Germany’s Angela Merkel left her 16-year career as the nation’s Chancellor last week with a final parting “gift” to fellow German citizens: an announced lockdown on unvaccinated people and plans for compulsory vaccination in the near future. The newly established COVID restrictions constitute Germany’s response to the fourth COVID wave underway within the nation. Germany looks ahead also to an expected wave of infections brought on by Omicron, the virus’s newest variant recently identified in South Africa and already present on the European continent.
The nationwide lockdown effectively discriminates against the unvaccinated in restricting access to nearly all public venues, except for supermarkets and pharmacies, a move intended to strongarm German citizens into getting the COVID jab. Those who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months are excepted. Additionally, unvaccinated people may meet with only two people from another household. BBC News reported Merkel’s reference to the extreme measures as an act of “national solidarity.”
Merkel’s successor, Olaf Scholz, supports plans for mandatory vaccination, pending parliamentary approval. The suggestion for a national mandate follows the example of neighboring Austria where eligible adults face compulsory inoculation or fines for refusal. Those unable to pay administrative fines may see prison sentences for failure to comply. Austria joins Greece, which announced last Tuesday, mandatory vaccination for all adults aged 60 or older and fines of 100 euros ($113) for each month of noncompliance. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated the need to “potentially think about mandatory vaccination” for EU member nations.
Germany’s health minister issued a stark warning to listeners at a news conference last week, suggesting, “By the end of this winter everyone in Germany will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead.” For reference, of the 6,097,477 COVID cases in Germany to date, just over 100,000 have died. This equates to a roughly .017% death rate among those Germans infected with COVID over the course of the pandemic.
Note this equates to .0035% incidence rate
.017% death rate