Follow Lockdown Masking Rules to Prevent Cold and Flu, Government Parties Say

16 September 2022, Lower Saxony, Oldenburg: A sign with the inscription "Mitfahrt nur mit
Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance via Getty Images

Government parties within Germany are now telling the public to follow mask-wearing rules first implemented during COVID in order to slow the spread of cold and flu.

Politicians within the ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) are now telling the German public to follow mask-wearing procedures first put in place during the country’s COVID lockdowns in order to fight cold and flu.

The advice stands in stark contrast to a claim made by the opposition Alternative for Germany party (AfD), which has blamed government lockdowns for causing the current spike in illness the country is reportedly now seeing.

According to a report by Die Welt, both the SPD and FDP are encouraging the general public to wear masks in public places to combat an apparent rise of respiratory disease in children.

In particular, politicians from both parties are said to be backing the wearing of masks to fight the likes of cold and flu, seemingly in the hopes of replicating the low rate of respiratory disease seen during the lockdown period.

“The almost three years of the pandemic have been accompanied by a very low infection rate for respiratory diseases,” FDP parliamentary group health spokesman Andrew Ullmann remarked. “Unfortunately, we are now in the situation where we are dealing with a high wave of infections, which is partly a consequence of the medical-immunological situation of the children.”

“We can do acutely what we practised well during the pandemic: avoid infections and interrupt chains of infection,” he continued, asking the public to “wear a mask, wash your hands, stay at home if you have an infection”.

Such a statement was echoed by the SPD parliamentary group leader, Dagmar Schmidt, who warned that families were now facing a “huge wave of colds”, and that the issue of overcrowding in children’s hospitals is now “very worrying”.

“Here, too, the basic hygiene measures protect, and everyone should now show solidarity, especially with the children,” the senior politician remarked.

While these politicians — whose parties constitute much of Germany’s ruling leftist coalition — appear to be insisting that the solution to the alleged sudden spike in respiratory illnesses is more lockdown measures, others have harshly criticised the approach.

For example, Alice Weidel, who heads up the AfD faction within the Bundestag, attacked COVID lockdown policy as contributing to both the increased rate of infection, as well as to shortage of human resources within the health system.

“Because the immune system of many children has not been sufficiently trained due to the corona contact restrictions, there are significantly more children who have to be hospitalized with serious respiratory diseases — not only the AfD parliamentary group, but also many experts warned of this at an early stage,” Weidel claimed.

“Because the traffic light introduced facility-related vaccination requirements, the already extreme staff shortage in nursing could only worsen to such an extent,” she went on to say.

However, regardless of Weidel’s position on the issue, many Germans will have little choice but to continue wearing masks, with much of the country remaining under mandatory masking rules at a time when the majority of nations across Europe have largely abandoned the practice.

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