Health and Medicine

When in Doubt, Choose Freedom

By Otfried Höffe, TELOS

It is hard to believe. More than seventy years after the adoption of the Basic Law, a constitution opposed to all dictatorships, two principles have ceased to be self-evident: the content of the basic freedoms and the separation of powers in the organization of the state.

That the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the policies of all states is obvious, as is the fact that one could hardly expect to reach an optimal strategy spontaneously. However one should not forget that the virus, and consequently COVID-19, has been known since December of 2019. Therefore the experts and, prompted by them, the media and the politicians should have started making plans already then. One should not have waited for the pictures from Bergamo from February and March 2020 and then react in the sort of panic that disturbing images make inescapable. In any case, there was significant time for preparation that was just not used. Nor did one bother to ask if there were not important difference between the German and Italian healthcare systems.


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