Virologist Christian Drosten: "Everyone has to pay attention, that is the most important thing"
Photo: Christian Charisius / dpa
"The pandemic will only really start now. Here too."
This sentence comes from Christian Drosten - from an interview that the virologist gave to the World Health Summit together with its President Detlef Ganten.
Although the conversation apparently took place several weeks ago, it wasn't made public until Wednesday.
That is why Drosten specified his assessment of the situation in Germany on Wednesday evening on ZDF: From a perspective in the middle of summer, he said, "it will come again".
From today's assessment, however, there is no reason to be particularly worried about next week.
"But to look so briefly is also completely wrong in this situation," said Drosten, head of virology at the Berlin Charité.
One must now imagine for Germany "that it can and probably will be the same as in neighboring countries" and think about how this can be prevented in the early phase.
Finding the right time "is the greatest challenge in the immediate future."
Population in Germany "extremely well" informed
Germany is about as well armed as its European neighbors.
There are some fundamental differences, for example in family structures and also in the level of information among the population, which Drosten rates as "extremely good" in this country.
"But overall we shouldn't imagine that we are in a special role or that we are somehow blessed," said the virologist.
Instead, one should realize that Corona is a natural phenomenon, "which we have to face early, not just when it's too late. Then it becomes exhausting and laborious and also painful."
The expert assesses the current situation in Germany as good, because "we are still very early, can observe the whole thing very well and have every chance to intervene early and actually control it. I think it is possible that we will do this in Germany , let's say, prevent the second wave. "
But that can only succeed with a great deal of concentration on the part of society as a whole.
In the video interview with ZDF, Drosten therefore also focused on the responsibility of the individual.
"Everyone has to be attentive, that is the most important thing!" Is his appeal, because no ministry and no authority can have such a profound effect on everyday life.
Principles "have to be understood, and I think we succeeded very well in Germany," said Drosten.
"This is not the case in other countries. In other countries, the public does not even know what an aerosol transmission is, one also doubts whether it is even relevant and everyone is constantly disinfecting their hands."
In Germany people are very educated in this regard.
The individual, however, has to keep asking himself what decision he is making as a thinking citizen for himself and his environment.
He cited celebrations and family get-togethers as examples: "Do I have to hold the birthday party with 40 people in two weeks, even if I am allowed to? Or should it be reduced this year?"
or "How do we do that with family visits? How can we see grandma and grandpa, but how can we agree that we might as a family go into a short quarantine beforehand?"
To do a lot of work in schools
In the field of schools, Germany has so far been less well prepared.
It has been known since April that different age groups excreted roughly the same amount of virus.
Since then, however, relatively little additional work has been done to deal with a situation that could arise if infections in schools continue to increase.
"We have to find ways of doing things so that schools don't always have to be closed because of a few cases."
At the same time, "of course, you have to notice very early when a cluster appears."
At this point, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of organization.
Drosten sees the hospitals as well positioned.
The doctors said they learned a lot about treating the disease.
In addition, it is perfectly right to use the intensive care bed capacities again for something else.
"I think you can plan well there," said Drosten.
"The bed capacity, which was created back then in the spring, can be reactivated relatively easily because many processes and many reorganizations have now been practiced in the clinics."
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