The mask requirement would have been better earlier

The mask requirement would have been better earlier

here is the annotated overview of the day’s topics:


Germany is slowly returning to normal – but life is no longer the same as it was three months ago. After many people have digested the greatest corona shock, they can no longer only see what the virus has caused – but also what the fight against the virus does. For all that we know so far, the exit restrictions and the ban on contact in March, April and May were correct; they saved us from worse. According to several studies, the hard cuts in everyday life have saved many millions of lives around the world – in eleven European countries alone there are probably more than three million, report my colleagues Melanie Weiner and Nicole Sagener. The responsible politicians acted on the basis of the knowledge available at the time – and certainly also under the impression of the terrifying images from Italy and France: columns of military trucks driving coffins to the crematoria at night. Doctors who, due to a lack of ventilators, had to decide which patients to save and which not. We were spared such an emergency in this country. Germany has come through the crisis relatively well so far – and is still paying a high price.

In retrospect, you suspect some things, others may later mature into knowledge. Instead of weeks of blanket restrictions for all citizens, regional measures might have been sufficient. The mask requirement would have been better earlier. Uniform hygiene concepts for all schools as well. Faster corona tests. Had, had, bicycle chain. Afterwards you are always wiser, but seen as a whole, we can be happy that we survived the previous phases of the pandemic without any problems.   

If in the previous sentence "we" then this little word does not include all people in this country. One now reads more and more reports about sick people whose ailments were treated too late. About abused children with whom the youth welfare offices had no contact for weeks. About lonely seniors. About working mothers who suddenly found themselves in a housewife role that had long been believed to have been overcome: children, kitchen and washing clothes instead of a career. Now that the headlines about the virus are no longer buzzing around in our heads and we are socializing a little more often, we are also perceiving in our social environment what damage the weeks-long ban on contacts has left. There is the relative who had to wait too long for an urgent operation. The friend who suddenly loses all income as a freelancer. The colleague who has hardly left his apartment for weeks out of fear. The favorite landlord who can count the weeks until bankruptcy on two hands. The shops around the corner that are suddenly no longer there.

I don’t know about you, but I have the impression that this crisis is not only robbing many senior citizens, but also a lot of young people from the joys of life. "In my practice I have seen people, especially younger ones, who cried because they believed they were going to die", reports the doctor Ralf Tillenburg in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". "I know of one of my patients who is around 50 years old. He suffered from cancer and had waited weeks for chemotherapy. It did not take place because of Corona. Then he died." And further: "I look after a retirement home. Some residents there are completely lonely when the ban on visiting was in effect. As a result, one woman stopped eating or drinking and died. I thought to myself: The people who are now dying because of these measures have no voice. That’s just the collateral damage."

A gloomy conclusion, which is not at all about that "We-have-overcome-the-worst"- The rhetoric that is echoing against us these days from television, radio and some politicians’ speeches fits. You don’t have to look wrong, but we should take the damage to the contact lock more seriously. And pay more attention to those people whose voices have become quiet. The full braking of an entire society can save many lives – but it can also damage or even destroy many. Those who are weak now need the hand of the strong. Whether brother, daughter, neighbor, friend, colleague or simply fellow citizen: everyone can help. You just have to want to hear them, the soft voices.


Christoph Sydow. (Source: Philipp Spalek)

If someone leaves, there remains a gap. With some, however, there is an abyss. Those who remained stare into the depths, shaken, pale, so many questions in their heads. If someone leaves and leaves family, friends, colleagues behind, then the question of why booms out of the abyss, and it booms louder and louder the harder it becomes to find an answer to it.

Christoph Sydow was an exceptional journalist. Inquisitive and well-read, but without any trace of arrogance. Equipped with the gift of explaining even complicated political processes in other parts of the world so vividly that even people like to read them who had never heard of the people and places mentioned before. He was reserved and calm, but was always there when a helping hand was needed.

Anyone who has the privilege of being able to hire people can prepare an intellectual litmus test. Mine is simple. If I have an applicant in front of me, then I ask myself: If there was a heavy cupboard in the room and should be outside, would the applicant be shy – or roll up their sleeves and help to lift the thing out with combined forces? With Christoph the answer was easy for me, back then in "Mirror online"-Newsroom in Hamburg. I haven’t counted how many early shifts, weekend shifts, and news blog posts he took on, and how many analyzes he wrote about the dramas of Arabia, but there were many, very many. "He wasn’t a born reporter, but an office worker in the best sense of the word. An analyst who successfully practiced what most people fail: To read connections and, ultimately, sometimes a meaning from the news that the Middle East produces on a daily basis", writes Daniel Gerlach in his obituary, editor-in-chief of the magazine "Zenith"that united us all. We Islamic scholars are either naughty or generalists, but Christoph Sydow proved article by article that one can convey a vast amount of specialist knowledge through a precise writing style in such an appealing way that it helps a broad readership to better understand the world. In that way he was a scout.

Now he is gone, Christoph, and the view into the abyss hurts day after day. Hopefully at some point it will give way to a different feeling: the grateful memory of a very valued colleague who enriched journalism and helped to counter all the clichés of the Orient with more true images. It would be a consolation.



The meat of the pangolin is considered a delicacy in China, its scales are sold as a medicine. (Source: imago images)

Pandemic, contagion, deaths: the bad news has flown around our ears without a break in recent weeks. One of the many actors in the huge corona drama is a strange, shy, sympathetic creature: the pangolin was suspected of paving the virus as an intermediate host to humans (even if the scientists do not fully agree on this question). But we mustn’t grumble at him. Because it didn’t have much to laugh about, and the reason for it is humans: Hardly any other species is hunted as ruthlessly as the pangolin. It doesn’t hurt any fly and has no natural enemies. On the contrary: It definitely has too many fans.

The pangolin is carted off to Asia in industrial quantities. There it comes on the table as a status symbol at the exclusive dinner. While this trade is forbidden, the prospect of fat profits and an insatiable market make global smuggling flourish. After all: After the wild animal market in Wuhan fell into disrepute as the origin of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Chinese government has banned the trade and sale of wild animals in markets. After all, dangerous pathogens shouldn’t be put up with a launch pad that they can use to make the jump to humans. A ban like this is not only good for our species, it could also have saved endangered species such as pangolin. Unfortunately for our button-eyed friends that failed: because of the shed.

Because you can crush them, absorb them and hope that you will find your way back to the best of health. Pangolins have a permanent place in Chinese medicine, certified as an active ingredient on official lists. And medicinal ingredients, unlike those for the saucepan, are exempt from the stricter Chinese regulations. There is a barn door-sized hole in the ban on the wildlife trade.

But maybe there has just been too much bad news this year. In any case, the Chinese authorities have discovered that you can cross something off a list. From now on the battered pangolin may no longer be pulverized. Even more: it has even been raised to the highest level of protection, so it is level with the illustrious pandas. It was about time. For the being hunted and for us. We don’t slurp ants and don’t curl up into a ball in case of danger. Nevertheless, pangolin and humans have something in common: We both needed a happy ending now.

Rearing an endangered pangolin in Thailand. (Source: imago images)


Speaking of China: Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding a video conference with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang today. Central topic: How can world trade be revived despite the Corona downturn and the strife between Beijing and Washington?

What effects does the digitization surge caused by the Corona crisis have on the environment? How can positive effects be maintained, more video conferences, fewer business trips and so on? And how can politics set new framework conditions? Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) draws an interim balance with scientists today.

A large center for digital art shows is opened in a former German submarine bunker from World War II in Bordeaux. At the start there is an exhibition with animated pictures by Gustav Klimt. The pictures are spectacular.



Dave Grossman wants policemen to have their scruples about killing. (Source: U.S. Air Force / Haley Stevens)

There are many reasons for police violence in the USA – but one particularly important one is Dave Grossmann: The instructor has been training officers in many cities with martial methods for 20 years and trains them to become merciless fighting machines. Our researcher Lars Wienand has America’s "Killer trainer" portrayed. 


While half the world is discussing institutionalized racism, Clemens Tönnies is allowed to remain Schalke boss. Doesn’t work at all, says our columnist Stefan Effenberg: "Anyone who expresses himself racist has no place in any function of an association."


In view of the huge sums of money that the state is now spending, are you no longer looking through it? Are you wondering who has to pay back all the debt? Then you should read the interview that my colleague Florian Schmidt conducted with the economist Jens Südekum: He explains what the economic stimulus package is really about – and why more debt is currently not a big problem.


Before Corona, Friedrich Merz was seen by many as a beacon of hope for the CDU – he has been away from the window since the outbreak of the pandemic. But our columnist Ursula Weidenfeld believes that farewells come too early: politicians with his expertise will soon be needed again – especially in a certain office.



Always remember: Your nose has to be behind the curtain too!

(Source: Mario Lars)

Have a nice day. If you’re one of the lucky ones with today’s day off, enjoy the holiday!

Best regards,


Florian Harms, Editor-in-Chief of, E-Mail:

With material from dpa. Subscribe to Florian Harms’ daily newsletter here.

You can find all the daybreak issues here. All the news can be read here.

Thousands of people celebrated a huge pool party in Wuhan, China, on swim rings or up to their breasts in the water. The people stood tightly packed, nobody wore a mask. The recordings cause amazement.

The mood in "Maya Beach"-Wuhan water park is left out. Thousands of Chinese people dance to electronic music in the water. They float on inflatable swim rings or stand up to their chests in the water. We celebrate shoulder to shoulder, no trace of minimum distance or masks.

The recordings cause amazement. According to current knowledge, the first people were infected with the corona virus in Wuhan. The entire city was then quarantined. Nothing of that can be seen now. The city has not recorded any new corona cases since mid-May. The numerous participants apparently celebrated this fact in the water park.

News blog about Covid-19: All information about the corona pandemic animation breaks down: Former corona role models are stumbling Current corona situation: The number of infections in your region

You can see how people behaved at the huge pool party in Wuhan in the video above.

Sources used: Contribution from SAT.1 with pictures from the AFP news agency

Media reports put the Chinese government under pressure again. Over 5,000 people are said to have been arrested for sharing information about the coronavirus outbreak.

A doctor, a journalist and a textile dealer have disappeared in China in the past few months. All three had previously commented on the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan online. They were arrested under suspicious circumstances, as video recordings show. Since then there has been no trace of them or they have since died.

The arrests of witnesses are not isolated. According to a report by the British "Daily Mail" More than 5,000 people have been arrested in China since the coronavirus pandemic began.