A family and other passengers queue at the check-in counter at Duesseldorf International Airport (DUS), western Germany on July 1, 2022. - Airlines and airports are currently struggling with the lack of staff and high levels of sick leave due to the corona pandemic. As a result, flights are sometimes canceled, passengers have to wait in long queues at the airports. There is currently a shortage of around 7,200 skilled workers in the industry. To alleviate the staff shortage at German airports and the flight chaos, the German government has proposed to hire temporary staff from abroad to fill in at airports at short notice and help out with baggage handling and security checks, according to the German ministers of transport, labor and the interior at a joint press conference on June 29, 2022. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)

If the corona virus could wish for something, three things would be at the top of its list: mobility, disorder, carelessness. Just in time for the start of the holidays and supported by the festival season, all this is delivered to the virus: the summer wave is here. People travel, most of the regulations have been dropped, the rest is not controlled.

This in turn means: The number of new infections is increasing rapidly, the incidence is almost 700, experts estimate that the actual number of infected people is at least twice as high because many no longer do a PCR test at all. In addition, clinics nationwide have to be closed because the staff is absent due to illness.

The official data coincides with personal experience. One positive message follows the other around you. What, you too? Get well soon! Nevertheless, many are determined not to let their vacation be spoiled. Travel and hotel are booked, the pool is waiting. No proof of vaccination, no masks, no compulsory testing: Who wants to pay high cancellation fees just because that second, stupid test strip is still visible on the seventh day of infection?

It is similar with concerts and other mass events. The more people become infected, the fewer people seem to be afraid of contagion. A few days of fever, a sore throat and a headache: That will pass, right? Measured against the measures against it and its own behavior, Corona has apparently lost its terror. The will to recapture power over the way of life dominates. In the third year of the pandemic, the motto is: enough is enough.

But whether it is enough is primarily decided by the virus. It can mutate again, continue to be highly contagious, but also cause very serious illnesses. In view of this perspective, politicians must be prepared and prepared for anything. Anyone who categorically rules out any measures – whether lockdowns or school closures – is acting irresponsibly. Into the state of ignorance, no one should pretend to know what is not possible.

Three developments determine how hard you have to react in an emergency: the number of deaths, intensive care bed occupancy and long-Covid patients. Even if the majority of the diseases are mild, the extreme courses and sometimes serious long-term consequences should not be lost sight of. On the other hand, pure incidence values ​​and vaccination rates have lost their meaningfulness. Those who have been boosted can also become infected and infect others. Vaccination protection is temporary. A daily obligation to test could make more sense in the future than proof of vaccination.

By autumn at the latest, it will become clear whether society has matured as a result of the duration of the pandemic. Sensitivity to the social consequences of drastic measures may have increased. Isolating children and young people from each other should only be considered as a last resort. On the other hand, the information about the post-Covid syndrome warns: every infection poses significant health risks. To deny that would be negligent.