According to Bloomberg and reported by MSN News, Germany is now planning to re-open stores in a “post-virus” world, declaring the effects of COVID-19 to be minimal.
Philipp Frese can’t wait to unlock the doors of his bed and mattress store in southern Germany on Monday, ending a month-long coronavirus lockdown that’s all but destroyed his hopes for a profit this year.
The restrictions have been “a threat to our existence as a business,” said Frese, whose sales slumped by 90% in March while costs only went down by a third. “You need to meet customers face to face to sell them pillows and mattresses.”
Frese can get back to business as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government allows smaller stores to reopen after a shutdown that deprived German retailers of 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in sales and pushed many shops to the brink of bankruptcy. Germany is among the first nations in Europe taking cautious steps toward normalcy as the pandemic continues to shutter factories, restaurants and shops from Madrid to Prague.
Merkel has won plaudits for her crisis response even as the economy plunged into a deeper recession than during the financial crisis a decade ago. After imposing social distancing measures on March 22, her government fast-tracked more than 1 trillion euros in aid to companies and workers to avoid bankruptcies and mass layoffs.
What’s happening now in Europe’s biggest economy is likely to be watched by other countries from Italy and Spain to the U.S. and beyond.
Retail spaces of less than 800 square meters (8,611 square feet) — like Frese’s in the city of Freiburg near the French border — will be reopening, along with car dealerships, bike shops and book stores. Bars, restaurants, gyms and larger stores will have to remain closed. The government is “urgently” recommending that everyone wear face masks.
Germany’s comprehensive testing and relative progress in protecting vulnerable people have led to a lower fatality rate than European partners such as Italy, Spain and the U.K. The country has gotten through the “first wave” in good shape thanks to citizens’ adhering to strict contact curbs, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday.
That creates an opening for Germany as governments across Europe seek to limit the economic damage while avoiding a second wave of infections from the virus, which has killed more than 50,000 people in the region. (source)
This is something that people should pay attention to not because it is good that things are going to ‘re-open’, but that it is allowing for a potential second outbreak of the virus to happen.
It does not matter at this point if one thinks this virus is good or bad, harmless or harmful. The fact is there are eight strains of it, some are killing people and others aren’t, and until it is brought under control, which usually happens by the passage of time, it must be considered a threat. The reason for the desire to restart the global economy so fast is because it was already in very bad shape due to decades of mismanagement, abuse, and exploitation. The virus just killed what was already almost dead.
But re-starting right now? It has the potential as many doctors have noted to cause a second and more serious outbreak later this year that could result in a lot of people suffering and dying, perhaps even more than before, and forcing a second economic shutdown around the world with even worse effects.
Germany is the fourth largest economy in the world, and as Shoebat.com has noted, it will only take five to ten years of serious economic problems for nationalism to revive in Germany so much that the Reich could return, and we have noted how the US has been working with Germany to foment those conditions for profit.
A second return of COVID-19 could push Germany, and the US too, along that path even further, and if the countries are allowed to return to work, then come fall when it has been warned another outbreak could happen, it would be a resurgence with such a force as to give a once-in-a-lifetime political opportunity that will without question be exploited.