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Astra for everyone


In Germany, the AstraZeneca product is prioritized. The US wants to suspend patent protection for vaccines. And two super-rich are hoping for a lunar contract. That is the situation on Thursday evening.


Inventive and poor

Suspend the patent protection for corona vaccines

- the demand has so far been heard from people like the left leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow.

Now US President Joe Biden is also calling for it.

And EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen is open to a debate.

The World Health Organization praises the move as "historic" and "monumental".

But what's the point?

Politically, it is a signal from the industrialized nations

, which have hitherto bought up large parts of the cans produced, to no longer just look at themselves.

They had long resisted the patent release, which more than a hundred countries have been pushing for months, led by India and South Africa.

Photo: Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images / ZUMA Wire / picture alliance / dpa

In practice, it is not clear whether it speeds up production

- or even harms it.

Proponents - including organizations like Doctors Without Borders - believe that the release will allow much more mRNA vaccine to be made in the medium term.

The opponents fear: The pharmaceutical manufacturers invest less money in research if they cannot rely on their inventions being protected for at least 20 years.

The US push alone caused share prices to collapse.

My colleagues Nicola Abé, Lena Greiner and Maria Stöhr


to German Development

Minister Gerd Müller

(CSU) about it.

He, too, is skeptical: "Just releasing a patent does not result in a single additional vaccination dose." (Here is the whole interview.)

Oh, now I see: the federal and state governments are canceling the prioritization for AstraZeneca.

  • And here is more background: That would bring the release of the vaccine patents


The moon mission

Financially they have long been floating in other spheres, now the two super-rich

Jeff Bezos


Elon Musk

, gnihi, harbor all-power fantasies.

Both have big plans in space, among other things they want to get a billion dollar order for the new


module from



In the meantime a winner seemed to be certain, but now there is trouble, as my colleague Christoph Seidler from our science department reports.

Enlarge image

Who is NASA shooting to the moon?

Photo: SpaceX / NASA

“I only know the moon landing from books and conversations.

And for many years humanity's return there was only an indefinite future scenario, ”he says.

“But now we're slowly getting to a point where I definitely expect to see women and men taking steps in the dust there.

And this time it's about staying there longer. "

  • More background information here: Who will bring America back to the moon?


This relaxing emptiness

In a previous professional life I worked as a cook. No matter how many coaches pulled up and how many late breakfasters ordered eggs in a glass in the evening and how many "Can I get the watercress soup without cress?" replenished the kitchen too. Perhaps it is the longing for this feeling that drives me to empty my e-mail inbox in every office and editorial job, but also in my private life. Delete, move to folder, reply, forward until nothing is left. (I have certainly read the recommendation in some advice texts, here maybe.) But there are also colleagues, even home office companions,who don't seem to mind a four-digit number in the red circle above the envelope icon.


Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty Images

In some companies, the rule now applies: After 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., no more emails may be written to protect employees from stress.

But does that really help to reduce the risk of burnout?

"It is not that easy.

We saw both: When people write e-mails when they are asleep, that is generally not a good signal, "says Eric Quintane, an organizational researcher who was interviewed by my colleague Maren Hoffmann.

“But it also helps some if they can work on a few topics in the evening.

These people experience this more as an opportunity to have their working life better under control - then their risk even decreases. "

Quintane is working on an artificial intelligence that determines the

burnout risk

of employees based solely on their email traffic.

"An astonishingly effective early warning system in which the contents of the emails do not play a role at all," says Maren.

It's more about who writes whom, when - and how long it takes to get the answer.

"The emails are not the cause of the burnout, but a good indicator of where something is going wrong." And now I do like Peter Lustig: When you are through with this newsletter - switch off!

  • Read the whole conversation here: What emails reveal about the risk of burnout

(Would you like to receive the »Situation in the evening« conveniently by email in your inbox?

Here you can

order the daily briefing as a newsletter.)

What else is important today

  • When it comes to the climate, Germany is doing what Brussels is asking:

    the Chancellor is to announce higher climate targets this Thursday at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue.

    They would have come anyway - dictated from Brussels.

  • Teachers can be obliged to supervise self-tests:

    Because she did not want to supervise the self-tests of her students, a teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia went to court - and lost.

    There is no entitlement to a “zero risk situation” in school.

  • Helmut Kohl's widow rejects the planned foundation:

    The project was very popular in the Bundestag - but Maike Kohl-Richter is reluctant to establish a planned foundation in honor of the former chancellor.

    She thus reveals her strained relationship with the CDU.

  • South Carolina Introduces Shooting as a Method of Execution:

    South Carolina has a lack of funds for lethal injections.

    Another method of execution is soon to be introduced to enable more death sentences to be carried out.

My favorite story today: Does a man come to the gynecologist

Yesterday I wrote about the intricate ways people get corona vaccinations.

But hardly any anecdote surpasses the vaccination history of my colleague Jochen-Martin Gutsch, 49, group 4 in the official vaccination sequence, i.e. without priority, according to his own statements, not systemically relevant.

He heard over four corners from a doctor who has AstraZeneca:

Enlarge image

Illustration: Mario Wagner for DER SPIEGEL

»I went to Neukölln for the vaccination appointment.

The doctor was, well, a gynecologist.

Not that it unsettled me.

Because that's the way it is in the well-organized German vaccination campaign: At the end, a middle-aged man sits in the waiting room of the gynecologist and, somewhat ashamed, flips through the brochure ›Viruses in Pregnancy‹ until the friendly doctor calls: ›Frau Gutsch, please! ‹«

And before vaccination jealousy arises: He has not snatched the dose away from anyone, the doctor apparently hardly gets rid of her AstraZeneca doses.

»Everyone only wants Biontech with me.

Even the old ones, ”she told him.

Congratulations, Jochen!

  • Read the full story here: urge to vaccinate, vaccination envy

What we recommend today at SPIEGEL +

  • The vaccination pass forgers work so professionally:

    Vaccinated and convalescent people can count on new old freedom rights from the weekend.

    But criminals already smell big business.

    What can Germany and the EU do about it?

    The SPIEGEL report.

  • The incidence miracle of Wilhelmshaven:

    The port city of Wilhelmshaven should have pulled the Corona emergency brake long ago.

    Ironically, a particularly meticulous recording of the cases of infection has prevented this so far.

  • "Sober he was a good person":

    A woman kills her drunken, violent husband in an argument - and doesn't even want to have noticed.

    The court now acquitted her.

  • Unsustainable:

    Jens Lehmann was once a football hero.

    But then he irritated with homophobic and corona-belittling statements.

    With the racist message to Dennis Aogo, he has finally become a problem.

Which is not so important today

Enlarge picturePhoto: 

Toby Melville / dpa

  • Message to the lost grandson:

    The Queen has congratulated Harry and Meghan's son Archie on his second birthday.

    "Wish Archie Mountbatten-Windsor a very happy second birthday today," it said on the Royal Family Twitter account, about which Elizabeth II usually makes public statements.

    In addition, the palace published a picture of the young family shortly after Archie's birth in May 2019.

Typo of the day

, corrected in the meantime: "And even with the NASA murder assignment, it looked for a long time as if Musk would leave the field as the winner."

Cartoon of the day:

Germany turns green

Enlarge picturePhoto: 

Klaus Stuttmann

And tonight?

You could play "Civilization" on your smartphone or tablet.

Yesterday I asked if the legendary strategy game was also available for on the go.

I could have googled it, of course, but numerous readers (yes, they were all men) wrote to me, including colleagues from other editorial offices (greetings to Frankfurt and Düsseldorf), and provided me with links: Yes, there is the sixth part of the computer game for Android tablets in the Play Store and for iPhones and iPads in Apple's App Store.

However, only 60 rounds are free, unlocking the whole game costs around 20 euros.

(You can find a detailed game review here.)

In this sense: an uplifting evening.


yours, Oliver Trenkamp

Here you can order the "Lage am Abend" by email.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-05-07

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