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Germany contained Covid-19. Politics brought it back (VOX)

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Germany contained Covid-19. Politics brought it back – By German Lopez (VOX) / April 21 2021

Germany was returning to normal last summer. Then Covid-19 surged.

Last summer in Berlin, Christine Wagner could safely do something Covid-19 prevented much of the world’s population from doing: go to a movie theater.

The possibility of strangers sitting together, indoors, for hours, taking off masks to eat popcorn and other snacks, led even big chains like AMC to shut down for some time in the US. But in Germany, things were different: The virus was under enough control for the country to reopen with some social distancing and masking rules. So Wagner could go out — and indoors — with her friends.

“Everyone was free,” Wagner, the head of pandemic communication and strategy at a local German health department, told me. “We could go out to travel, meet friends. … It was like normal life.”

That summer, the streets of Berlin and other German cities were busy. Foot traffic at retail outlets hovered around pre-pandemic levels, according to Google’s mobility data. The number of reservations to dine out actually increased at times compared to 2019, based on the online reservation app OpenTable’s restaurant data. In hospitals, doctors saw way fewer Covid-19 patients than a few months before: In a country of roughly 80 million people, new cases had dropped into the hundreds per day — half the daily rate of new cases in the European Union and United Kingdom last summer, and 95 percent less than the United States.

CONTINUE > https://www.vox.com/22352348/germany-covid-19-coronavirus-pandemic

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