The pandemic is over, declared Christian Drosten, head of virology at the Charité hospital in Berlin, in an interview with the German newspaper Tagesspiegel on December 26th:
We are experiencing the first endemic wave with Sars-Cov-2 this winter; in my assessment, this means the pandemic is over.
The renowned virologist, who promoted the introduction of many restrictions at the beginning of the pandemic, believes that public immunity will be so widespread following this winter that the virus will hardly stand a chance next summer.
Germany’s Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) took to Twitter to call for an end to all COVID restrictions.
Drosten told Tagesspiegel that only another dangerous mutation might change the situation, but stressed that he doesn’t expect that to happen anymore. Asked about the situation in China, where COVID is spreading rapidly once again, Drosten said that “the great mistake in China was that no broad awareness for vaccination had formed among the populace, especially not among older people.” He concludes that what made the difference in Germany and other parts of Europe was the success of the vaccination campaigns.
This is however contradicted by the website Corona-in-Zahlen.de (corona-in-numbers.de), which lists China at a vaccination rate of 89.4% fully vaccinated people, compared to Germany’s 76.4%. Only in terms of those who received one or more booster shots, China lags behind at a rate of 57.2% compared to Germany’s 62.6%.
Regardless, German politicians have been quick to welcome Drosten’s call for an end to the COVID restrictions.
The head of the Left faction in parliament, Dietmar Bartsch, referred to Drosten’s statement as a “Christmas message from the Pope,” and René Domke of the FDP considers this estimation to be a confirmation of the FDP’s demands to remove the mask mandates on public transportation as well as enforced quarantine. Martin Sichert of the AfD, however, criticized the FDP’s dishonesty, reminding people on Twitter that it was the FDP that had voted for the COVID restrictions as well as for mandatory vaccination.
Remarkably, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) left Drosten’s latest statements without comment. The hardliner promoted a possible mandatory vaccination until recently, and repeatedly warned against potential doomsday scenarios if Germans would not get vaccinated. Instead, Lauterbach took it upon himself to remind his followers on Twitter about the dangers of loneliness, which is felt by many around Christmas.
What Lauterbach forgot to mention, however, is that he himself contributed greatly to the isolation of the elderly over the past two years by painting children as potential harbingers of death for their grandparents.