Farewell in times of Corona: In the detailed report, which precedes the extra-long “hard but fair” edition on Monday, it is reported how a mortician prepares himself for the virus victims and prepares his trainees for the new tasks. The number of mourners is reduced to a maximum; in extreme cases, the undertaker, the reportage shows, lets the urn alone with his trainees down into the grave.
Plasberg gathered an intensive care nurse, a virologist and the Minister of Health of Rhineland-Palatinate in his group: competent people who can say something about the situation. But the district administrator is clearly at the center. Understandably, in his area of responsibility, he has seen what Germany is facing on a large scale. Since Carnival in Heinsberg thousands have been infected with Covid-19, 21 people have died.
District administrator without the help of the father of the country
Pusch had already complained in SPIEGEL that he had not received enough support from Prime Minister Armin Laschet in North Rhine-Westphalia. Obviously, the district administrator is still not counting on the help of the father. Because on the day of the “hard but fair” show, Pusch wrote an open letter to Chinese leader Xi Jinping. He asks for protective clothing for the hospitals in his rural area. According to Pusch, the consul general from Düsseldorf has already reported to establish official contact with the Chinese government.
Plasberg calls the request “begging letter”. Pusch does not resent him: “A few weeks ago I would have said: ‘You crazy’,” he says exhausted. But in the four weeks since the Corona outbreak in his district, he had not even had the feeling that he could plan for a week in concrete terms: “As a layperson, you cannot imagine how many coats and masks you need per day.”
If one sparks dubious traders who claim to have uncles in China anyway, says Pusch, in the desperate hope of replenishment, then one can turn to the Chinese government right away.
It is this courageous pragmatism with which Pusch has managed all signs of the crisis in his district well. 216 people from there are now considered to have recovered. And when you hear him talking, it is not thanks to the German health care system, but rather the helpers’ talent for improvisation and procurement on site.
Think further than Corona
Heinsberg has the floor and it does not give a good testimony to the local health care. Pusch says: “We can see where the weak points are. Keeping things in stock costs money.” No masks, no smocks, no pipettes, nothing is there to the extent and condition that the pandemic requires. “At the moment that is the Achilles heel of our health system,” says Pusch.
The consequences of the crisis are clear to him. You have to see it as an opportunity to “think about what we can produce ourselves”. It is about thinking further than Corona.
Of less interest are questions about the constitution than those about survival
If you take the title of the show, Plasberg obviously wanted to think a little further and start a completely different discussion: “How much freedom does Corona leave us with?” Asked his editorial team. But at the moment the majority of the population obviously does not feel that their basic rights are restricted. Plasberg knows this himself: he quotes from an ARD survey, according to which 95 percent of the participants should find the decisions made on Sunday correct.
People are less interested in questions about the constitution than those about survival. Because Corona is not only testing our survival, but also our coexistence, Plasberg should definitely discuss the limitations of our freedom of coexistence. He’ll have plenty of opportunity in the next few weeks. Hard to assume that there is a topic other than Corona in his programs.