Before the deluge

Die Zeit:

Der SPD-Gesundheitsexperte Karl Lauterbach hält einen erneuten Lockdown binnen Wochen für wahrscheinlich, sollte eine Eindämmung der Neuinfektionen nicht gelingen. “Wenn es uns in den kommenden zwei bis drei Wochen nicht gelingt, die persönlichen Kontakte zu beschränken, werden die Zahlen in wenigen Wochen so stark gestiegen sein, dass uns nur noch ein erneuter Lockdown bleibt”, sagte Lauterbach der Bild am Sonntag – “mit harten Ausgangsbeschränkungen wie im Frühjahr”.

“Es reicht allein nicht mehr, nur vorsichtig zu sein und die AHA+L-Regeln einzuhalten.”

It is odd to read forecasts like this. Yesterday I drove on the autobahn for several hours to enjoy a glorious hike through autumn foliage. I remember sitting in my apartment in the spring, limited by law to trips to the grocery store or a doctor, viewing photographs of eerily deserted autobahn all over Germany. In a few short weeks this may be the situation again, and, if it is, what is to stop this from continuing until warm weather in the spring? Last April I got to the bookstore in the days before it closed to make sure I had books laid up for the lockdown ahead. At that time I was foolishly unsure of how the library system would handle books being due — of course they efficiently announced loans would be extended until borrowers were legally able to make the returns. I am now calculating how much Siegfried Lenz, the quantity of Henrich Böll, Günter Grass, Martin Walser I will want to set aside for the long winter days and nights ahead.

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