How a virus causes the world to stumble and what needs to be done

This text is part of our district magazine Lichtenberger Stachel (Lichtenberg Sting). Check out the full magazine here (unfortunately only in German).

The global corona pandemic demands drastic restrictions from everyone, including health, social and/or economic threats to their existence.

Politics now bears the responsibility: We must protect human life and at the same time refuce the negative consequences of these restrictions.

Fundamental rights have been drastically restricted, domestic violence is increasing, racist attacks are on the rise. Child protection is being neglected and people are becoming lonely. Even before Corona we had a serious school placement problem. Too few rooms and too few teachers – this now dramatically takes its toll during Corona.

Therefore, we need indicators to measure lockdown or loosening. That’s why we Greens are calling for a council of experts to advise the senate.

It is often said that in every crisis there is an opportunity. It shows us what is essentially important: appreciation, justice and equal wages as well as a programme against racism and hate.

This requires a strong open society in which human and civil rights are consistently defended. It needs a social urban policy that enables participation in social life for all people. And we don’t want to leave anyone behind — not in Berlin and not at the European borders.

Studies show that people worry about Corona as much as about the climate crisis. That’s why we have to tie state aid to ecological conditions.

Especially in times of Corona, cycling and public transport are the lifelines of Berlin: that’s why new pop-up cycle paths and new temporary play streets are being created.

However, it is unacceptable that the car industry is now getting loans worth billions and that public transport emerges from the crisis as a loser. On the contrary: we must secure and also expand local transport. The Corona virus has not only triggered a health crisis; the economic and social consequences will accompany us for a long time. Our task is to make Berlin crisis-proof and fit for the future.

The author Antje Kapek is Member of the Berlin Parliament and Co-Chair of the Green Faction.

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Kreisverband Lichtenberg von Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

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