Is GERMANY the BEST PLACE to live right now? #Germany #travel





As many parts of the world are entering lockdown again, I ask the question as to whether there is any better place to live other than Germany.

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49 Comments

  1. Germany has a 'forced democracy'. What I mean with this term is that the german people vote for the same old fart, because thet have no other choice and they are scared to vote someone different. I'm glad I left Germany. There is nothing I really made there plus the inherent racism and social problems within society and thus the failure of the government to handle it, made me leave to the UK. Germany is not good for young, ambitious and aspiring people.

  2. When you have a closer look at the actual policies in place in Sweden (mostly based on recommendations) and compare them to other nations, you realize that they re extremely similar to what has been decided as compulsory measures in Germany, Denmark and Austria…3 countries that fared pretty well despite a much denser population and the fact they ve been hit much earlier (!).
    Sweden certainly botched the first 2 months suffering casualties mostly related to then non-mitigated outbreaks in retirement homes. The common impression that Sweden s approach differs greatly from most other European nations has been proven wrong despite certain vocal Swedish figures arguing in favour of herd immunity (btw you can get Covid twice as we know since larger scale studies published as early as March- May).
    The core difference is and was the enforcement of those measures AND a belated response which turned out to be big given we re dealing with exponential growth here (prime example for a very belated response is the UK btw where later measures were going further for longer than in Germany for instance).
    Given the similarities of Sweden s recommendations vs. enforced policies in the three countries mentioned, the main conclusion you can draw is that actually, there s scenarios (like this very pandemic) that gov induced restrictions are truly beneficial and needed for the common good…even more so when urgency is a deciding factor (exponential growth, easy transmission).
    Whilst a larger scale political debate on policies is desirable, there s situations where the benefits of swift actions outweigh the value of a more elaborate but much slower decision making process.
    I m aware that this very argument bears the risk of opening floodgates and is open to potential abuse, yet I d strongly argue that the way it was done in Germany in particular was very balanced- not only due to the structural gov framework (e.g. states being the deciding actors) but also due to communication, in particular by the leading actors.
    The more indirectly involved chancellor Merkel along with the leading actors on state level or federal healthcare institutions were eager and forthcoming in explaining why these (drastic) measures were seen to be necessary. They also went to lengths not only trying to explain these matters but also backed it up with economic policies to soften/buffer the impact these measures inevitably will have on the entire economy. Furthermore, they gave healthcare professionals a forum.
    All this results in the general population agreeing on those policies, there s even a 70% majority stating that they re perfectly fine with those policies OR would even support further reaching measures!
    Now that we know more about the virus itself (we basically knew nothing in Jan/Feb), I do think there should be more of a debate regarding what policies need to be undertaken and why. But so far, the German government (state & federal) has clearly proven it s worth the trust and leeway (leading to rather gov induced actions) it has been given.
    Unlike certain other nations (yeah look at the US, Brazil) or at those hesitating at first driven by fears of economic collapse or nothing but mere hope that "things won t be all that bad" (UK, NL, BE), the German approach was well balanced and most importantly, it put the health of the general population first and I believe this very fact made them win trust among the population and therefore gave them and the measures democratic legitimacy.
    I ll be provocative here but in the US or Brazil, the govs basically sent out a message that they don t care about the population, they don t care about unknown risks… all they wanted is to keep the economy running no matter the risks for their citizens…and all this despite medical expertise and whilst doing all that, they still made use of federal gov aka executive power bypassing parliaments or state authorities in the worst way possible.
    On a more personal note: examining the German case and comparing it to other nations restored a lot of hope both in the executive branch and democracy itself. Not every measure might have been right and some decisions were questionable – as they always are- but the general direction and motives the executive (both on state and federal level) have shown is a proper statement. The German govs emphasized that human life is more important than short lived economic figures and they backed it up with policies, yet they were careful with the power extraordinary times gave them.
    So yes, referring to the title of this vid, I d argue Germany and the decision makers involved there did a surprisingly great job so far, to a point I d argue it can be seen as a role model.

  3. New Zealand is in a fortunate position, they‘re a small island „am Arsch der Welt“. Limiting travel and contact tracing is so much easier there I’d assume.
    If I‘m looking at successful countries fighting the pandemic I‘d look at Asian democracies as examples we should follow. But it‘s not so much a question of better government but rather people being disciplined and putting their individualism to the side for a few months. We‘re more individualistic to begin with in the West, which simply doesn‘t help in this situation. Honestly, I‘m quite disappointed in us Germans and in humanity in general right now. If we can‘t even be bothered to follow a few basic rules and maybe skip a vacation abroad for once, how are we as the human race ever to fight climate change? That is something that would need to be constant, not just temporary, and it would require actual sacrifices and people changing their way of life a little. You can say good bye to that is what Covid taught me, so I‘m more pessimistic than ever for us as a species.

  4. If Germany had the same number of deaths per capita as Sweden that would be circa 38.500 additional deaths in Germany so far…

    New Zealand with its geographical location can‘t be compared to Germany in the middle of Europe.

  5. hm.. perfect? no need for superlatives here, doing ok is quite good enough. More parliament involvement? definitely yes. But that also means having to question federalism to some extent and implementing central government for some parts. That is true not only for health politics, but also e.g. education, police, etc. – that is some of the bigger topics for GER to sort out in the long term. I do not see FDP do better, as there is no realistic other option. You cannot just watch the ICUs fill up and let people die. Sweden really did worse, and NZ has summer time coming up. Guess we just need to stay together as a society and get through this somehow (e.g. enjoying dogs, camera lenses and good food), until there is a vaccine available.

  6. Wer in Deutschland lebt und über eine Demokratie spricht, ist leider etwas lachhaft.
    Was konnte man denn in Deutschland bisher "mitentscheiden"? Ausser alle 4 Jahre ein Kreuz machen… Das ist dann schon Demokratie? Man wählt Versprechen von Politiker und dann machen sie hinterher doch das was sie wollen und nicht was sie gestern versprochen haben?

  7. Schweden ist wirklich kein gutes Beispiel… die haben auch im Vergleich zu anderen skandinavischen Ländern viele Tote zu beklagen (hab es am Anfang mal ausgerechnet…da kam je nachdem mit wem man es verglichen hat irgendwas wischen 4-8-fach mal mehr Tote pro Kopf raus wie bei den anderen skandinavischen Ländern und auch im Vergleich zu Deutschland und dann muss man noch bedenken: Die haben eine viel niedrigere Bevölkerungsdichte als hier in D… mit der Ausnahme der wirklichen Metropol-Städte in Schweden haben sie also eigentlich auch nochmal erhebliche Vorteile gehabt was Abstand und Infektionsausbreitung angeht und trotzdem soviel mieser dran. Und was sie sich erhofft hatten richtiung Wirtschaft ist ja auch nicht eingetreten. Ist man Export-Abhängig hätte das wirtschaftlich nur erheblich was gebracht, wenn alle um einen herum gleichwertig die eigenen Waren kaufen würden… und das ist ja logischerweise auch nicht passiert.

    Es zu ignorieren ist auf alle Fälle nicht der richtige Weg mit einer Pandemie umzugehen, wie es ja auch der schwedische Top-Virologe mehrfach eingestehen musste.
    Ich denke, Deutschland macht es ganz vernünftig, vielleicht könnten wir noch besser dastehen, wenn wir den 1. Lockdown noch eine Woche länger gemacht hätten und uns dann an die Maßnahmen wirklich alle gehalten hätten, aber da steckt man ja nicht drin und das kann man vorher natürlich nicht 100% abschätzen.

    Neuseeland macht seine Sache natürlich auch sehr gut, also auch der Ansatz ar scheinbar richtig.
    Also würde ich sagen: Deutschland gewinnt hier das rennen im großen und ganzen zusammen mit Neuseeland und Schweden fährt bei weitem nicht den richtig Ansatz.
    (aber ist natürlich nur meine Meinung)

    Man sollte aber nie vergessen: Länder sind einfach nicht 1-zu-1 gleich. Wenn z. B. in Schweden die Mentalität da so gar nicht mitspielt bei Einschränkungen, etc.(so dass es mehr demos, mehr kravall usw. geben würde, sollte man das natürlich auch wieder einberechnen. Trotzdem: Ein bißchen mehr hätte auch den Schweden nicht geschadet) und die Verfassung es eben auch nicht zulässt, ist das ein Problem. Aber da müsste man sich halt vielleicht dann auch mal mit auseinander setzen ob es nicht in bestimmten schweren Krisensituationen dann auch eine Ausnahme dafür geben kann. Aber das muss Schweden selbst überlegen. Es ist auf alle Fälle etwas, was man sich wirklich anschauen sollte… ob man dieses Werkzeug nicht doch einführen kann/sollte.

    Was die Parlament-Geschichte angeht: Zur Zeit ist es eben problematisch lange Debatten zu haben besonders wenn es da aus politischen Gründen dann herausgezögerte Entscheidungen käme.
    Die Zeit hat man in diesen Zeiten meistens nicht. Solange wir da von Experten geführt werden und die Exekutive sich da beraten lässt (den Eindruck habe ich), ist alles gut.
    Das Parlament darf und sollte natürlich kommentare dazu abegeben dürfen, aber wenn wir zu lange brauchen, helfen viele Sachen auch nicht mehr. Das ist ja auch der Grund, warum wir der Exekutive diese Möglichkeiten für 1 Jahr gegeben haben. Eine Diskussion der Verlängerung dieser Kompetenzen finde ich aber z. Z. nicht notwendig bzw. sollte wenn überhaupt im neuen Jahr wenn es dann akut ist darüber entschieden werden – gern durch das Parlament und dann z. B. für immer 1 oder 2 Monate. Haben wir dann eine Impfung und die schlägt an, sollten die Kompetenz da zurück ans Parlament wandern, denn dann sprechen wir wieder ehr über mittelfristige und langfristige Entscheidungszyklen und da ist das Parlament dann der richtige Ansprechpartner.

  8. I am rather shocked, that people (like you) still don't realise how urgent the current situation is. The lockdown was not rushed because everyone else has done that, but because the number of patients needing Intensive care exploded. You can see that in the Divi Register. Like many other EU countries before, the government had to react, otherwise our health care systen would collapse. Yes we can argue about which measurements would work better, or how your long term strategy should look like and yes we can argue about wether to integrate the parlament into the decision process in a way that we are still able to react to new developments quickly. But the situation is very urgent and the time to discuss such things is not now! Furthermore we have seen that it was hard to find a consenus even with just the ministers. And every democratic party complaining about the measurements also were involved in that process(including the FDP). So for me the latest statements of the FDP were attempts to catch some of the corona-sceptical votes at the dumbest and most unproductive time possible. If we still see rising numbers of critically ill people, we are at the brink of collapse of our health care system. I would recommend you the see into the situation in Ireland, where they implemented almost sinilar Lockdown measurements with closed Restaurants etv. but open schools. They already stopped the second wave and so could we, if we as the people would take those measurements more seriously. And the FDP has caused the exact opposite with what they have done in parlament.

  9. To be honest, I am very worried about our democracy. Right now, laws are being pushed through in a hurry that makes one dizzy. Even if I am currently assuming the best will, these laws are very easy to abuse.
    We continue to agree to laws and regulations that limit our most basic freedoms. Apparently without large parts of the population having the slightest problem with it.
    We can see how quickly such a thing can go wrong in Turkey or in the USA, where criminal elements (with close connections to the PotUS) were quickly given amnesty (according to the law). And we could see it in the enabling laws of the 1930s.
    I am also concerned about how we treat each other now. Anyone who does not follow the line and says yes and amen to all measures is immediately a "CoVidiot" or alternatively a "right wing". In many cases, people no longer even listen to the worries and needs that concern others. Or you just leave the other person's opinion. Not everyone has to and shouldn't have the same opinion.

  10. I don't know who does it right or wrong. In fact, we're all stumbling in the dark. But probably any kind of action is better than to not act at all. The number of infections in Germany is increasing dramatically, which in part might be due to some leniency about wearing masks. I recently caught myself forgetting the mask; only in the parking lot of a supermarket would I notice. Luckily, there was a person I know, and I asked her to go into there and buy me a face mask.
    As to my work, I don't get as many jobs as there used to be, but I can work from home, and I live alone with cats, so occasionally. someone sits on my computer keyboard. Other people in my area, which largely lives on tourism, have to struggle more. A good friend of mine owns a restaurant, and he is really angry about this second lockdown. He did everything according to government or RKI instructions, but now he had to close again. I do not think that a government should do that, order measures to keep the pandemic under control, and then suddenly say, "We were wrong, you have to shut down your business again".
    Democracy, as far as I understand it, is not in danger yet. But let me repeat the YET in capitals. We Germans should know how dangerous it is to give too much power to the authorities.
    You also talked about the privatization of hospitals. Germany was on its way to reduce the number of hospital beds down to a third of what we had before, because the rest allegedly wasn't needed. But as our bureaucracy is infamously slow, we started later than other European countries, and maybe the virus has helped us to avoid the worst.
    You used the term, "acceptance within society". Medical doctors would rather say, "compliance". I find that a better word. I can accept a thing for society, but can still decline acting accordingly. So the only figure that could really give us a clue about the effectiveness of protective measures is the rate of compliance. Problem is, there's no way to find out. People lie to their doctors, and people lie on opinion polls.
    Vaccine: I have my doubts. It's a virus, and these things mutate fast. And I recently was to a German pharmacy and overheard a talk between an elderly customer and the pharmacist, and he told her that doctors are even running out of influenza vaccine. This is early November, 2020. How can that be? (What annoys me, too, about the German health system is that you have to see a doctor to get a vaccination, whereas in Switzerland, you can visit a pharmacy for most vaccinations.)
    Barber shop: You know that Skype has a "voice only" option? My hair and beard have grown to lengths I couldn't imagine before, and there even is a wonderful German compound noun for you to comment on:
    "die Coronaverwahrlosung"

  11. "The Best" is a loaded way to put it. But it is certainly one of the countries which are great to life in. And yeah, some countries have a better handle on Corona, but those are either island states which have a pretty easy time to control the virus, or they are extremely autocratic (meaning you can either not be sure about the official numbers or the measures taken are at least three steps too far for my taste).

    I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Just looking at the US the last day made me REALLY appreciate what we have here. And looking at the UK…I wouldn't want to be in their shoes. Like, at all….

    Is the Christmas market in Dortmund cancelled? In some other cities they just delayed it for two weeks.

  12. I can highly recommend Canada, but then I live here..and you don't need a license or papers for everything…registering with authorities when you move, ausweiss etc…Most of my relatives live in Germany…We used to joke that you need a license to use a lawn mower and a gas bbq in Germany.
    Gruesse aus Toronto

  13. The biggest danger is making vague claims. Like we could have prepared better for the second wave, especially as we knew it would be coming. But how ?
    We have build up our capacities in Testing, in ICU (Intensive Care Unit), we are lacking personal, but this is something you can only solve longterm.
    But claiming the government has failed or not done enough without proposing something specific itself, this exactly the attitude that made Donald Trump ("i can fix it") president.
    For the participation of the parliament, in the end it is Merkels liability. And at the moment every policy hurts. I don't want people making feel-good proposals, that may go awfully wrong, and these people may get away with it.

  14. Maybe the German government is calculating that a vaccine will be available early in 2021 and that will allow to ease the restrictions and make the point that they were right in tightening up a little bit now. In that case, that could steal the thunder from AfD. But I do agree with you, it would be a good idea to involve the Bundestag more in all decision making.

  15. i think we are doing not so bad here. The popular acceptance issue is of course a very valid one. Not sure whether more parliamentary control would shore that up (having said that I think it would be good to have more parliamentary input, provided that thsi does not end up delaying measure beyond a reasonable time period). my poit is that the Covid protesters do not strike me as cerebral enough on average to actually worry about parliamentary control, if you listen to what they have to say and with whom they associate during their protest marches… so maybe beside increased parliamentary input more professional "marketing" might help matters. And also possible a bit mor stringency and logic in what is being done (which in turn would make it ieasier to sell the measures)

  16. I'm kind of fortunate because I have an "essential" job working with people who have a psychological disability, so we can't shut down as we are an essential service.
    Of course that also means I'm at a higher risk of catching C-19, we take a lot of precautions with hygiene and isolating people if they show symptoms, but still…
    I'm also fortunate that I'm introverted, creative, live in a fairly rural area, and cycle a lot, which means life is generally unaffected by the current lockdown. If I run out of materials I may have a problem though…

  17. Huge area of subjects covered. Under an emergency pandemic a lot of democratic processes are suspended. Censorship actions are actually in place within main stream media as well as governments, including Germany. The German government is unapproachable to being questioned by medical experts for an explanation how the current pandemic controls can be justified by a death rate and infection levels no different to an average flu season. The idea and timeline that we go back to some sort of 'normal' has been kicked down the road for months, now into potentially years, if ever. The Great Reset, as put forward by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum puts forward a 'post Covid 19' world that looks very similar to what we are currently adjusting to and heading towards something similar to that of China. The current 'second wave' is one of only a high amount of covid 'cases' without an actual high amount of symptomatic Covid cases let alone a high amount of deaths. ACU 2020 org & WORLD DOCTORS ALLIANCE com . Rockefeller Foundation – 'Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development' PDF – Lock Step – “A world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership, with limited innovation and growing citizen push-back."

  18. I am very much in favor of strict measures that should also be aggressively enforced. And these are: 1. Wearing masks for everyone, always and everywhere; 2. Compliance with the hygiene rules; 3. Social distancing.

    If these measures are implemented, you can abolish all other measures.

  19. Alleine die Frage "Germany the perfect democracy?" kann mit einem pauschalen NEIN beantwortet werden. Gib es überhaupt so etwas wie eine perfekte Demokratie? Und wenn ja, woran würde man diese erkennen?

  20. Personally, I think our democracy works, not perfectly, but it works. Everytime the parliament tries to push through new restictions and there is the slightlest possibility that it is unnecessary or violates our Grundgesetz, the Federal constitution office ? (Bundesverfassungsamt) interferes and hinders the passing of the restriction. Of course we have to stay vigilant. This is a tricky time. I just hope that the AfD doesn't get more voters or misuse the terrorist attacks to further their agenda.

  21. I think your quality of democracy is also dependent on the diversity and quality of your media. Is German media giving much to the public? Is the public seeking different view points?

  22. Yeah, Germany is the best place to live right now – until the lockdowns collapse the economy, the Euro goes into hyperinflation and both healthcare and social security systems become unsustainable.Then things will get very ugly very quickly.

  23. Since I'm learning more and more about the history of the US and how it shaped their politics, the fact that from the beginning people hedged power by excluding others, and many people are excluded from a decent education, Healthcare, justice, voting etc., which again has repercussions – The German problems feel refreshingly manageable.

  24. I thin New Zealand is in a better position because it is an Island state. You can isolate much better than here in Germany in the middle of Europe where the virus would be brought in from the surrounding countries again and again. If New Zealand controls all inbound flights and all incoming ships it can remove the virus from the country and it seems that's what they did.

  25. I feel you, mate. Once I also was in agreement with the FDP. It was horrible. I felt so …*dirty*. I showered for hours, but it didn`t help! Sometimes … sometimes I still wake up at night – sweaty and with a pounding heart – when I had a nightmare of that aweful moment …

  26. The success of the New Zealand approach was largely based on being an island and utilizing this fact. The Swedish approach was not very successful. They have not reached "herd immunity" yet and the second wave is now hitting very hard. Germany had some luck so far: a health system which is healthier than in many of its neighbors, an early warning by the first wave in Italy (which led the public to accept the first lockdown more readily) and presumably some other factors as well.

  27. Neuseeland hat das in der Tat bestens unter Kontrolle bekommen und so ziemlich alles richtig gemacht. Allerdings darf man nicht vergessen, dass Neuseeland zwei gewaltige Vorteile hat, die sich auf kein einziges europäisches Land übertragen lassen. Extrem geringe Bevölkerungsdichte mit kaum mehr als 4 Millionen Einwohnern in einem Land etwa so groß wie Japan. Und dazu eine Insel. Inseln abzuriegeln bzw. den Zugang zu kontrollieren ist erheblich einfacher als dichtbevölkerte Landgrenzen mit grenzüberschreitender Wirtschaft wie in Europa.

  28. Living in South Africa, busy planning our emigration to Germany next year… We had an initial hard lockdown that was implemented here which has pretty much crashed what was left of our economy, coupled with constant political uncertainty, the pandemic has pretty much tipped us over a possibly never ending debt spiral. I feel at the end of the day, once all is said and done, various approaches will yield the same overall infection results with peaks just reached at different points in time. It's a tough balancing act and dependent on each countries health care systems, economic strenth, financial standing etc… so what works in one country cannot be applied to the next.

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