Autor: Heimzeitung INF 136
In these difficult times, we may want to close our eyes and wait until the pandemic is over. However, we need to be informed and keep track of new evolvements of the pandemic. Every day, in theory, a myriad of information reaches us through the internet, but how do we choose what to listen to? Being mindful about our food consumption has reached peoples mind over time, now we need to understand, that our knowledge consumption needs to be mindful, too.
The pandemic has led to a rise of conspiracy theories all over the world. This is nothing new and has been seen with many other epidemics. Sadly, this reflex leads to contaminated information streams reaching us at our homes. Since we are responsible for cleaning up the mess ourselves by filtering the information, let us see how we can approach this problem.
Living, hear in Germany, a very important source of information is the government’s central scientific institution in the field of biomedicine, the Robert Koch Institute, short RKI. It provides a daily information sheet, summarizing the new evolvements of the pandemic. This daily situation report, in German called ‘Lagebericht’, gives key figures of new confirmed cases, the number of districts with 7-day incidence above 50 or 100, the number of available intensive care beds and much more. To download the situation report visit https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Situationsberichte/Gesamt.html. You will find a German and an English version. Please consider also looking at the German version, since it is more detailed than the English one, and most figures are self-explanatory with a little help of google translate.
Another good source for information is the state health department of Baden-Württemberg. Every day, the situation report or ‘Lagebericht’ gives an overview of the new confirmed cases in each district of Baden-Württemberg. Once a week, a more exhaustive report is published, including figures on the distribution of infections across the various age groups and much more. This ‘Lagebericht’ is only available in German, but the same applies here: figures only need a bit of translation to be understood. The report can be downloaded at: https://www.gesundheitsamt-bw.de/lga/DE/Fachinformationen/Infodienste_Newsletter/InfektNews/Seiten/Lagebericht_covid-19.aspx
These sources can provide the basis to stay informed about the latest situation regarding the pandemic. To interpret these numbers and developments, much more information is needed of course.
One of the popular, public service channels in Germany is ‘Das Erste’. Its main news broadcast show is called ‘Tagesschau’ which airs every evening at 8 pm for 15 minutes. Of course this show airs in German only; however you can visit www.tagesschau.de and select ‘tagesschau 20 Uhr’, to watch the show with German subtitles. Even if you only watch the images presented without following what is said, it will provide you an overview about what seems to be the most important news in Germany for the current day. It is to say that this channel is one of many public service channels. Here, it is only listed as an example, not because it is more trustworthy or more credible than others. The public service channels ZDF and SWR Fernsehen are other examples. For a list of all public service channels in Germany visit https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_%C3%B6ffentlich-rechtlichen_Programme_in_Deutschland.
What remains now, is to critically scrutinize the information we obtain through these and other channels as well as everything else which finds us through the internet. This is now the supreme discipline, every single one of us has to master. Of course, political and ethical opinions may vary vastly among us. If we respect others, their wellbeing and dignity, if we understand ourselves as a part of society which is only as strong as their weakest individuals, we can form our opinion about which information suits this attitude and which does not.