Germany begins hard lockdown against coronavirus until at least January 10, as COVID-19 spreads

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Germany: “590 deaths a day is too much”

USA: “Hold my beer”


Scaled up to US population number (almost exactly x4), that would be 2360 per day. But the USA have exceeded this, too. The tipping point is an urgent call of the major hospitals that report a limit of capacity very soon.


For that matter, the US doesn’t have as many doctors or hospital beds per capita as other rich countries, even when there’s not a pandemic.

Edit: Germany ranks 4th in the world for most beds per capita, USA is 32nd…


The US is currently at 2379, I’d say that is within the margin of error, right?

However, a comparison is not that simple, because the average German death rate was 11.4 per 1000 in 2019, whereas the average death rate in the US was only 8.7, probably because the population in the US has a lower average age. If you want to make a comparison, that is where you need to look.

Here’s a good graph that shows what’s happening in Germany (weekly deaths, not daily deaths, though)

The main problem with the lockdown in Germany is that we are still terrible reporting and tracking infections, so we have no idea where the majority of these infections occur, therefore we have to run the show mostly on assumptions and not on hard data. This is especially sad because we had both the time and the money, but not the mindset to act on this, and as usual, the most vulnerable pay the price for that.


Only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as banks, are to remain open from Dec. 16. Hair salons, beauty salons and tattoo parlours will also have to shut.

“What about churches? Aren’t they essential?” In the US, evangelicals are glorying in their SCOTUS victory that says that churches are as “essential” as hospitals.

Sure churches are essential. They are essential to keeping the virus alive and healthy.


Churches will remain open in Germany despite the lockdown. But schools will close. It‘s a farce.


To be fair it’s really easy to social distance in churches in Europe: they were mostly built back when people were observant and a few old folk rattle around in them now.


On most churches they have put a tannoy outside so people that can’t enter could listen to the mass outside.


A quick comparison from last week:

Germany had a peak of 622 daily deaths last week, and a 7 day moving average of 464.

The US had a peak of 3261 daily deaths last week, and a 7 day moving average of 2519.

Unfortunately, there seems to be very little chance that any of the 50 states will do what Germany is doing, and any governor who suggests an action like this will see substantial public resistance. Sigh.

At this point, any solution should include widespread rapid testing in addition to waiting for a vaccine distribution, but even suggesting widespread testing seems to generate hostility amongst half of our political leaders. This feels so frustrating, especially when we look at some of the nations have either handled the outbreak like a serious public health crisis from the start (Viet Nam – population 95m, total deaths: 35, or have reacted quickly to a second widespread outbreak (or Australia – population 25m, total deaths: 908).


Germany, like the US, has Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion (except where it conflicts with other rights like the right to life).

Churches and other religious buildings were closed during the first lockdown, but the Constitutional Court later ruled that such measures had to be proportionate and that a blanket ban wasn’t justified. I think the test case was a mosque that wanted to allow 24 worshippers (distanced and wearing masks) inside a prayer room that normally holds 300.


That picture seems to be from Turin in Italy, which was hit a lot harder by the pandemic earlier this year and where, on the whole, people are more religious than here in Germany.

I have yet to see a church in Germany where on an ordinary Sunday there are people standing outside because they couldn’t get in for the service. Things are probably going to get somewhat interesting on Christmas Eve but that’s the single day in the year when the churches are packed.

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