Coronavirus Germany: Where do we stand one year on? | COVID-19 Special

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  • DW News published this video item, entitled “Coronavirus Germany: Where do we stand one year on? | COVID-19 Special” – below is their description.

    A year has passed since the first COVID-19 cases were reported in Germany. Meanwhile the virus has claimed more than 56,000 lives in the country. More than 2 million people have been infected. And the number keeps climbing. Over the past 12 months, we’ve had to adjust our day-to-day lives to a new reality that we could hardly have imagined before. It’s been a whole year since the prospect of a family holiday has become a remote prospect, even impossible. A year of keeping our distance from friends, colleagues – even our own families. And every day we witness the consequences of the pandemic: Restaurants shuttered, inner cities deserted. Public life has come to a standstill.

    Germany first came across COVID-19 at the offices of an automotive supplier in Bavaria.

    It’s where a 33-year-old employee caught the novel virus from a co-worker who had travelled there from China. He became Patient Number One.

    German officials were quick to assure the public the country was taking the virus seriously, and that there was no cause for alarm. The World Health Organization called for simple measures like more hand washing. But infections spread – to every region in Germany. Contact tracing became impossible.

    Germany’s hold on the virus gave way to the free spread of COVID-19.

    Then just 6-weeks after the first case was discovered, Germany announced the closing of schools. By the end of March, a nationwide lockdown meant the work place and the school day had to compete for attention in homes across the country.

    The bulk of people in Germany seemed to take the restrictions in stride and agree with them. With the budding spring, Germany slowly started opening up again.

    By the start of May, nearly 7,000 people in Germany had died.

    Meanwhile elsewhere in Europe, the numbers ranged from more than 24,000 to over 28,000 deaths:

    Germany 6,736

    Italy 28,306

    United Kingdom 27,323

    Spain 25,728

    France 24,570

    In comparision with many European neighbors, Germany appeared to have weathered the height of the crisis fairly well. Many people enjoyed the warm summer months.

    But then fall arrived and cases began to rise again. By November a so-called “lockdown light” was in place, despite calls both for stricter measures, and protests against them.

    But the mini-lockdown didn’t work. Cases rose at alarming rates, with more and more patients needed intensive care. By the Christmas holidays, restrictions had been tightened again. After the New Year, schools and shops remained shut. The latest extension of Germany’s lockdown will continue through February.

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    In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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    Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe. It lies between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps to the south.

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