"We're in the middle of a revolution - more dead, less freedom"
German Chancellor Angela Merkel marked the coronavirus pandemic as the biggest challenge since World War IISource: Deutsche Welle
She's not exaggerating, according to DW editor Martin Muno. And in doing so, she does not issue orders, but appeals to our reason.
"Since the unification of Germany, no, since the Second World War, there has not been such a challenge for our country, in which our joint solidarity is so important."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is not inclined to pathos. Sober, analytical, restrained in her choice of words - she talks about even the biggest political challenges - just like a real scientist. And always with optimism, as in a time of refugee crisis: "We will succeed."
So, if a woman who has been at the helm of the German government for more than 14 years, for the first time outside the ritual of New Year's speech, directly addresses citizens through television and when she also makes a historical comparison to the war that took 55 million people and left Germany in ruins, if Angela Merkel says so - then something has changed dramatically, "Deutsche Welle" reports.
More dead, less freedom
The thing is - and Angela Merkel also mentions it - that it doesn't work out with a few weeks of pause: "The coming weeks will be even harder."
There will be more dead, there will be huge economic damage, and maybe even social breakups.
And one more thing: we have to give up our freedoms. For us as a society - no matter where we live - it's a huge challenge. But there can be a chance. Already, this little virus is throwing light on the outrageous nonsense of big populists - just watch Donald Trump's videos.
We are already learning that we can communicate differently, making phone calls through video links is becoming a daily occurrence. And we also feel that we somehow belong together, that solidarity, even between strangers, is something that does us good - and even if attention to others consists in crossing the other side of the street.
What awaits us, in one sentence, the philosopher Slavoj Zizek correctly concludes: "Even if it eventually returns to normalcy, life will be normal in a different way from the one we were used to lead before the pandemic broke out."
We will learn to lead a fragile life with constant threats. We are in the midst of a revolution - and it is up to us whether it will end well or not.
Please stay healthy!