Corona pandemic: Munich is dark red – Munich

From this Monday on, stricter corona rules apply in Munich. The reason for this is the further increase in the number of infections over the weekend. The seven-day incidence on Sunday was 100.6, according to the Robert Koch Institute. This means that more than 100 out of 100,000 residents have been newly infected with the coronavirus in the past seven days – in other words: one in 1,000.

The number of reproductions is 1.2 – this means that, statistically, 100 infected people infect 120 new people. With the incidence value exceeding the 100 mark, Munich has reached the “dark red” level on the Free State’s so-called Corona traffic light. This means that the stricter corona rules that the state government has set for this level automatically apply from the following day.

The curfew in gastronomy is brought forward to 9 p.m. From this point on, there will also be a city-wide ban on selling alcohol and drinking publicly in several heavily frequented places. Both regulations start an hour earlier than before and apply until six in the morning. In addition, only 50 spectators or participants will be admitted to events. Only demonstrations, university lectures and church services are excluded.

The theaters are hoping for a special permit from the mayor

All of these new rules will apply at least until the end of the week. Even if Munich fell below 100 on Monday, they would remain in force for another five days. For the time being, the city wants to stick to its exception rule, which exempt primary school students from the mask requirement. The aggravation is likely to hit cultural life particularly hard. The upper limit of 50 participants for events has an impact on theaters and concert organizers, up to 200 spectators were allowed here previously. As part of a pilot project, the State Opera and Philharmonic Hall had permission to even admit 500 spectators.

Several directors of the Bavarian theaters had only insisted on Friday in an open letter to Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) that they should continue to play in front of 200 people regardless of the rising number of infections. They justify this by saying that they have long been working with well-functioning hygiene concepts. Sufficient distance between the seats, modern ventilation systems and airy pathways ensured a safe visit to the theater. In fact, no case is known so far in which someone was infected during a performance.

If only 50 spectators were actually admitted from Monday on, that would be a major setback for the theater in the half-way running again. Especially since, for example, the premiere of “Dantons Tod” will take place next Friday at the Residenztheater and “Die Vögel” will be staged by Frank Castorf at the State Opera on Saturday, both of which have long since been sold out.

In addition, a reduction in the number of spectators means an immense bureaucratic effort, according to the State Opera’s press office. For example, all tickets that have already been sold would have to be booked back and performances would have to be sold again. Otherwise you can hardly decide which 50 people are allowed to come and which are not. Not to mention the planning uncertainty for performances that are about to go on sale in advance.

The theaters’ last hope is now on Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) or the district administration department, says Ingrid Trobitz, deputy director of the Residenztheater. On the sidelines of the “Stand Up for Culture” demonstration on Saturday, Art Minister Bernd Sibler referred to the special permit that theaters can apply to the city of Munich. It is expected that this question will be resolved on Monday, but plan for the worst. “It’s a shitty situation,” says the new Kammerspiele director Barbara Mundel.

She is already considering shortening productions in an emergency and then playing two or three times in a row in order to reach at least a reasonably acceptable number of people with her art. The speakers of the Kammerspiele, the Volkstheater, the State Opera and the Residenztheater agree that they would also play in front of 50 spectators. Because although it would really not be economical – they do not want to lock up again completely.

Meanwhile, there has been a corona outbreak in the intensive care unit at the Großhadern Clinic of the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU). There, at the end of last week, three patients tested positive for the corona virus – they were still negative when they were admitted to the hospital. The cases had been reported to the health department, said spokesman Philipp Kreßirer, all contact persons had been identified and tested. Intensive care staff is also affected, but no other patients.

A genetic analysis of the viruses should clarify how the chains of infection have run

The affected employees are in quarantine, “the infection process is limited according to the current status,” said the clinic. The number of employees in quarantine is in the single-digit range. The affected patients have now been transferred back to the normal ward, where they are isolated and receive further treatment.

How the patients got infected is still unclear. They are researching intensively and carrying out a genetic analysis of the viruses, said Kreßirer – so you can see how the chains of infection have run. “We now have to find out what the cause was.” Say who brought the virus to the intensive care unit. Until the results of the investigations are available, which were started on Friday, at least a week will probably pass.


Munich: Living in the Pandemic – Munich

The theologian Susanne Breit-Keßler and the social psychologist Dieter Frey on the effect of the pandemic on society: What to do when you encounter mask refusers and whether it is ethically justifiable to call the police at a corona party.

The bishop comes to kiss when she ponders what could stay with Corona. Or, in other words, what long-term consequences of the pandemic she wouldn’t be so sad about. With a certain joy, Susanne Breit-Keßler actually imagines a kind of social upheaval in Munich. Even in serious times, seriousness must not stifle everything. Before that, however, she weighs more fundamental things when she thinks about her city. Solidarity and scapegoats, partying and denunciation, the virus between young and old. It’s about experiences from the Corona year, about big questions and wishes in the second wave.


Munich: Discussion on higher education law at TU and LMU – Munich

Information often trickles into the home office slowly. Even if it is as important as the upcoming reform of the Bavarian Higher Education Act. Not all professors and lecturers at the two Munich universities of excellence seem to be aware of the status of developments. You and the administrative staff have been busy for weeks preparing for the winter semester including online teaching. Lectures at the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) and the Technical University (TU) begin in November.

Meanwhile, they were not inactive elsewhere: on Wednesday last week there was an expert hearing in the Bavarian state parliament on the planned reform of university law. According to inquiries from various faculties, one hears about it only from the media. This may also be due to the fact that the hygiene rules at universities barely allow an exchange about it, for example at a coffee machine. Those who can avoid contact. Key issues papers are not passed on either.

Such a paper on reform was mentioned again and again at the hearing. Even of the invited experts, only a few knew its content. It can now be found on the website of the Ministry of Science. It is 21 pages long and very detailed. The new law should be a “signal for a new departure” with the “model of the greatest possible freedom”, can be read there, for example, often also the word “personal responsibility” for example with regard to self-determination and development. To finance this, the universities should be given a “comprehensive fee collection option”, for example for non-EU foreigners, and thus an incentive to “fundraise” and start up companies.

I thought it was at most a three-page paper, admits a research associate at LMU who does not want to admit his statements by name. He is rather critical of President Bernd Huber. “I think they want the big hit,” he says. That means, among other things, much more power for the university management, which restricted the increased say in the various bodies. “I find benevolent contradiction important – from the professor to the student.”

“I don’t think everyone is aware of what’s coming,” says Margit Weber, canon lawyer and LMU women’s representative for 14 years. In this role, Weber sat as an expert at the hearing in the state parliament. A week later, she is dismayed that the paper only “insufficiently addresses” equality. It must be felt in all areas, she says, not just an appeal is enough. “In Bavaria we have had around 50 percent female students for 30 years, and at LMU even 60 percent.” Overall, there are only 20 percent women professors, one president and only a few vice-presidents. She has long advocated equal appointments in praesidia. Equality must be clearly specified in the new higher education law as an overriding task and as a guiding principle, because that’s the only way something can move, she says. “That would make Munich and Bavaria much more attractive.” For companies, success has long depended on whether they have mixed teams. “How do we want to attract top women from all over the world?”

A professor from her house, whose name should also not appear here, fears a further dismantling of “collegial leadership” at the universities. He also thinks of company structures. “University presidents are made as powerful today as they were at VW under Martin Winterkorn, which led to the emissions scandal at the time.” Today, however, power is more likely to be shared in successful companies. He feels growing frustration among his colleagues because changes have always been in the same direction so far.

No scientist today can have a sufficient overview of research in his field alone. The best are therefore the humble ones who rely on the opinion of their colleagues. Unfortunately, the office of the president all too often attracts people who have a thirst for recognition and are not among the best scientists. In more than 20 years as a professor, he himself was never asked by the management or administration of the university or the ministry about what could improve his research and teaching.

It is unclear whether LMU President Bernd Huber was asked for advice. Among other things, he says that the LMU is very open to university reform in Bavaria and is very interested in being constructively involved in the process. Important guiding principles are more autonomy, more dynamism and more differentiation so that the different universities can develop their full potential. There are of course still many unanswered questions to be discussed in the concrete form of the reform.

Thomas Hofmann, who has been President of the Technical University of Munich for a year, would be happy to contribute his expertise, he says in a telephone conversation. But he has not yet been asked. Even his predecessor Wolfgang Herrmann, who gave verbose answers at the state parliament hearing, had no creative role in the context, says Hofmann. One of the things that is important to him is to speed up the appointment process. Today’s practice, which often takes a year, is completely inefficient, he says. His focus is on lifelong learning, which also includes adult students, and the support of spin-offs, as the TU is already doing.

Regarding the concern of Verdi regional department head Christiane Glas-Kinateder that fixed-term employment contracts would increase due to the conversion of the universities into corporations, as the key issues paper provides, Hofmann replies: “It takes brain circulation.” But you have to be careful that there are not too many temporary relationships. Overall, Hofmann is calling for the universities to have significantly more room for maneuver.

“The perspective of the university management is not necessarily the perspective of all university members,” says Maximilian Frank, TU student and active spokesman for the Bavarian State ASten Conference. It should not be decided only from above. A legal framework must be given to greater personal responsibility. We see ourselves as a corrective, he says. In principle, committees are not a design obstacle.


Day care strike: “We parents are at the limit because of Corona” – Munich

In the middle of the pandemic, daycare centers are closed because the teachers are on strike for more money. Is that appropriate? A dispute between a parent representative and a union secretary.

This Monday there will be another strike in the public sector, including in daycare centers. Many urban crèches, kindergartens and after-school care centers will probably not open. The trade unions Verdi and GEW call on the workers in the municipal care facilities to go on a warning strike. Among other things, the trade unions are demanding 4.8 percent more salaries in the nationwide collective bargaining negotiations. In Munich, the garbage collection, street cleaning and the city clinics are also on strike. The fact that educators in particular are called on to walk out angered many parents during the last warning strike at the end of September. Is the anger justified? The union secretary Merle Pisarz von Verdi, a trained educator, and Daniel Gromotka, one of the top parents’ representatives in Munich, are discussing this.


Corona in Munich: Autumn holiday blues in the travel agencies – Munich

Two travel dreams have just burst again. Thailand and Namibia. “We had to cancel both,” reports an employee of “Travel Overland” in Wörthstrasse. Because entry is currently not possible. Palm trees, desert, palaces, T-shirt temperatures – everything perdü. Instead rain and cold.

In the Munich travel agencies they are used to grief at the moment, it has been canceled and canceled for months. And only booked very cautiously, as it says in “Travel Overland”. Because many wanderlust-driven people no longer know what is actually still possible – and what will apply tomorrow or in two weeks, when the Bavarian autumn vacation begins.

Outside of Europe there is very little going on; the German passport, which is actually praised as a worldwide door opener, has lost a lot of its value. The USA, Canada and even Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are out of reach for Munich residents. France? In the crisis zone Paris and in other large cities there is a night curfew, and the entire neighboring country is now a risk area. Like Tyrol and Vorarlberg, the immediately adjacent holiday destinations in Austria.

The mood in the run-up to the autumn holidays – travel preparations are made in “normal” years – is therefore suitable for the Munich sky: gray, depressed, a little resigned. Especially in view of the early closing times in the restaurants, the restrictions on celebrations and the already uncomfortable autumnal temperatures, the distance beckons – in which, of course, Corona rules would also dampen the hoped-for carelessness, if you could even get there. There is actually a very clear recommendation from politicians: if possible, avoid traveling this fall. So that the virus is not carried across Europe again. And a new lockdown can be avoided.

However, plans are still being made. At “Travel Overland” in Haidhausen, the Munich residents’ interest in Greece and Italy was recently noticed. However, the situation changes daily, from this Saturday on, the area around Naples (Campania) and Genoa (Liguria) are considered risk areas in Italy, and masking is required on the roads throughout the country. The Federal Foreign Office also sees Trentino, Lombardy, Veneto and Lazio on the wrong path. In Greece, which is comparatively little affected, reports the travel agency employee, the season was partially extended. Some hotels are open longer than usual. There has been no travel warning there so far. However, online registration is mandatory when entering the country.

Italy and Greece are currently making the running at the airport – but there isn’t much going on here either

The ADAC, which evaluated the route inquiries from Munich drivers over the past four weeks, placed Italy in second place: 28 percent of a total of 1010 inquiries from Munich and the surrounding area had “Bella Italia” as their destination. Germany is ahead with 32.6 percent. It follows, with only 14.7 percent, Austria. It is of course unclear whether the motorists will actually go on vacation. The corona situation is very confusing and requires flexible travel planning. Or maybe the waiver, Munich is actually also a holiday destination.

Italy and Greece are currently making the running at the airport – with 150 and a good 80 take-offs respectively during the autumn holidays. Turkey, which has been talked about because of its embellished corona statistics, ranks third – although the country, with the exception of three Aegean provinces and the area around Antalya, is still considered a risk area (and not only because of Corona). Like Spain, which is still served from Munich despite very high corona numbers. In any case, many destinations that are flown to in the autumn holidays are not at all usable for Munich residents due to travel restrictions. Around 180 of the 3,400 take-offs and landings during the vacation are long-haul connections: USA, Canada, but also Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Dubai and Seoul.

Entry into some countries is not even possible, others require tests or quarantine – the Federal Foreign Office advises against it. “MUC” is therefore still running on the back burner, despite intensive efforts to adhere to hygiene requirements in terminals and aircraft. Currently there are only around 20,000 passengers on 360 take-offs or landings per day. For the once so proud hub with a good 1100 flights a day, that’s a pretty sad result.

Even in Germany, which is the travel destination of choice for many Munich residents even in the comparatively carefree summer, the situation is confusing. Since the Federal Chancellor and the 16 Prime Ministers have agreed not to tackle the subject of the ban on accommodation again until after the Bavarian autumn break, the patchwork will remain. Berlin is possible for Munich residents and also Thuringia, Saxony, Bremen, Saarland and North Rhine-Westphalia. In other federal states, however, travelers from an official risk area such as Munich are not even allowed into the hotels. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, cars with an M license plate are officially not even allowed to cross the national borders.

Bad prospects for a carefree tour through Germany. However, the bans on accommodation are on the decline – on Friday the state government announced the temporary end of this restriction in Bavaria. And in Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony, the administrative court has overturned the ban. Of course, the question always arises as to whether you want to travel to an area with very high corona numbers, even if it were allowed.


Munich: The last days of Karstadt am Nordbad – Munich

This is called eviscerated. Empty showcases, empty shelves, the silver clothes racks have been pushed aside. “One more day” is written on the wide entrance portal of Karstadt am Nordbad, and one can assume that every employee here who holds his position as brave as it is final is in a strange mood. A customer asks whether it is possible to get parts of the furniture. Another says that she was there when the West Schwabing department store opened. It was 1968, at that time the concrete fortress still looked rather futuristic between the old buildings around the north bath, which was decorated with a portico.

It’s now closing time – forever. The Karstadt am Nordbad closes after more than half a century. With him, the Karstadt closes in the Olympia shopping center – although there is a department store of the same group in the immediate vicinity, similar to the previously rescued Kaufhof on Stachus. The Karstadt am Nordbad is far and wide the only one of its kind. Officially, this Saturday is the last day of sale. In the three-story bunker, however, there is very little that could attract customers. A garish discount campaign – the advertising banners are still hanging on the facade – has long since emptied shelves, clothes racks and freezers.

The upper floor is already locked, there is nothing left to stumble upon. Employees run around pushing furniture back and forth. In the now void it becomes clear how huge the surfaces actually are. Everything is still brightly lit and the escalators are in operation. Soon, when it is cleared out, all of this will be empty and gloomy, as a demolished house. A strange idea.

The sausage counter in the basement is still occupied, there is no more fish. There are occasional groceries on the shelves. Vinegar, wine, spices and sweets. A couple of huge Advent wreaths are waiting for the last bargain buyers. The freezers have already been cleared.

The end of the Karstadt branch at Nordbad is affecting many residents.

(Photo: Alessandra Schellnegger)

Outside on Schleissheimer Strasse, on a pane of glass, there is a protest sticker: “The Benkos expropriate”, it says. In reference to the Austrian investor to whom Karstadt and Kaufhof have belonged for some time. On the glass entrance doors there is a note of solidarity from a “sad old customer”, as the clerk himself put it. The closure is a severe blow for Schwabing.

For decades, the department store, located directly on Nordbad, was a central point of contact when there was something to be found quickly that you would otherwise have to drive to the city center for. Where you could buy a Christmas tree at the last minute on Christmas Eve. Where, when the shop opening hours were still more strictly regulated, there was still pork schnitzel when the other supermarkets were already closed.

Of course, the closure of the once so important contact point is also a symbol of the change in the consumer world. The department stores suffer like hardly anyone else from the trend to shop digitally – in the better times of the Karstadt am Nordbad it was rather frowned upon to constantly besiege your own couch and do everything from home. Although there was already a mail order business back then, but it had an even more stuffy reputation than the department stores. All of that has changed.

The long-established Karstadt am Nordbad closes forever.

(Photo: Alessandra Schellnegger)

The Schwabinger have started a rescue attempt. A residents’ initiative collected signatures for the preservation of the district meeting point, and Ruth Waldmann (SPD) member of the state parliament initiated an online petition. And also reminded of the fate of the many Karstadt employees who are now threatened with unemployment. It was all of no use. In the farewell letter from the workforce, which is taped outside on the front door, it is now a reminder where a good place is for recruiting: here.


Munich: The first evening with a ban on serving alcohol – Munich

On the board on the facade of the traditional Zum Spöckmeier inn in the Rosental it says: “Happy Hour! Mon-Fri 2 pm-6pm, Halbe Helles 3.90”. The happy hour is already a few hours old, now the unhappy hour has broken all over town. It is just after 10 p.m. this Wednesday, October 14th, and nothing works.

A few minutes ago the alcohol ban came into force, which the city imposed within seven days due to the corona pandemic and the exceeding of the threshold of 50 infected people per 100,000 inhabitants. That doesn’t affect Spöckmeier at all today, it is already dark there shortly after ten, the lights are, the waiters have already sat up. The same picture can be seen over at the Viktualienmarkt in the Pschorr restaurant near the Schrannenhalle. Everything is tight there too.

At a quarter to ten something was still going on at Gärtnerplatz: The last curtain had fallen in the State Theater, the guests quickly streamed outside, the in-house bar Salon Pitzelberger is closed. Some local people are drawn to the Klenzestrasse to the Theaterklause, a small restaurant with typical Munich Boazn charm. Bartender Leo, who doesn’t want to be in the photo, says: “Everyone behaved in an exemplary manner and ordered in time for the last order.”

Fortunately, the performances in the theater are currently all finished before 10 p.m., some of them only lasted 90 minutes – time enough to order one last beer after work before 10 p.m. “You just have to be quick”, say the guests and laugh, “preferably get out before the final applause!” Leo expects the theater room to close earlier during the week in the future: “We normally close at twelve o’clock, but nobody stays that long for a nice water.” Now you are considering opening up earlier on Sundays, to compensate. Maybe at 3 p.m.

Not an option for the Holy Home. The bar on Reichenbachstrasse around the corner is already a classic when it comes to going out around Gärtnerplatz a little later. The crowd is rather young, between 8 and 30 on Sundays at 3 p.m., if you remember correctly, at this age you get up more or go to brunch, but not in a bar. On Wednesday, just before 10 p.m., it is The rush is manageable, a small group is sitting at the bar with a beer. A couple orders two cyclists just in time, then the bartender Sophie looks at the alarm clock that is on the shelf behind her: It’s time, closing time. Then a guest comes in through the door, very excited: “Is there anything else? Or am I too late?” Too late, says Sophie, she’s sorry. “A go!” Says the guest and turns to go, but then he has to laugh: no beer after ten, a bit bizarre again.

In the Holy Home, a couple orders a cyclist in good time.

(Photo: Robert Haas)

“That’s kind of a death sentence for a bar, isn’t it?” Sophie says it very calmly, but she really has reason to be upset. In a shop like the Holy Home, things don’t really start until ten; now it’s dead legs after eleven. “At midnight it looks much better with the tips, too,” says Sophie, “and the sales that we lack now cannot be made up at other times”. Maybe the Holy Home will open earlier on Sundays now, but that won’t do much. Not at all for Sophie, she is paid by the hour. “In any case, you can’t live from an evening like today.”

This is what seasoned landlords say in the old town, around the Frauenkirche, for example. Around half past ten only small groups sit at the tables in most inns, the Leger am Dom restaurant could now also be called Schee empty am Dom: It is already closed. The Augustiner Klosterwirt is still the busiest place. A couple of regulars do meet. “We come here every four weeks,” says one man, “we are seven people. So today we had to split ourselves over two tables with a plexiglass wall in between. What a nonsense!” Sure, Corona is not to be trifled with – but the so to speak “supervised drinking” in restaurants is apparently hardly dangerous: “Or has someone actually been infected in a pub in Munich? You should know that from the lists.”

Gregor Lemke, the monastery landlord himself, asks himself that. He is also the spokesman for the Munich city center inns, and he is now a little bit desperate. “The cancellations are now hailing in, making you dizzy,” he says. It was just another event with 100 people that was canceled. Worst of all, despite the low risk of infection, politicians came up with measures against the catering trade: “The only thing that remains with the guests is the feeling that it is dangerous in the pub, although it can be proven that it is not true.”


Munich Clinic in Bogenhausen: Flagship of medicine – Munich

The planned extension to the Munich Clinic in Bogenhausen has already been given a nickname among employees: they call it the “fifth finger”. It will be attached to the east side of the large hospital building, which connects four transverse buildings. It then forms a fifth transverse structure to match the existing ones. As a result, the symmetry is lost. But that’s it with the minus points from the point of view of the clinic management and also the donors – city and country are included with a total of almost 400 million euros. They expect the cultivation to be a big step towards modern medicine in Munich.

According to the planning today, a flagship of the Munich Clinic is to be built on Englschalkinger Strasse by 2023. Political and clinical representatives laid the first cornerstone of the six-story building in a ceremony on Thursday. It is the largest construction project of the Munich Clinic in a series of other construction measures that are intended to make the company more modern and efficient in the long term.

The core of the new building with 13,000 square meters of floor space will be a large, central operating area with its own staff restaurant, where several operating theaters are to be built in the immediate vicinity and equipped with modern technology. In addition, expanded intensive capacities are planned there as well as additional places for so-called Intermediate Care (IMC). The chief physician of the Clinic for Thoracic Surgery, Johannes Bodner, is pleased with the new building, which is currently intended to improve the work of surgery and intensive care medicine. “May the construction phase go according to plan and without accidents,” says Bodner. It is one of four wishes that he and colleagues from the Bogenhausen Clinic wrote down on orange pieces of paper and that are now rolled up and thrown into an opening in the cornerstone of the extension.

Maybe he can still find a nice place where the stone could be visible later, said the site manager Michael Bergmann-Mitzel afterwards. Initially, however, the foundation stone will be “stored on the side” until it will be embedded in the building panel in the coming months.

Preparations for the large construction site, which at the moment still looks like a huge crater, have been underway here since February 2018. According to the Munich Clinic, 25,000 cubic meters of earth were removed. The groundbreaking was in July 2019, the laying of the foundation stone should take place in the spring of this year – but the corona pandemic also interfered with these plans. In the meantime, however, the energy supply for the large hospital has been organized differently. Instead of a large building, it is now distributed and networked across the entire hospital – the next step is to demolish the old energy supply building to make room for the fifth “finger”.

After the extension, the work in Bogenhausen will continue: The existing hospital building will be gradually refurbished to make space for departments that will be relocated here from the Schwabing site. It is a comprehensive and, above all, ambitious plan. Because: The patients should continue to be fully cared for here at all times.


Munich: Racist attack on Odeonsplatz – Munich

As has only now become known, there was a racist attack on a 21-year-old student on Saturday three weeks ago at the Odeonsplatz underground station. On September 19, shortly before midnight, the young man was waiting on one of the seats on the platform for his subway when he was approached by two strangers. The men asked him to vacate his seat; one insulted the student from Tunisia as “fucking Arab” and pushed him away. The second hit him in the face with his fist. When the U 5 in the direction of Neuperlach Zentrum entered, the two perpetrators got on and drove away.

The student could only adequately describe one of the two attackers to the police; He is said to have been between 20 and 30 years old, had short, black hair that was shaved on the back and sides, and a three-day beard. He wore a baggy jacket with a zipper and a large, red and black check pattern, black jeans and beige sports shoes. The police are looking for witnesses. The commissioner responsible for politically motivated crimes took over the investigation some time later. As an explanation, the police said that the racist background was only recognized late.

© SZ vom 09.10.2020 / anh / kast