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#1: Bahn strike III
++ Five-day strike ++ Vaccination train fail ++ Ikea healthcare ++ 2G here too? ++ Knife attack ++
The vaccination train: I’d be standing at the wrong place on the platform anyway.
Some Berlin corona stats for August 31:
Fully vaccinated: 64.9% (64.7% Monday)
New cases: 586 (14 Monday)
Total deaths: 3,593 (+1)
🔴 7-day incidence: 72.2 (73.7 Monday)
🟡 Development of the 7-day incidence in one week: +4% (-1% Monday)
🟢 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 4.8% (4.6% Monday)
Source: Berlin’s corona information page
A longer, harder strike
GDL, one of two train driver unions at Deutsche Bahn, Monday said it would strike the passenger service of the state-run railway from 2 am Thursday, Sept. 2, until 2 am Tuesday, Sept. 7. The strike will also limit S-Bahn service in Berlin since it’s operated by DB. S-Bahn Berlin told local media it was able to maintain up to 40% of its schedule during other recent strikes thanks to non-union workers and scabs. The issue: DB is offering a 3.8% raise over 40 months but the union wants the contract limited to 28 months otherwise the pay bump won’t keep pace with inflation.
Speaking of trains
When it comes to corona, Berlin can’t ever get it right. A special vaccination Ringbahn (S42) that ran for three hours Monday quickly ran out of its 100 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson jab, irking some vaccination hopefuls (literally) left out in the rain. Participants were supposed to register ahead of time, though most showed up spontaneously, and only 10 people could board the special cars per station anyway.
Two vaccination centers plus IKEA
Who knew Ikea would emerge as a healthcare provider? The Erika Hess ice rink in Wedding and Arena event center in Treptow on Tuesday ended their tenures as vaccination centers. Just two of the original six are now open and will remain so until the end of the year, according to RBB, the convention center in Charlottenburg and the site at (former) Tegel airport. All three Ikeas, however, will continue to provide drive-thru vaccinations with the borough of Lichtenberg agreeing to take over operations for the center there since no charity offered to run the site. First veggie meatballs, now Biontech. What’s next, Swedish furniture giant?
2G in Berlin, too
The Berlin government, the Senat, Tuesday may opt to remove social distancing requirements at events where only those recovered from, or vaccinated against, Covid-19 can participate, according to Tagesspiegel. Berlin would be copying Hamburg, which now allows restarauteurs and bar owners to exclude anyone not in one of the two groups. Michael Müller (SPD), our mayor, is against the plans because he says there’s too many open questions: constitutionally, because of unvaccinated children and because of those unable to be vaccinated. Also, he’s running for federal office in September and wants to be everyone’s friend.
Knife attack in Gesundbrunnen
A 30-year-old man was attacked late Monday on Klever Straße in the Gesundbrunnen neighborhood after defending his 23-year-old girlfriend. Two men made sexual remarks to the woman, die Polizei reported, and when the victim told the assailants to stop, he was assaulted with a knife. The attack left him with an arm injury and severe blood loss, forcing the victim to be hospitalized. No suspects have yet been arrested.
This poll on the Berlin parliamentary elections that take place alongside the national vote on Sept. 26, shows how Berliners responded to the question, “How would you vote if the elections were Sunday” in the period from 18.08 to 21.08. The parties are listed according to how they performed in the 2016 election. Although a continuation of the leftist SPD-Linke-Grüne coalition at the city-state level is possible, a right-leaning coalition of the SPD, CDU and FDP is also imaginable (and was mooted in papers over the weekend).
Finally, a factoid - der Berliner Unwille
In 1448, the first iteration of the Berlin castle was being built on the site of today’s Humboldt Forum by Frederick II the Elector aka Iron Tooth. The good burghers of Cölln-Berlin - enraged about the Hohenzollerns’ grip on their city - flooded the construction site in protest. The little rebellion has since been known as the Berliner Unwille or Berliner Indignation.
Tschüss for now!