Coronavirus outbreak at a children’s summer camp in Germany

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Last week, a children’s summer camp of the “Roter Baum” youth association near Dresden was canceled after a counselor and several children infected with the coronavirus were hospitalized. The case is symbolic of the federal and state government’s policy of mass infection and their spread of “living with the virus.”

The summer camp in the village of Karl May, near Dresden, in which around fifty children from Berlin, mostly from disadvantaged social backgrounds, took part was initially supposed to last 10 days. However, as of Monday July 11, an educator had to be hospitalized with symptoms of coronavirus.

Child with COVID-19 in a hospital bed (Medical University of South Carolina)

The following day, July 12, a child also had to be hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms and three other children tested positive for the virus. The health department was notified of the outbreak and visited the camp the same day. Despite this visit, he decided to let the camp continue and only ordered some basic hygiene rules, such as regular testing and a mask requirement for camp counselors.

After another child had to be hospitalized the next day, July 13, the health department made a second visit and again decided to let the camp continue. This time too, only a few additional hygiene requirements were issued, “the implementation of which had to be monitored in a timely manner”.

It was not until the night of July 13-14 that a doctor acting for the health service called the camp director, telling him to close the camp. As of Friday afternoon, the camp director had not received a written order, according to media reports.

Reports on the case have mainly focused on the question of the culpability of the camp leadership and the health department. Their complicity is indisputable: while the health department did not close the camp even after learning of the epidemic, the camp management tries to play down the situation.

For example, the managing director of the youth association, Tilo Kießling, a Left Party deputy in the Dresden city council, spoke after the fact of only four or five positive cases, while the councilors spoke of no less of 20 infected people. Two councilors told the Sächsische Zeitung that the organizers initially refused to close the camp and only intervened after the advice of an emergency doctor: “It is clear that the situation here is to be swept under the carpet.

This outbreak highlights the criminal coronavirus policies of federal and state governments that are deliberately designed to allow people to become infected. “Living with the virus” is the mantra of politics and the media, which is now being implemented with all its consequences so as not to diminish the profits of banks and big companies.

When the infection protection law expired in mid-March, the German government decided that in future only “basic protection” would be required, essentially limited to wearing a mask on public transport, in clinics and nursing homes. At the time, it was hailed by leading politicians as an “important step towards normalcy”.

Over the following months, all parties in the Bundestag (federal government) and state parliaments worked to abolish even the last measures. In April, for example, compulsory vaccination was rejected in the Bundestag; in May, the quarantine was reduced to five days; and at the end of June, free testing for the coronavirus ended.

The federal government is doing nothing about the growing summer wave of infections, which is already putting clinics under pressure with rising infection and death rates. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (Social Democrats, SPD) called only for a recommendation to wear masks indoors and for a fourth vaccination. Facing a tougher surge in the fall, the federal government’s current plans include no measures beyond mandatory masks, social distancing recommendations and contact restrictions for those infected.

The fact that 50 children can gather in a camp for 10 days without being tested once is an expression of the new reality of “living with the virus”. The outbreak in the summer camp and its aftermath are not only an indictment of the capitalist policy of mass infection, they also disprove the myth that the Omicron variant is “gentle”, especially for children. .

In reality, new vaccine-resistant and deadly infectious variants will continue to emerge if the virus is allowed to run wild and not eliminated. Dr. Eric Topol, Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, recently said, “Omicron’s BA.5 subvariant is the worst version of the virus to date. The already pronounced immune evasion increased further.

In Germany, the BA.5 is now dominant, with increasingly dramatic consequences. Every week, around 10,000 people are hospitalized, including a growing number of young people. About 6% of people hospitalized are under 14 years old and 9% are between 15 and 34 years old. Coronavirus deaths are also on the rise, most recently reaching more than 600 deaths per week. Every week, at least one of them had not yet reached adulthood.

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