photo: Keith Telfeyan.
While the effective vaccine rollout has already brought back some normalcy to people in the UK, Germany is still struggling with the pandemic and tries to tackle it with various new restrictions. These change so often that they’re sometimes hard to keep track of, and according to some, they’re not exclusively targeting the riskiest behaviors. That’s the view of Clubcomission Berlin, which, in their latest statement, criticizes the ban on organized open-air events.
Clubcomission Berlin, the self-proclaimed “Network for Berlin Club Culture”, has issued a statement titled “Lockout not Lockdown” in which they explain that organized open-air events following hygiene regulations do not pose so much threat of infection as do private indoor gatherings. According to the statement, “it has been scientifically proven that COVID-19 infections occur almost exclusively indoors”.
Clubcomission calls attention to the fact that “In the past year […] numerous organizers proved that open airs with hygiene concepts, masks and distancing are possible.” In the words of Lutz Leichsenring: “It turns out that open-air events and gatherings are the solutions, not the problem. Not the numerous open airs last summer led to rising infection rates, but poorly ventilated indoor spaces such as private living rooms or offices.”
photos: Keith Telfeyan
And while such indoor events are also banned, Clubcomission argues that “indoor violations can not be controlled by the authorities with a few exceptions. Yet private indoor meetings are responsible for 99.9% of infections, according to findings of a study by Ireland’s HPSC.”
We think the Berlin Clubcomission is making some valid points, especially pertinent now that summer is around the corner. As Pamela Schobeß put it: “All people long for culture, to attend a play, listen to a reading or dance to music. These outdoor events not only give Berliners back some quality of life, but they are also so much safer from a pandemic point of view than private meetings in closed rooms.”
As the recent scandal around the Bottega Venetta party has shown, the pandemic regulations are not taken seriously by those privileged enough to escape or avoid them. Meanwhile, the lockdown fatigue is real – and the ever-changing restrictions do little to alleviate it. Lifting the ban on open-air gatherings could provide the desperately needed possibility to interact with friends off-screen without having to resort to clandestine house parties.
The current slow-paced vaccine rollout does not leave us feeling like there is an end in sight to the pandemic. But as we wait for Berlin to transform back into the city we once knew, it feels like we need something to remind us of our best pre-corona days here.
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