Students in class © Harald Oppitz (KNA)
First mandatory masks in class, then none again. Corona measures are not always comprehensible and sometimes they seem contradictory. That harms its acceptance, says the executive director of the Social Service of Catholic Women.
Interviewer: Since the beginning of the month, the requirement to wear a mask in class has been lifted at secondary schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. Some epidemiologists criticize that this is irresponsible. In Bavaria, children wear the mask in front of their mouths and noses during lessons. How do you see that from your social point of view?
Monika Kleine (Managing Director of the Social Service of Catholic Women / SkF): First of all, you have to say that the threat analysis is difficult. These events surrounding mandatory masks in schools in particular show that it has now become much more difficult for the state government to provide clear guidance.
If you look at the development: At first, parents complained a lot and also pointed out the inconsistency of children putting on the mask in school but not having to do that in recreational settings. Now that the mask requirement in schools has been lifted, the big storm of protest is going on again. This shows: If a rationale is missing or it is not clear, then it becomes difficult to achieve acceptance.
Interviewer: Who do you notice in particular that he or she is left behind during the Corona crisis?
Kleine: I can clearly see that families who were already disadvantaged before have now fallen behind enormously. We have a lot of trouble supporting these families and also equipping them technically so that they are prepared for homeschooling situations to come. Often, parents lack not only the equipment, but also the know-how to guide children appropriately.
The families who are disadvantaged are the losers in this situation. But people living on the street are also suffering because they are being shunned even more and life on the street has become more difficult for them.
Interviewer: When you talk about homeschooling, you’re not talking about another shutdown that the state government may be planning, but when students have to be quarantined because they’re infected?
Little one: Yes, exactly. That’s also the conclusion from the recent events, that we can’t tie down certain things across the board, but ultimately only in specific areas, such as care, school or on the street. Separate concepts and recommendations have to be worked out for each of them.
Interviewer: Are you now at a point where you can do full social work again at the Social Service of Catholic Women?
Little one: We have never, as the saying goes, gone off the grid. We have cultivated all kinds of ideas and approaches in order to be able to stay on the grid ourselves during the time. With the exception of the street prostitution, which we accompany and which is still closed, we have remained consistent with the offers in the network.
Interviewer: You had a video call again on Tuesday in the Council of Experts with Armin Laschet. Presumably, the general mood was an ie?
Kleine: Very clearly. I do think that it is still very difficult to grasp what is causing people to get so excited to this extent. In the analysis it can be seen that we just don’t get a uniform, coherent picture anymore, but that we have to endure that a very diffuse and very differentiated landscape will emerge as we approach the fall.
The interview was conducted by Tobias Fricke.