Saturday, April 4, 2020

Maybrit Illner: And suddenly nurses are heroes – media

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A nurse is almost uncomfortable with how much she is celebrated on the ZDF talk show Maybrit Illner. And SPD health expert Lauterbach warns of hope that the corona crisis may soon be over.

Yvonne Falckner slips back and forth on her chair irritated a few times. It should be noted that the sudden appreciation for her job as a nurse seems too drastic. Moderator Maybrit Illner showered her with praise. First Yvonne Falckner is “systemically important”, then a heroine, in the end she does “a murder job”. Probably no one has ever been raised on a saint’s platform in a talk show like this before. The fact that a nurse now receives this recognition illustrates the seriousness of the situation.

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The ZDF talk show deals, how could it be otherwise, with the coronavirus crisis. The show is titled “Fighting Corona – Enough Money, Enough Strength, Enough Time?” Those who hoped for positive answers should go back to bed with a queasy feeling afterwards. The round does not give much reason to hope for a quick end to the pandemic.

Germany has known for years that there are too few nurses. Only nobody ever really wanted to do anything about it. Now panic can sometimes be felt that this situation could have dire consequences in Corona times. Yvonne Falckner cannot and does not want to appease this evening, on the contrary, she has brought along some demands that she wants to support, among other things, by means of a petition on the internet platform change.org, Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn.

Falckner says that clapping the people on the balconies for the medical professions is nice, but society must now work to ensure that carers are paid much better. Then many of the approximately 200,000 trained nurses who have given notice in previous years would return immediately. SPD politician Karl Lauterbach specified that the federal government would have to add several hundred euros a month to wages. He underlines this by stating that nobody in a hospital has a higher risk of infection than nurses. FDP politician Andrew Ullmann sits opposite him, who wants to stay with collective bargaining autonomy. A few years ago, the medical profession successfully went on strike for higher wages. Is this now a strike call for nurses?

Falckner believes that the unrest in nursing is great because protective equipment is missing in the outpatient clinic or in the old people’s and nursing homes. She calls her profession martial “cannon fodder” because social distance is not an option here. There is also a real risk that a caregiver will carry the virus to a retirement home, where the largest risk group could be infected.

How bad it is with the availability of protective material, manufacturer and wholesaler Achim Theiler shows. The businessman talks in rage because he wrote to Minister Spahn on February 5 that a problem was arising here (to which he had never received an answer). Because almost everything in this area is sourced from China, of all places from the Wuhan epicenter.

The first country affected by Corona stopped deliveries early. Mouthguards or breathing masks are now twenty times more expensive than before the crisis. “We are incredibly poorly prepared, and we had six weeks to do it,” complains Theiler. He receives calls for help from clinics or medical practices, he is currently chartering airplanes to fly in material from China again. “It’s getting very, very close, it’s coming in right now.” His warehouse is empty, everything that comes in goes out the same day. Theiler advocates producing as much as possible in Germany now. Millions of masks, smocks, overalls would be needed.

The dependence on China or India for medical materials or medicines is now considered a problem. Lauterbach warns of what could happen in a few weeks. Namely, when the pandemic breaks out properly in the USA and the Americans “want to buy the market empty with their massive money and stock power”. Then it would be even more difficult to get material.

Germany overslept

With Maybrit Illner it becomes clear once again: Germany overslept a lot in the pre-Corona period. The fact that the findings from a pandemic simulation game from 2013 under the supervision of the Robert Koch Institute apparently did not interest anyone is also brought up. The pathogen in the game? A corona virus. Where from? From Asia. Why were the recommended measures not implemented? “The plan was there, but nobody felt responsible for the implementation afterwards. That is the problem,” explains Lauterbach. In the confusion of competences of the German health care system that has silted up somewhere.

The SPD health politician is the mood killer of the group. It is not the first time he warns against believing that this virus crisis will soon be over. “We will not get rid of this topic for a year and a half. It is massively underestimated how long it will take,” he says.

Politics, business and society are already discussing an “exit strategy” when normal life can start again. Here too Lauterbach gives little hope. Opening the doors, letting out people with a small risk factor (young and healthy) and practically deliberately catching himself in order to subsequently be immune to the virus, he thinks is extremely dangerous. No one currently knows how great the damage is for those who survived, but still had to endure severe courses of the disease.

In these corona talk shows, viewers must pull out good news with tweezers. Virologist Sandra Ciesek from the University Hospital Frankfurt, who is watching the video, hopes that research will soon find a drug to alleviate the disease. That at some point there would be a hit in all the laboratory tests. However, a vaccine will come in a year at the earliest.

The second video guest can also lighten the mood. Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, like Ullmann’s FDP politician, is recovering from a corona infection in his apartment in Berlin. He reports on the horror of the diagnosis, because you don’t know what’s coming. Fever, body aches, fatigue would have hit him. “But I was very lucky,” says Lambsdorff, because it didn’t get any worse. An hour and a half before the broadcast, he found out that another test was negative. If this is confirmed, he is healed. His story that neighbors were shopping for him during the quarantine gives the show something conciliatory. Or as Lambsdorff calls it: “A silver lining” between all the dark news.

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