It’s been two hard years. The winter was tough in spite of the vaccine, hygiene regulations, social distancing and all the other decrees that ruled over restaurants, bars, and culture at large.
There were vaccine parties, vax parades, jabs in clubs, at Ikea, and the drive-in. We have even found helpful medications should one of us actually catch a bad case of Covid.
We have understood that vaccinations, basic hygiene measures, and masks are important tools in shielding the vulnerable, and that nothing provides true protection from infection. All these efforts have successfully reduced deaths and serious illness.
Banning the unvaccinated from cinemas or bars has not led to additional vaccinations, but it has damaged our cultural fabric, and we must move on now.
We are now as optimally protected as possible, at least as much as people have chosen to be. Of course, we must be mindful that there are always those amongst us who are immunocompromised and cannot get vaccinated.
But, for those who are vaccinated, there remains no further justification for the limits placed on our lives.
Let us take responsibility for ourselves. It is time. The government was not successful at convincing everyone to get vaccinated. Hoping to goad the vaccine-hesitant into getting their shots can no longer be done on the backs of restaurants, events, and the wider cultural sector. Banning the unvaccinated from cinemas or bars has not led to additional vaccinations, but it has damaged our cultural fabric, and we must move on now.
Our cultural industry has taken a massive hit, and it is not clear that Berlin will be the same two years after the virus first showed up. While tech companies and delivery services continue to change our beloved city, it is time to let culture, food, and nightlife come back.
We want a reset now! We need a speedy return to a normal life, and an immediate end to COVID restrictions. We want our relationships, our loves, our passions back. Theatre, club culture, dinners, festivals, concerts, and the simple pleasures of life have been gone for two years. We want to get back to dancing without a mask, all night long till the break of dawn!
We have lost so much to the virus, the lockdowns, and all the prohibitions. Many businesses did not survive, many people have left industries they may not return to. It is enough.
We need to end all Corona restrictions now!
Robert Rischke and Yoram Roth are the co-owners of Tip Berlin Media Group GmbH, and publishers of Exberliner and tipBerlin magazines.