Why do people lack common sense

Where's the common sense?

Observations during the corona pandemic


Already at the beginning of the 20th century, Albert Einstein coined the phrase “The main reason for stress is daily contact with idiots”.

If you look at people in the "Corona time", this is confirmed by many on a daily basis. The Germans hoard toilet paper, the French red wine and condoms, the Italians noodles and wine, the Dutch “sachets” with intoxicants, the Turks raki and “Kolonya” (a type of 4711 with a high alcohol content), the Scots whiskey, the Scandinavians paracetamol and insulin , the Bulgarians citrus fruits, the Greeks olives and ouzo and the citizens of the land of the all-powerful and all-knowing Trump? Medicines and weapons!

People gather everything together and take no account of others, although there is plenty of replenishment, but it is only delivered a little later. This leads to a temporary artificial shortage in Germany.

Disinfectants, protective masks and protective gowns are stolen from hospitals. The hard-working helpers in particular find themselves in need because they can no longer adequately protect themselves when carrying out their work. In the normal household, water and soap and compliance with hygiene are completely sufficient.

Drivers, sitting alone in their car, wear a respirator. In public, the protection is then positioned below the nose. With the protective gloves worn, everything is touched, both food and money as well as the handle of the toilet door.

Most public administrations are closed to visitors and the employees have an individual office. However, because of a chronic illness, they want time off from work. Employees can now do their work from their home office. Again, against common sense, the desire to take time off work due to the serious illness is expressed.

The owner of a small company who continued to work and infected his employees, who tested positive after a skiing holiday in the crisis area, but was symptom-free, acted incomprehensibly and downright criminally. This resulted in massive health problems in two chronically pre-damaged people at risk and the virus was also passed on to his customers. In the public television programs, chief physicians are shown operating the disinfectant dispenser and the door opener with their bare hands, whereby every medical student does it correctly with their elbows. Or the family doctor from northern Germany who has set up a corona container in front of his practice, but then walks to the nearby pharmacy with the contaminated protective gown and without further hygienic measures after the smear to redeem a prescription for his patient. Fortunately, they weren't doctors in Hesse.

The Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers did the only right thing: Imposing (personal) social isolation, to a different extent in the individual countries, but with the same effects. As we know from history, whole peoples are repeatedly sanctioned with measures just because there are always unteachable people. Just like those people who are now going to court because they feel restricted in their personal freedom, for example because they cannot celebrate their birthday in a large group.

Let's take a look around the world: We are still doing very well in Germany. Italy in particular is the hotspot in Europe with over 110,000 sick people, around 12,000 corona deaths (due to or with corona), including 63 doctors (as of April 1, 2020). We can be proud of our healthcare system, which is well prepared for the pandemic and can currently even help abroad.

And what can citizens do? Keep calm, stay at home, avoid unnecessary contacts, observe personal basic hygiene, especially with the right hand washing. FFP II and FFP III masks as well as disinfectants should only be reserved for medical and other emergency services due to the shortage, as they have direct contact with infected people. For citizens, a self-sewn face mask is certainly better than no protection at all, especially if they spread pathogens themselves.

Fortunately, the majority of citizens adhere to government guidelines. The survival of our society is ensured by the very reliable and hardworking employees in the systemically relevant professions.

Listen to your common sense and stay healthy!


Dr. med. Dipl.-Chem. Paul Otto Nowak, specialist in occupational medicine, aviation medicine, specialist in internal medicine, emergency medicine, chairman of the Marburg District Medical Association

The articles in the "Views & Insights" section do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editors.

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