Saturday, November 27, 2021

Andreas Tögel: Corona, government policy and the consequences

Andreas Tögel: Corona, government policy and the consequences

On the threshold of year three of the pandemic, the consequences of crisis management, which is unfortunately chaotic not only in this country, are revealed: debt explosion, delivery bottlenecks, bankruptcies and increasing monetary devaluation, to name just a few. In addition, collective frustration is spreading in the face of an unpredictable end to the state of emergency that has ruled for two years.

editorial staff
25 November 2021 06:00

With all the insight into the danger of a Covid-19 infection for certain groups of people, the relationships must not be disregarded: The “Spanish flu”, which was rampant from 1918 to 1920, with a world population of 1.65 billion people at that time, Depending on the source, between 20 and 100 million human lives were claimed. If you take the lowest number of victims as a basis and extrapolate this to today’s world population, you get almost 100 million. In fact, so far there have only been a little more than five million Covid 19 victims. Of course, each of these deaths was one too many. But whether the measures taken by governments are proportionate to the occasion may be questioned. In any case, things cannot go on as before if irreparable damage to the existing economic system is to be avoided.

The rubble of Corona: who will pay for it?

The question already arises of who will pay for cleaning up the rubble desert that remains as a result of the erratic government measures: After all, Austria is a tourist country and tourism makes a not insignificant contribution to GDP, namely 5.5 percent, and represents around 220,000 jobs. In the second year of the state of emergency, the hotel industry is heading towards an abyss, many operators of restaurants, fitness centers and “body-hugging service providers” already have one foot in front of the bankruptcy judge who is suing retailers (with the exception of the food industry) according to the G-2 ordinance about huge drops in sales and you can hear across the pond how the smart internet retailer Jeff Bezos rubs his hands together. In fact, the internationally operating internet giants are the big beneficiaries of the clear cut in traditional retail. People who would never have thought of ordering books, clothes or tools from Amazon have inevitably changed their consumption habits – thanks to the long lockdowns – and will not abandon them even after the pandemic has ended. After all, the Amazon business model does indeed work very well. What it means to ruin the retail trade, however, can be admired in many US city centers, which have become completely deserted and degenerated into a meeting place for light-shy rabble.

Where is the empathy with people whose livelihoods are being destroyed by Lockdown & Co.?

By the way, is it more than noticeable that those who excel themselves with demands for “strict measures” to combat pandemics all have bomb-proof jobs? It is well known that you stink well with full pants. On the other hand, what it means for small businesses if the government destroys their livelihoods; What it means for a commuter living in a structurally weak region when he loses his job obviously does not care in the slightest by ministers, civil servants and medical association founders who deal with martial scrolling bars-down-and-off-into-house arrest every day – Outbid receivables from one another. A little more empathy for those who have to pay for their salaries without being asked, a little sense of proportion, less arrogance and self-righteousness would do the gentlemen well.

Health isn’t the only good at stake

Perhaps the incomparable Heimito von Doderer had precisely this privileged caste of state agents in mind when he put it so extremely elegantly: “Nobody who has reached the height of madness has recognized them as such and the peaks of cheek remain for their first climbers shrouded in fog. “

Conclusion: health is a valuable asset – there is no doubt about it. But it is by far not the only one.

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