Hildburghausen (dpa) – The day after the nationwide sensational Corona protest, contemplative peace returned to the southern Thuringian district town of Hildburghausen. The small pedestrian zone with its open shops seems deserted.
There are few buyers with masks at the weekly market on Thursday morning. The previous evening’s “walk” of several hundred people against the harsh incarceration in the neighborhood caused heads among them: “This is crazy what they do,” says a younger passerby who refuses to give his name.
“Die da” – that’s about 400 people who passed through the town on Wednesday evening despite strict exit restrictions. As the number of infections in the region soars, protesters march “Oh, how nice it is!” singing through the streets – according to the police sometimes without a mask and with minimal distance. At the same time, country leaders are discussing further steps to contain the pandemic in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in a video link.
State and local politicians are amazed by the photos from Hildburghausen. “What needs to happen before some people realize the seriousness of the situation?” Asks the mayor of Hildburghausen Tilo Kummer (left) on Facebook. Entire daycare centers, schools, ambulance stations and fire stations had to be quarantined for the past two weeks.
The Minister of Health of Thuringia, Heike Werner (Linke), also says frankly: “How uncomfortable can you actually be? People are fighting for their lives in intensive care units. “To ignore protective measures in such a situation in Germany’s worst hotspot would border on a criminal selfishness.
Nowhere in Germany, measured in terms of population, is the infection rate higher than in the rural region on the Bavarian border. Clear sources of infection have not been discovered here for a long time. According to the Robert Koch Institute, there was a new peak in the Hildburghausen district of 602.9 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week on Thursday.
In comparison, the heads of federal and state governments see an extreme contamination situation within seven days from a threshold of 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, which should be subject to stricter rules. To break the wave of infections, drastic restrictions have been in place since mid-week for the approximately 63,000 residents of the Hildburghausen district: they are not allowed to leave their homes without valid reason until December 13, schools and kindergartens are closed.
Not everyone understands the tough cuts. According to municipal councilor Kummer, calls for protest have been circulating online for days. “They are all interconnected, it is the same knitting pattern as in Leipzig and Berlin – only smaller,” said district administrator Thomas Müller (CDU) of the protest, which was stopped by police after almost two hours of use of pepper spray on Wednesday evening. According to a spokeswoman, the police have not yet been able to identify the initiator.
The corona protest also sparked lively discussions online. Many criticized him as irresponsible and expressed their misunderstanding that the participants had endangered themselves and others. The satirical program “Extra3” tweeted: “The Robert Koch Institute reports a new low: in #Hildburghausen last night the lowest empathy value in all of Germany was measured.”