of “spit shield.” “They are suitable as an additional component of personal protective equipment for activities where there is spitting,” he added. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 19)
Polizei will monitor compliance with corona rules on Father’s Day
Is the Father’s Day excursion with a handcart on public holiday a bad idea? After the easing of corona restrictions and the partial opening of restaurants, it will be exciting this Thursday. Groups of excursionists should be on their way in parks and squares during great weather. Who will make sure that nothing gets out of hand?
“We will, of course, control,” says police spokesman Jens Lauer. The police are on patrol in the destinations on weekends, as they have been up to now, and pay attention to the distance rule, which is considered the central preventive measure against the virus. Particularly in use here is the police e-bike squadron, which is to keep an eye on the increasing conflicts between cyclists and walkers in wooded areas in the city.
These rules apply to Father’s Day: The police on mission handcart. “However, no special operations are planned,” says Lauer. That means no additional forces. And the excursion with the handcart is not generally prohibited at first. “However, those involved must always expect to be checked,” says Lauer. That could then perhaps be a bit annoying – which is also due to the provisions of the Corona Ordinance. After all, two households are allowed to stay together in public spaces, and that with a fairly large number of people. But a person travelling with two other friends from different households would commit an offense if these three households did not keep a sufficient distance.
“That’s not easy to control either,” admits police spokesman Lauer. In any case, he is curious to see what will happen at the Stuttgart excursion destinations from Württemberg to Max-Eyth Lake and the palace gardens, especially since increased alcohol consumption could cloud the assessment of distances. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 20)
What is authorized to do on Father’s Day?
Travelling through forests and fields with many friends and a handcart – this is a tradition for many men on Ascension Day. But in corona times, this Father’s Day must also be different from those of previous years. These are the rules:
Hiking is not a problem in itself – but only if the applicable rules are observed. In Baden-Württemberg, members of two households may travel together in public. However, it is crucial to avoid excursion hotspots such as Max-Eyth-See or Bärensee and choose less frequented routes
Meeting friends … yes, but in a small circle. People from two households is the maximum. If you were to travel with two friends from different households, you would be committing a violation of the Corona Ordinance of the country. Because a distance of at least one and a half meters must be maintained to other people. Whoever violates the rules can be fined between 100 and 1000 euros.
Excursion bars and beer gardens have been allowed to reopen in Baden-Württemberg since this week, but with conditions, because here, too, distance is mandatory. The restaurants must ensure that there is enough space between the guests. And, of course, you can’t arrive here with your whole circle of friends: At most, the members of two households may visit a restaurant together. According to the corona regulation of the country, the restaurants must also have contact details. To make this easier to organize, many restaurants now require you to reserve a table in advance.
Father’s Day is supposed to be warm and sunny. Open-air swimming pools will remain closed, but you are allowed to go to the bathing lakes as long as you keep to the appropriate contact and distance rules. But if it gets too crowded, the local authorities and the police could intervene.
Excursion boats have been allowed to weigh anchor again as of this week. Masks are mandatory on board, as in buses and trains. However, the Stuttgart Neckar Captain will not start again until May 29. On Lake Constance, the White Fleet will set sail again on Wednesday, but Lindau and the other Bavarian ports will not be able to accommodate the excursion ships. Bavaria doesn’t allow shipping until the end of May. Also, Switzerland and Austria are not served.
Wilhelma, Nymphaea are also an option. Since May 11, the zoos in Baden-Württemberg were allowed to receive visitors again. The zoological-botanical garden in Stuttgart is also open again with special corona conditions. Wilhelma’s houses are closed, and even the commented feeding has to be cancelled. Masks are mandatory on the grounds and tickets can only be bought online. Visitors can also go to the Esslingen Zoo Nymphaea again. Here, too, the conditions imposed by the state in the fight against the corona virus apply. The Ludwigsburg Fairy Tale Garden in blooming baroque is also open and can be visited. However, the number of visitors is limited. Amusement parks such as Tripsdrill or Traumland an der Bärenhöhle are still closed. They may only reopen again from May 29 on.
Doing sports is allowed, of course. Individual sports like jogging and cycling are no problem anyway (if you follow the golden rule of distance), since May 11; you are allowed to do other outdoor sports with restrictions. There must be a distance of 1.5 meters between athletes (“training where direct physical contact is necessary or possible is prohibited”, according to the corona regulation of the country). A maximum of five athletes may train together. (Stuttgarter Zeitung, May 20)
Blood donation services are running low on supplies
In many regions in Germany, blood donation services are running out of canned goods. “Corona has clearly shaken up the blood donation system,” said Stephan Küpper of the Blood Donation Service West of the German Red Cross (DRK). However, Küpper stressed that the available, cooled and tested reserves in some places could not even cover the needs of an average day. The problem is the loss of many opportunities to donate blood; for example, in companies and universities and in mobile blood donation vehicles. The Red Cross covers over two thirds of the demand for blood reserves in Germany. The reserves are currently particularly scarce in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Hesse. (Tagesspiegel, May 20)