Last Thursday, 22 October 2020, I flew out of London Heathrow Airport for the 90 minute flight to Frankfurt Airport, Germany. Around 15 minutes before landing, the flight attendant came to each passenger to ask if we were in transit to another country at Frankfurt or disembarking to stay in Germany.
The flight attendant handed me two sheets of paper as I would be teaching in Germany. The first sheet of paper asked for my name, details including where I would stay in Germany–Waldhaus Buddhist Zentrum and the Pauenhof Centre. A question appeared at the foot of the page.
Have you had a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of your flight and brought the certificate with you to confirm it?
I did not have such a certificate. In UK, there are often long car queues with people walking to a location to Covid-19 test centres. Is there a tiny risk of infection in such places?
The second sheet of paper said Frankfurt Airport had two locations for a Covid-19 test. Passengers would be told the cost and time for a result at the location.
I wondered how long it would take as I started teaching the following day.
Upon arrival at the passport desk, the official asked me if I had a certificate with me. We exchanged some words and smiles. I apologised for not taking the test. She put a tick on the piece of paper and said, “You can go.” I smiled broadly. She smiled and waved me through.
At first glance, it might sound that she neglected to impose strict rules. Fortunately, the immigration officer can exercise her judgement and discretion.
I live in Totnes, South Hams, the region of south Devon in the West Country of England, three hours on the train from London.
Totnes is the biggest town in South Hams with a population of around 9000 people. A local doctor told me last year that remarkably few people in the town have major health issues due to their diet and lifestyle.
The population of South Hams is around 84,000 people. I checked in the days before departure the number of infections in South Hams. Government figures showed around 240 people in South Hams contracted COVID-19 in 2020.
That is about one person a day since the pandemic started.
12 people in South Hams have died from Covid-19 this year. That is roughly 1 death per month.
South Hams has one of the lowest rates of infection in England. I am not from a high risk area.
Covid-19 in Germany
The German Chancellor, Mrs. Angela Merkel, a former scientist, took immediate steps to address Covid-19 in Germany from the start. The country has the highest number of hospitals-bed rate with doctors/nurses per population in Europe. Most German citizens respect her and trust her judgement. Infections are rising in Germany at around 10,000 persons per day. That compares with around 20,000 persons per day in UK and 70,000 infected persons per day in France.
Passport authorities can look at the living area of arrivals, not the whole country.
There would be a tiny risk of infection if the Germany passport office sent me to the Frankfurt Airport clinic for testing with people who arrive from high-risk areas in Britain or overseas. Immense care takes place in such venues.
From Monday 2nd November, 2020, Mrs Merkel has established new rules for the country. The German government has introduced measures to cut Covid-19 infections including more rules where people gather. Mrs Merkel will review the situation in Germany in mid-November to see if the numbers of infected citizens reduce.
The government however permits job creation courses to continue. The 12 month residential/zoom Mindfulness Teacher Training Course for 60 participants,, which Ulla and I offer, falls into that category – with the social distancing rules etc in place. The Pauenhof Centre currently checks with local authority for full confirmation of this.
My Dharma retreat and Dharma seminar finishes at the Waldhaus on Sunday 1st November. Waldhaus Zentrum has to close the following day for the month of November because it is a retreat centre, along with gyms, wellness clinics and other such places.
From Monday, German citizens can only order a take-away latte from their coffee shops.
This is the New World Order far different from the NWO the powerful and rich had in mind a decade or two ago.