Increasing number of corona deaths: give them a face

Most recently, 400 people died of corona within one day. In Germany. Why is it that no one tells their stories?

On Tuesday, 410 people died of corona in Germany Photo: MiS/imago

In Germany alone, there were 410 corona deaths on Tuesday. That’s the highest death toll since the corona crisis began. But the number is anything but a statistical peak. The previous day, there were 259 coronavirus-related deaths; before that, there were 90, 1 deaths. It is as if an airplane crashed over Germany every day and all the passengers perished.

But unlike in airplane crashes, there are no pilgrimages to the crash site. There are no organized hours of mourning, no minutes of silence or memorial services. The media do not tell the stories of the dead, do not give them a face. Many media do not even report the death toll on a daily basis – unlike the number of people newly infected with Corona. Indifference? Or habituation?

Or is it because dead people, unlike infected people, can no longer infect themselves? Is it because people do not all die in the same place? One has to search for a long time on the pages of the Robert Koch Institute to find information on which groups are more strongly represented among the almost 15,000 corona deaths to date. 85 percent of them are older than 70. Many lived in large cities. Among the German states, Bavaria records the most corona deaths, with 3,500. A study by the University of Bremen shows that about half of the dead last lived in retirement homes. This also means that they had rather few social contacts. Is that a reason for the indifference?

At the beginning of the Corona crisis, the media reported that Germany had an extremely low death toll compared to other countries – and sought explanations for this. In the meantime, the death figures here have arrived at the worldwide normality, if one may call it "normality". If you take the number of people newly infected with Sars-CoV-2 in the last seven days, Germany ranks 9th worldwide in absolute numbers. In terms of deaths, it ranks 11th. But no one is telling their stories yet.