The zero hour of Corona policy – Handelsblatt Morning Briefing

all of Germany is sitting on the sofa and learning the new corona rules. Before that, like a year ago, we were covered in the media with increasingly gloomy incidence horror graphics. It had long been clear – due to extensive vaccinations – that the hospitalization rate actually counts. It expresses how many corona patients per 100,000 inhabitants come to the hospital within a week. The rate has been falling across Germany for a few days to currently 5.3.

Thuringia (18.54), Saxony-Anhalt (11.97) and of all Bavaria (8.65), the country of the self-proclaimed Corona spokesman Markus Söder, are difficult. Yesterday, the federal and state governments agreed on threshold values ​​at the last minute and avoided a blockade between the old CDU / CSU and the new SPD, Greens, FDP (commonly: “traffic light”). We experience a “zero hour” and learn:

  • From the rate of 3.0 In the respective federal states, only vaccinated and Genesis (2G) people will have access to events, hotels and restaurants in the future – which de facto means the lockdown for unvaccinated people and makes “boosters” the first civic duty;
  • if more than 6.0 again, 2G-plus applies, i.e. additional testing;
  • when it reaches 9.0, the federal states should ultimately be allowed to use stricter measures, whatever that means.

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In any case, the very large lockdown arsenal is gone with the infection protection law changed by the traffic light parties. This means that the “epidemic of national scope” is officially coming to an end, which annoys Chancellor Angela Merkel immeasurably and makes lawyer Hans-Jürgen Papier immensely happy. In an interview with Handelsblatt, the ex-President of the Federal Constitutional Court welcomes the fact that the parliament, which is directly democratically legitimized, is taking over the reins to a greater extent. This was not to be left to the executive, as happened in the pandemic: “The authorizations to encroach on fundamental rights will be more precise and, above all, more limited.”

Hans-Jürgen Papier, the former President of the Federal Constitutional Court, criticizes policy failures in the corona crisis.

(Photo: imago / Overstreet)

The Union sees it differently, but only wrested one admission from the new power bloc: On December 9, the Prime Minister’s Conference is to make a new decision in the light of the then valid Corona numbers. By the way, the Olaf Scholz government has already discovered a euro-worthy vehicle for new, more expensive projects: in future it will allow adults to buy cannabis in licensed shops for enjoyment.

The unvaccinated camp is facing hard times, exemplified by top football. Because the tough 2G rule should also be applied to professional sport – with the consequence that Joshua Kimmich would have to be vaccinated if he wanted to kick. The state bosses agreed very quickly that “if viewers have to consider 2G, that should also apply to the professionals,” noted North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst.

Subtle message: Bundesliga football, which enjoys so many privileges and plays a role as opinion leaders, has to show social responsibility in times of need. Otherwise, 3G (recovered, vaccinated, tested) is common in the world of work, just like in buses and trains.

First came the revelations, now the investigations follow. After serious allegations by whistleblower Frances Haugen about the methods in Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook empire, which is now called Meta, prosecutors in several US states have launched an investigation into the possible harmful effects of the Instagram online platform on children and young people.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey publicly snapped: “Facebook, now Meta, has not protected young people on its platforms, but instead ignored or, in some cases, intensified known manipulations that pose a real threat to physical and mental health. “

Children were “exploited in the interest of profit” in Zuckerberg’s company. Healey and her colleagues from Kentucky, Florida, California, Nebraska, Vermont, New Jersey and Tennessee are investigating whether Meta has violated consumer protection laws.

My culture tip for the weekend: “The Lyrics” by Paul McCartney. It is the ex-Beatles ex-Wings musician’s righteous attempt to write his autobiography simply on the basis of the lyrics of 154 songs. Well, he is and will not be a Nobel Prize laureate in literature like his colleague Bob Dylan, who wrote “Lyrics”. But McCartney conjures up something like everyday poetics on the stage, just before the barbed wire fence of kitsch, supplemented by personal items from the archive, i.e. pictures, letters and drafts. And didn’t Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond and 3000 others also sang the valid lines from yesterday: “Yesterday / Love was such an easy game to play / Now I need a place to hide away.”

Of course, “The Lyrics” is just as much a part of Christmas business as the three-part TV series “Get Back” by Peter Jackson about the end of the Beatles more than 50 years ago, which will be broadcast on Disney + next week. All in all, it can now be considered certain that the old, beautiful, sentimental stuff can still be used to create value for a while.

Peer Schatz (ol), Cornelius Baur (ul) and Stefan Oschmann: The three ex-CEOs founded a shell for a pharmaceutical company.

Several well-known ex-CEOs of heavier caliber, who are now shaking up the pharmaceutical market, greet them as “Bellheimer 2.0”. These are Stefan Oschmann (formerly Merck), Peer Schatz von Qiagen, Axel Herberg (formerly Gerresheimer) and the long-time McKinsey man Cornelius Baur. They are all pulling the strings as “sponsors” of an empty company shell called “European Healthcare Acquisition & Growth Company (EHC)”, which is now opening on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

This formation (“Spac”) is to acquire a privately owned pharmaceutical company within two years – for up to two billion euros. More than 100 names are on the wish list. And Baur sometimes produces metaphors, as if he very often watched space films and kept listening to “Rocketman” by Elton John: “We see ourselves as a three-stage rocket, with the help of which a healthy and already profitable company can reach a new orbit.”

And then there is the Munich start-up Sono Motors, which raised $ 150 million with a successful IPO in New York. Overall, the company is valued at more than two billion dollars. Like Rivian, the even more successful e-car provider with its share premiere, Sono Motors has yet to bring its rolling future vehicles onto the market. The house product “Sion”, on the surface of which solar modules are attached to generate electricity, has already attracted more than 14,000 reservations. Advertising slogan: “Driven by the sun.”

Allianz boss Oliver Bäte, on the other hand, is “Driven by the hype”. He speaks of “irrational exaggeration” in view of the reviews in the technology sector and the auto industry. The financial system is not becoming safer, “it is becoming more dangerous again,” warned Bäte at an industry conference. All of this can only be understood with Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge, because knowledge is limited.”

I wish you an imaginative, endlessly relaxing weekend.
I warmly greet you
Hans-Jürgen Jakobs
Senior editor

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