Germany, in the Time of Corona

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who holds a doctorate in Quantum Chemistry, has dealt with the crisis with calm and composure. Her scientific background and honesty in stating both known and difficult facts earned her respect not only in Germany but across the globe.

- Gutta Murali Bonn, Germany

The Corona Pandemic has posed a real challenge to Humanity. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, went to the extent of saying that the Corona Virus is the biggest challenge for Germany since World War 2. That came as a surprise to many including Indians like me living in Germany. But a leader of her Stature cannot go wrong since she is the second longest-serving Chancellor after Helmut Kohl.

Corona in Europe

The first case of novel coronavirus was reported in France, with two confirmed cases, where both patients had travelled to China, where the fatal infection originated. Italy and Spain were the worst hit. As hospitals were overwhelmed with the number of daily confirmed cases, the doctors had to make tough calls, as to whom they should attend first. Those who already crossed 80 years were not treated so that younger people would get treated first. Many experts called it the Tsunami of the West. The Army was deployed to help cremate the corpses that piled up during the peak infection period.

Corona in Germany and its relatively Low Mortality

In Germany, the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in the heavily industrialized state of Bavaria on January 27, 2020. (The B in BMW refers to Bavaria-Bayerish in German and BMW literally means Bavarian Motor Works). Soon Germany became the World's 4th and Europe's 3rd worst-hit country in terms of total cases. However, the mortality rate is comparatively lesser at 1.3%, ranking 8th in the World and 5th in Europe, much to the surprise of many experts.


While there’s no empirical evidence to infer what the reasons are behind the low mortality rate, the German officials are quick to insist that it is due to the early and prompt preventive measures taken by the state authorities. Within three weeks of imposing the restrictions, the infection-rate curve has started to flatten out. But unlike most of the neighbouring countries, Germany did not impose strict restrictions on the movement of its citizens in general.

Germany was even able to extend a helping hand to the other EU countries by airlifting some patients from their countries and treating them in cities like Bonn and Dusseldorf.

West and East Germany
Source: coronazaehler.de

The difference between the former East and West Germany are many, including Cultural and Economical. No one could have imagined that the difference could be observed even in the rate of Infection.


The highly industrialized western states saw more cases compared to the relatively “backward” Eastern states. The picture shows the number of infected per 1 lakh residents. Maybe this is another fallout of heavy business and travelling required by big industries that dot across West Germany.


The scientist in Chief

Some people have observed that Women head of states has handled the crisis better than their male counterparts. Countries led by women were able to effectively control the SARS -COV2 virus that threatened humanity a decade back.

Note: A German state finance minister, Thomas Schäfer committed suicide on 28 March 2020. News reports about his death cited stress and worries over the state of the country’s economic situation due to Corona and handling the developing pandemic, as causes for his decision to end his life.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who holds a doctorate in Quantum Chemistry, has dealt with the crisis with calm and composure. Her scientific background and honesty in stating both known and difficult facts earned her respect not only in Germany but across the globe. Acting more like a scientist in chief, rather than a head of state, she took rational and cautious decisions after regular consultations with experts. In December 2021 she will overtake Kohl as the longest-standing Chancellor. But that is unlikely, as she already declared that she will not seek another term in office.

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