'From the bottom of my heart': Angela Merkel delivers a powerful speech on the importance of COVID safety

'From the bottom of my heart': Angela Merkel delivers a powerful speech on the importance of COVID safety
Angela Merkel

Germans — like Americans, Brazilians, Spaniards and millions of others around the world — have been suffering from major coronavirus fatigue as the number of COVID-19 infections increases in many countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel feels their pain, but in a passionate speech this week, she stressed that Germans must be willing to embrace social distancing this Christmas season if that's what it takes to save lives in her country.

Merkel, during a speech, warned of the dangers of eating and drinking in public, saying, "As hard as it is — and I know how much love has gone into setting up the mulled wine stands and waffle stalls — this is not compatible with the agreement we made to only take food away to eat at home. I'm sorry — I really am sorry from the bottom of my heart — but if the price we pay is 590 deaths a day, then that is unacceptable, in my view."

Merkel's comments drew a round of applause, and the German chancellor continued her speech — noting that "scientists are practically begging us to reduce our contacts for a week before we see Grandma and Grandpa, grandparents and older people at Christmas."

In Germany, the current coronavirus outbreak has plateaued at around 18,000 new infections detected per day, according to Worldometer. Deaths from the virus, which are spiking in the last week, are at an average of 400 per day.

Merkel added, "I only want to say: if we have too many contacts now in the run-up to Christmas — and it ends up being the last Christmas with our grandparents — then we will have done something wrong. We should not let this happen."

Merkel's speech, which was in German, has been posted on Twitter with English subtitles. It was a stark contrast with the leadership of the U.S. federal government. Here are some reactions from English speakers:


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}