We will probably have to forgive each other a lot, said Jens Spahn. That was at the beginning of the pandemic, when nobody could predict how far the virus would go and therefore the measures could not go far enough from a political point of view. Reminds us of locked park benches or the requirement to meet outdoors only with one other person from another household, while maintaining a distance of two meters.

Yes, there is a lot to forgive. However, it is unforgivable that after three years of the pandemic, it is still not clear which measures were actually successful and appropriate. The evaluation report of the German Council of Economic Experts that has now been published states that “coordinated accompanying research during the corona pandemic” was “largely omitted” in Germany.

In plain language: Nothing precise is known because there is simply a lack of data. If only a fraction of the vehemence and verve with which those responsible in politics restricted public life had gone into organizing a proper database – Germany would probably be the evaluation world champion today.

So instead of creating a basis for sensible corona management, the federal and state governments enacted and are enacting measures according to the rule of thumb. The border to arbitrariness is narrow, as the handling of the vaccinated numbers has shown: patients whose vaccination status was unknown were simply classified as unvaccinated – a knowing distortion of reality.

What can I know and what can I do? That’s how Kant once formulated the fundamental questions. One thing is clear: the political leaders could have known more if they had done something. They didn’t have that, and so German Corona policy is now faced with the shards of neglected willpower.