Is democracy a lie in India?
»We have to look now«, »prevent the mutation from coming to us«, »only a few cases« - the pandemic has developed a journalistic language that reflects the ideology of the lack of an epidemic strategy. Every day we are confronted in the news with sentences that are scientifically untenable, refuted, weeks and months too late or simply wrong. That is only logical: the public and scientific communication must not overtake the political will.
Last week we discovered the explosive corona situation in India. It was not enough to stop the flight connections, but here and there the hope was to be heard to prevent the Indian mutant from coming into our enclosure. One might be surprised, as this noble wish has so far not been fulfilled either with the wild type or with any mutant. On Thursday, the online presence of the “Tagesschau” reported an all-clear: “Few cases of the Indian variant so far.” The news would have been that the Indian mutant, in the largest democracy in the world, is approaching the mark of 4,000 deaths per day . Point.
Now it is like with the Brazilian mutant: the mere presence with us does not mean that the infection dynamics observed at the place of origin are repeated. In Manaus, Brazil, the variant there encountered a population that was in a state close to herd immunity to the wild type of the virus due to the open disease control policy. But it was only in this state that the random mutation of P.1 developed into an evolutionary advantage. The virus then ate its way through a population that had already paid a significant amount of blood to Corona. The fact that P.1 did not achieve the same feat with us is due to a different state of immunity of the local population. Nevertheless, the mutant is here and, like the Indian variant, can start a new cycle of contamination if the conditions change accordingly. Whether this happens and under what conditions - it is the task of the natural sciences to find out.
The academics do their homework reliably, but nobody listens to them. In the weeks around Easter in particular, a statement from politics has been made again and again that could not have been more striking. One had to "look now," it said, to find out what this and that development, this and that uncertainty in the numbers meant. Imagine you are driving 165 km / h on the highway and a fog bank occurs. You want to brake - but Armin Laschet tells from the passenger seat in a calm voice that in the next few kilometers you have to look carefully at what happened inside the fog bank.
Having to "look" at something first only makes sense if you don't know it yet. That's not the case. We have overwhelming scientific evidence on the virus. The talk of »looking« in politics suggests the opposite, namely that one actually still doesn't know enough to be able to react in one direction or the other at all. This crosses in the waters of the political lie - a lie that is supposed to cover up the fact that there is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will. One justifies the controlled contamination of the population, which has long been politically decided, by "having to look again". The idiom thus fulfills a profoundly ideological function.
When politics pretends to be a lie, the public and state journalism follow with the certainty of a natural law. One can show the systematic spread of falsehood in our language, prove it exactly. Or: they feel. For example, because opening a newspaper these days has the same charm as a headbutt in the kitchen cupboard.
We learn: Up to this point, natural sciences were tame. They now have revolutionary potential.
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