Local news translated – Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021

Germany is currently under strict lockdown restrictions, which include curfews.
Click here for details on how the Baden-Württemberg ordinance affects the USAG Stuttgart community.

Daily Host Nation Update, Mar 3, 2021

RKI reports 9019 new infections
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports 9019 new infections and 418 deaths within one day. The seven-day incidence falls to 64.0 from 65.4. Over 2.46 million infections have been confirmed in Germany to date. 70,881 people have died in connection with the virus so far, according to the RKI.(Robert Koch Institute, March 3)

Doctors’ chairperson warns against a false sense of security in self-tests
Doctors’ leader Klaus Reinhardt warns that Corona self-tests could give people a false sense of security. “It should be clear to all people that test results represent only a snapshot,” says the president of the German Medical Association. Even with a negative test result, he said, distance, mask protection and hygiene rules must be observed. In the case of a positive result, a control examination through a PCR test must be arranged as quickly as possible, and strict quarantine must be observed. Reinhardt calls for a non-bureaucratic reporting procedure for the rapid tests carried out by trained personnel. Centralized recording of results would provide information on the actual incidence of infection. (Ntv, March 3)

Intensive care physician: ‘Extreme discipline’ needed on openings
Critical care physician Christian Karagiannidis has warned for caution in relaxing corona regulations. He added that intensive care physicians are “very worried that this British mutant will catch up with us,” the president of the German Society for Internal Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine told WDR radio. “We can certainly open something like stores ourselves to a certain extent, but what we need is extreme discipline.” It is important that masks are worn, preferably medical masks, and this must be properly controlled by the stores, he said. (Ntv, March 3)

Intensive care physicians welcome planned lockdown extension
German intensive care physicians welcome the planned extension of the lockdown as a necessary relief for the German healthcare system. “It is important that we hold out for another three weeks, because by vaccinating more people we can significantly flatten out a third wave despite the viral mutations,” the president of the German Interdisciplinary Association of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper. “We gain valuable time as a result,” explains the Aachen-based professor of medicine. “Those who are vaccinated do not end up in the intensive care unit.” (Augsburger Allgemeine, March 3)

“Catastrophic education crisis”: 168 million children unable to attend school
For almost a year, more than 168 million children worldwide have been excluded from school because of measures taken against the Corona pandemic, according to Unicef. 214 million children have missed more than three-quarters of their classes, the United Nations Children’s Fund reports. Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore called the global lockdown a “catastrophic education crisis.” According to the report, 14 countries were largely in lockdown from March 2020 to February 2021. Two-thirds of those countries belong to Latin America and the Caribbean and collectively have nearly 98 million schoolchildren. (Ntv, March 3)

Study: The potential for working from home is “far from being exhausted”
According to a study by the Ifo Institute, significantly more people in Germany could work from home during the Corona crisis. According to the study, only around 30 percent of employees were working from home at least some of the time in February, according to the Munich-based researchers on their study. “The potential is 56 percent. Companies and employees are far from exploiting it,” says Ifo researcher Jean-Victor Alipour. “The January requirement for companies to have home offices in order to reduce Corona contagions has therefore so far partly fizzled out.” The share of firms that used home-based work was 81 percent in February, according to the data.(Ntv, March 3)

Non Corona News

Why is a tent city being built in front of the Schloss Platz in downtown Stuttgart?
Stuttgart. – The state election is not only visible in the city of Stuttgart by the masses of posters put up by the parties. Now the erection of tents in front of the New Palace has begun. Flaneurs at the Schlossplatz are familiar with the tent city from previous elections, but this year the scale of the temporary dwelling reaches completely new dimensions.

“The tents are much larger this year because of Corona, because there are no possibilities in the New Castle,” says Willi Reiners, the press officer of the state parliament. Five years ago, in the historic walls, the rapporteurs sat opposite each other at tables pushed together with little distance between them; there are only a few large rooms there. Now, attention must be paid to spacing. The central election night is to be held on March 14 in the House of the State Parliament, of course, in compliance with the Corona Ordinances. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, March 2)

“Hall of Fame” in Bad Cannstatt
Bad Cannstatt – The “Hall of Fame” under the König Karls Bridge in Cannstatt is known far beyond the city limits. It is one of the few places in Stuttgart where street artists can legally take up their spray cans in public spaces. But spraying is not permitted at every spot in the tunnel. Numerous signs on site point out the applicable regulations. However, they are not always observed.

In order to clearly demarcate legal from illegal areas, the city’s civil engineering department is currently carrying out a basic cleaning, which is scheduled every two to three years. They remove all graffiti from floors and ceilings. “Even if it can never be completely eliminated, we want to use this measure to prevent spraying in prohibited areas from becoming rampant,” says department head Claus-Dieter Hauck, who is responsible for urban railroads, bridges and tunnel construction. In no way do we want to scare young people or show them they are unwanted. “The opposite is the case.” He said he is aware that there are different ways of looking at the subject of graffiti. “But they are part of urban society, of urban culture.” They are art, not graffiti, he said. Accordingly, the sprayers must be given space. “And also show them certain limits. I think we’re taking a good line here.” (Canstatter Zeitung, March 2)

Ice days are followed by heat records
When Andreas Pfaffenzeller of the German Meteorological Service in Stuttgart looks at the temperature curve of the past month, he is reminded of a roller coaster ride: At the beginning of the month, temperatures hovered around 10 degrees Celsius, then fell consistently below the zero degree mark from February 9 to 13, only to set an all-time daily record of 20.8 degrees Celsius on February 25. Exciting weeks not only for meteorologists: Five icy days, when temperatures remained permanently below freezing, were followed by a high from the south with Mediterranean temperatures and Saharan dust. “This results in a monthly average of 4.6 degrees Celsius. February was thus 2.7 degrees Celsius too warm,” says Pfaffenzeller.

However, the warm spell did not detract from the white splendor, at least in the middle of the month. The people of Stuttgart were finally able to enjoy snow all over the country. Sledding, tobogganing and even cross-country skiing were possible in the vineyards around the Württemberg and almost down to the lowlands. On the Schnarrenberg, there was a closed snow cover on eleven days. Between February 11 and 15, it was seven centimeters thick. Farmers and foresters welcomed the snowflakes because they bring sustainable moisture to the soils.

December and January were significantly too dark. The two months combined brought just over 70 hours of sunshine. It was only thanks to February that the winter came to 194.9 hours, 103.9 percent of a normal winter. (Canstatter Zeitung, March 1)