🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Wednesday, 9 December)
New cases in one day: 1,348 (1,123 Tuesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 749 (+17 over Tuesday)
🟢 R number: 0.95 (1.1 Tuesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 193.4/ 100,000 inhabitants (190.7 Tuesday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
Speech of a lifetime?
Commentators are complementing Angela Merkel on her impassioned appeal for stricter corona measures in her Bundestag speech on Wednesday. Berliner Zeitung's Christine Dankbar called it "one of the best speeches of her chancellorship."
Merkel exclaimed that 590 corona deaths per day in Germany were too many and more must be done before the holidays: "If we have too much contact with others before Christmas and, afterwards, it was the last Christmas with the grandparents, then we will have failed."
The chancellor responded to heckling by AfD MPs saying, "It doesn't matter that you think that way, but it's a shame."
Most Germans against loosening of rules for NYE
It seems most Germans have the chancellor's back. In a survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland, 75 per cent of respondents said they were "completely" or "mostly" against a loosening of rules for New Year's Eve. Unsuprisingly only 61 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 were okay with a no-fun Silvester.
Longer X-mas vacation – with homework?
Berlin school officials are trying to figure out how to add a week to the Christmas vacation - sort of. Education minister Sandra Scheeres (SPD) doesn't want to give kids the week off. Instead, she wants them to be given study assignments to keep them busy. Though no decision has been made, it sounds like regular school will begin on 11 January instead of on the 4th. What comes after that? More digital homeschooling? A hybrid of online and real-world lessons? Right now, it's all up in the air. We'll keep you posted.
In case you missed it...
New Yorker Jennifer Levin experienced corona lockdown in both Berlin and Brooklyn and wrote about it for us in her essay: Tale of two cities: quarantine in New York City and Berlin.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team