#39: New corona regs, Kotti cops, electric cars
and startups bringing in more money than our brains can comprehend.
Hello 20 Percent,
We agreed to confine my wife to my son’s room. She was included in the democratic process because she’s the one with corona. And now every time she heads out for food, to use the restroom or to just change clothes, we go through a complex tetris of opening windows, dawning masks and maintaining social distancing. A weird thing in your own house. But we’ve survived lice, moths in the larder and even black mold - Berlin things. So we’ll get through this too - so far it’s been little more than a serious cold for her (YMMV). Since we’re all boostered, it will be interesting to see who is also felled by the virus. I’m fine for now (knocks on wooden floor).
But it’s also why this is a touch late today.
Enjoy the weekend. You’ve earned it!
And a double enjoy-the-weekend to those who have backed us on Patreon. You can’t imagine how much of a boost that has given us. Thanks!
The Berlin corona stats for Friday, January 14
Fully vaccinated: 73.2% (72.2% Tuesday)
Received booster: 43.3%
New cases in one day: +7,238 (5,976 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 4,063 (+20 over Tuesday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 949.8 (737.2 Tuesday)
🔴 7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 11.2 (10.6 Tuesday)
🟡 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 18.8% (19.1% Tuesday)
Source: Berlin’s corona information page
New corona rules today (Friday)
Why make it easy when you can make it more complex? Corona regulations are generally passed by the federal government and then have to be passed again at the state level, often with inexplicable local flourishes, before becoming law. This creates a Germany-wide quilt of differing regulations that few understand. This week is no different though Berlin has decided to stretch the introduction over two days. Starting today in Berlin, people in contact with an infected person no longer have to go into quarantine if they’ve received a booster vaccination or belong to the new “fresh” category - “freshly” vaccinated or recovered. “Fresh” means within the past three months. Quarantine for other contact persons now ends after 10 days, rather than 14, and people can test out (rapid antibody or PCR) after 7 days. Is anyone enforcing this?
New corona rules Saturday (tomorrow)
FFP2 masks are now mandatory on public transport, so keep the surgical masks until the next time politicians change their minds (the only constant in this pandemic). Bars and restaurants are also 2G plus, which means recently recovered or vaccinated PLUS a same-day negative test result or proof of a booster vaccination. This applies to any other indoor events with more than 10 people as well.
Kotti police station
You know when an aging celebrity dies and you think, Oh, I thought they were already dead? Same feeling when you hear they’re going to open a police station at Kotti. You mean there wasn’t one already? The fuzz want to build a new 300-square-meter cop shop on Reichenberger Strasse that would be home to 65 officers, according to Berliner Zeitung. Criminals don’t have to worry - if they’re just planning now it’ll be years until it happens. In the final quarter of 2021, police reported 2,309 crimes at the public transport hub, or 152 more than in the third quarter. Most crimes fell but drug-related offenses jumped to 758 from 454.
Police raid political artist’s atelier
Officers specialized in political crime Thursday searched the apartment and studio of an artist affiliated with the Center for Political Beauty, according to RBB24. The activist artists last summer created a fake flyer distribution company and convinced the right-wing AfD to hire them to distribute 5 million election-related flyers. The artists then destroyed the pamphlets. The artist is reportedly accused of falsifying documents that could be used to secure official documents. The center decried the raid on Twitter and its attorney claimed it was illegal.
Electric and hybrid autos increasingly popular
Almost half, or 48.6 percent, of all cars newly registered in Berlin last year were either electric or hybrid, an improvement over the 29.9 percent of 2020 and well above the 11.9 percent of 2019 before the pandemic. Berliners are also buying fewer cars - just 60,000 new cars were registered in the Haupstadt last year, compared with 65,900 in 2020 and 87,000 in 2019.
Record funding year for Berlin startups
Proof big money doesn’t care about labor: Gorillas, the grocery delivery service better known for how it treats its employees, reeled in €861 million in fresh capital last year, the biggest pile of cash ever amassed by a Berlin startup, according to consultancy EY. 2021 was a record for the city’s startups, bringing in €10.5 billion in fresh money, €7 billion more than in 2020. Where’s our cut?
Since it was set up in the early 1960s, Hansa Studios near Potsdamer Platz has drawn countless musicians to Berlin, from Andrew Lloyd Webber to ZZ Top. You’ve probably heard about David Bowie’s late-night sessions in the vocal booth recording iconic tracks like Heroes. But did you know that U2 recorded One in the majestic Meisterhalle, known as the Big Hall by the Wall? Or that when Depeche Mode made Construction Time Again at Hansa, hordes of fans hung out on the long stairway to the studio in the hope of glimpsing their idols? - Andrew Blackman, who recently toured the studio