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The world is currently ravaged by the Coronavirus pandemic and its associated economic fallouts. With global supply chains disrupted, countries are struggling to fulfill demands. Amid all this chaos, Germany braces for protests. This is ironic since Germany is one of the countries that has handled the pandemic well. Germany recently announced a relaxation in the restrictions imposed and started reopening schools. The world is taking cues from Germany as to how to balance the safety of people and restarting the economy. Things at home aren’t peachy for Germany though since some people are protesting the German policies on Coronavirus.
Germany braces for protests against its COVID-19 policies
In the last few weeks, Germany has relaxed its lockdown measures. The administration expected that people will use these relaxations responsibly. However, some people in Germany are thronging the streets to protest against the government for its COVID-19 policies. The foreign minister of Germany has cautioned people against joining such protests. The protestants are mainly anti-Semites, anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, and radical extremists. Germany’s domestic intelligence services have also warned that extremist groups are active in such protests. They are trying to exploit the fears surrounding the Coronavirus to obtain support.
Heiko Maas said that anti-Semites and extremists are trying to use legitimate fears to stoke hatred and divide. He added that people should stay away from such groups and maintain even more than a 1.5-meter distance from them. He chastised such groups for not adhering to safety norms like wearing masks and social distancing. Maas said that such people were replacing courage with anger and misguiding others.
The aim of these protests
If you try and listen to the reasons that the protestors give for such protests, it sounds a bit absurd. They accuse the German government of devising the Coronavirus crisis. Also, they say that it is just an excuse to impose sweeping restrictions as dictators do. They are naming and shaming the chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel for this. Her health minister Jens Spahn is also wrong in their eyes. The protestors are accusing all epidemiologists and virologists of advising the government of aiding and abetting in this manufactured crisis.
Bill Gates is an American billionaire who founded Microsoft. He is well known for his philanthropy and has started a fund to fight this Coronavirus crisis. The protestors look at him as a satanic figure. They accuse him of trying to establish world dominance by manufacturing a public health crisis.
A YouTuber who was a broadcast journalist, a famous R&B singer, and a vegan cook spearhead this movement. Some of the protestors align with a movement called lateral thinking or ‘Querdenken’. Their symbol is a tin-foil pendant. An ENT specialist and a psychologist started a movement called resistance 2020 or ‘Widerstand 2020’. This movement is also acquiring support. The protestors are claiming that staying locked up inside homes is a draconian measure. That too against a virus that has only killed 8000 people.
The Coronavirus pandemic is very real and the virus is here to stay. We all need to cooperate with our governments and follow safety norms to stop the spread. Protests against safety norms will only set us back in terms of the progress already made to fight COVID-19.