This past Saturday, thousands gathered in Berlin, Germany to protest against coronavirus restrictions.
The day was known amongst protesters and organizers as the “Day of Freedom – The End of the Pandemic.” Protesters included far-right individuals, neo-Nazi organizations and anti-vaccine groups, among others.
Most protesters did not wear face masks or practice social distancing during the event. Police attempted to discourage protesters and emphasize distancing measures, however this did not stop the event from reaching substantial numbers.
The demonstration brought together many individuals, some voicing personal issues and opinions on how the country has handled the pandemic. They were all united, however, over their discontent with Germany’s current regulations.
Concerns included the potential economic harm, effects on children’s education and infringements on freedoms. Individuals showcased homemade signs that included phrases such as, “We are being forced to wear a muzzle,” and “Corona, false alarm”.
German’s are tired of the country’s strict rules and precautions. Some believe the government hasn’t been completely transparent with the public, and others don’t see the virus’ threat as being lethal enough to keep them from living their normal lives.
The city’s demonstration happened to coincide with a spike in Germany’s number of new infections. This past Friday, 955 new cases were recorded during a 24 hour time span. This has been Germany’s highest number of new cases since May.
Such an increase leaves many concerned with the weekend’s large demonstration. As infections are spiking, gathering in such a large group with no social distancing or facial masks could present a large risk.
Germany, unlike countries such as the U.S. and Brazil, has been praised for their success handling the pandemic. The country has had just over 9,150 deaths out of the total 210,670 confirmed cases. We will see if cases continue to spike further after this weekend’s large gathering.