Commentary: Corona measures – will you observe them?

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November hadn’t even started yet, when the questions were already coming up: Would the measures really only last until the end of the month? Why would gastronomy, cultural and sports facilities have to close, but church services could take place? Were there no other ways to protect endangered population groups? Could we still afford this renewed shutdown of public life?

Impatience and reluctance everywhere – although nobody can deny that the number of infections is growing exponentially. Although the restrictions in force since Tuesday are comparatively mild compared to those in many of our neighboring countries and also compared to what we have already experienced here before, in spring, before the big corona summer break.

The Austrian government has done its best. The question is only whether its best is still sufficient.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz will have sensed that it took an unusual appearance to motivate the Austrians once again to be self-disciplined. In the past, he has often been accused of communicating his policies insufficiently, everything already decided and no alternative anyway.

The Chancellor did his best to persuade the Austrians to comply with the new restrictions. The question is only whether his best is still sufficient. Only a drastic restriction of contact will bring the infection rates down again, not a prescribed one, but a self-imposed restriction of contact for each and every individual.

However, the virus is as dangerous as it was in the beginning, but it has worn off psychologically. No human being can live in constant tension, at some point habituation sets in, with some fatalism, with some thirstiness, with not a few a frustration about the dismal present and the gloomy prospects that can hardly be contained by appeals to reason. The new exponential threat, which is what exponential growth is all about, is hardly noticeable before it is inevitable. It would be rational to grasp the numbers – however abstract they may seem at the moment – to take the threat seriously and therefore to dispense with practically everything that makes up life outside of duty. Emotionally, however, this is hardly bearable in the long run.

In surveys, an astonishingly large number of respondents continue to confirm their agreement with the Corona restrictions. Surveys will not stop the virus, however. Will the measures be effective? The answer can be given by anyone and everyone already today, privately for themselves. It is the same as to these questions: Will you observe the measures? As strictly as in March? Can you still? Do you still have enough strength? And fear?

— Hector Pascua, Graphic: pixabay.com

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