Foto: 

Martin Schoeller / AUGUST

A Blessing and a Curse Tempers Flare Over German Mask Requirement

Face masks have become the symbol of the crisis triggered by the coronavirus. There were doubts about their effectiveness in the beginning, but most scientists now believe thay are a vital tool for stopping the pandemic. The question is how long we will have to wear them.
Street art in Berlin, a couple kissing with their masks on in Frankfurt and a vending machine selling masks: Mask wearing has become a political statement in the times of the coronavirus, a symbol of solidarity. But the less dangerous the virus appears to be, the more careless people are becoming about wearing masks.

Street art in Berlin, a couple kissing with their masks on in Frankfurt and a vending machine selling masks: Mask wearing has become a political statement in the times of the coronavirus, a symbol of solidarity. But the less dangerous the virus appears to be, the more careless people are becoming about wearing masks.

Foto: Oliver Wolff / Agentur Focus; mauritius images; Michael Probst / AP
DER SPIEGEL 34/2020
Visitors to an illegal party in Berlin's Neukölln neighborhood, cookies with masks, mask-wearing school children in Schleswig-Holstein: Politicians in Germany are currently debating whether children should be required to wear masks during their lessons. So far, though, the governors of the country's 16 states have been unable to agree on a standard policy.

Visitors to an illegal party in Berlin's Neukölln neighborhood, cookies with masks, mask-wearing school children in Schleswig-Holstein: Politicians in Germany are currently debating whether children should be required to wear masks during their lessons. So far, though, the governors of the country's 16 states have been unable to agree on a standard policy.

Foto: Christoph Soeder / picture alliance / dpa; Gregor Fischer / dpa; Bäckerei Kreher, Eppertshausen
German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a face mask, a high-speed German train with a graffiti face mask, mask production in Germany: Politicians in the country are considering a widening of the mask requirement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a face mask, a high-speed German train with a graffiti face mask, mask production in Germany: Politicians in the country are considering a widening of the mask requirement.

Foto: Francisco Seco / REUTERS; Deutsche Bahn; Andreas Gebert / Getty Images
Visitors to church services, a statue that has been decorated with masks and a woman wearing a mask in Berlin: The mask requirement is both a curse and a blessing. In some retail sectors, sales are already above their pre-corona levels. But people are primarily buying things for everyday consumption and aren't going on shopping sprees.

Visitors to church services, a statue that has been decorated with masks and a woman wearing a mask in Berlin: The mask requirement is both a curse and a blessing. In some retail sectors, sales are already above their pre-corona levels. But people are primarily buying things for everyday consumption and aren't going on shopping sprees.

Foto: Espen Eichhöfer; Anja Lehmann; Jens Jeske
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