E.t there are few people who cannot wear a mask – one of them is Karin Attner. The 62-year-old woman had to experience something traumatic that is too intimate to be specifically named here. Every time she tried to wear a mask in the past, the memories of it came back and she panicked. The last time she tried, she passed out and collapsed in a store. She tells her conversation partner, Christopher Holiday, who is connected to her via Zoom from Chemnitz, about it quite openly. The IT manager Attner sits at her kitchen table in Berlin.
Public holiday is a proponent of the mask requirement and does not feel restricted in his everyday life either by this or by other corona regulations. “For me personally, it doesn’t make the slightest difference in my quality of life whether I approach someone within one or five meters,” he says.
As far as the distance rule is concerned, Attner agrees with her interlocutor. However, she is of the opinion that distance alone is sufficient to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus. She thinks that people like her who cannot wear a mask are given too little consideration. She says that she wanted to see a doctor without mouth and nose protection, but was referred from the practice.
Elsewhere, too, she is insulted for not wearing a mask. Attner criticizes the fact that politics has not come up with an alternative to the mask for people like her. “For me it is a test of courage to go somewhere and say that I am exempt from the mask requirement,” she says. That is why she now lives largely withdrawn and asks others to do their shopping.
She doubts that masks really protect
For this reason, Karin Attner has started looking for people who also have difficulties in complying with measures such as the mask requirement; be it for health reasons or out of personal conviction. The exchange made her think about it, she says. “What kind of thoughts?” Asks the public holiday. “Thoughts about how useful such measures are,” she replies. She doubts that masks really protect. Her father suffers from a chronic lung disease, reports Attner, she is more concerned about whether he can get enough air with a mask over his mouth than that he could infect others.
Public holiday does not share Attner’s opinion. “I take Ms. Merkel and all those responsible under protection because they see the 84 million,” he says. It is inevitable that one cannot take the individual case into account. Holiday reveals itself as an avowed CDU voter and fan of the Chancellor. As she herself says, Attner comes “more from the left-green corner.” Angela Merkel’s actions in the refugee crisis are the only thing that she found good about her politics.
Holiday shows understanding for Attner’s situation. He knows the feeling of being an individual. He was born with what is known as an “open back”, known as spina bifida in technical terms. Due to the handicap, he is already receiving a disability pension at the age of 34. “That is precisely why I am grateful to live in a country like Germany, where I don’t have to pay for every visit to the doctor and every medical treatment,” he says. Even in other highly developed countries like the United States, that is not the case. Attner agrees: “We actually have one of the last social systems in the world”.
Like good friends
Although the two discussants saw each other on the screen for the first time that evening as part of “Germany speaks”, they do not seem like strangers, but like good acquaintances. They both clearly show that they are interested in the other’s views without trying to convince them of their own.
“What do you think of the fact that there are also scientists who have a different opinion?” Asks Attner straightforwardly. “I don’t think much of them,” replies Holiday, referring to the controversial physician Sucharit Bhakdi. He considers his theses to be neither logical nor verifiable and therefore extremely questionable. Holidays cannot do anything with the views of lateral thinkers. “Freedom always includes responsibility,” he says. These people often lack it. In his opinion, many are “against it” without weighing up arguments.