January 1st December 31, 2020 is the most special New Year’s Eve in Berlin, Germany.
On this day, the Plaza of Brandenburg Gate, which was crowded with fireworks performances in previous years, not only cancelled the performance, but also raised the cordon early to avoid the gathering of demonstrators against the anti-epidemic measures.
The “hard lockdown” of Berlin city has made Alexander Square, which used to be lively, also lonely.
Germany’s most famous five-star hotel, the Adelon Hotel, has been suspended due to its catering and accommodation business, and has to “condescend” to sell hot drinks and snacks for passers-by to take away.
The picture shows a poster requiring masks on the window of a bar closed in Berlin that afternoon. Photo by Peng Dawei, reporter of China News Service
“What kind of year have we had!” Merkel opened with this sentence when she delivered her 16th New Year’s speech since she became the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005.
When Merkel thanked the citizens who obeyed the epidemic prevention requirements and seriously wore masks, she smiled a rare smile.
On December 9, when she addressed the German Bundestag about 590 deaths from the coronavirus epidemic in Germany in one day, she was emotional and swallowed for a while.
At present, Germany has still not come out of the “darkest moment” of the second wave of the epidemic.
On December 31, 2020, the number of new confirmed cases reported by the German Disease Control Agency exceeded 30,000 again, reaching 32,552.
The cumulative number of confirmed cases and deaths have reached 1,736,152 and 3395 respectively.
As the first German chancellor to be in power for more than 15 years after the late former Chancellor, Merkel admitted on the same day that it was the most difficult year since she took office.
On New Year’s Day, although most people are on vacation, there are still people in Berlin: deliverymen and couriers. Epidemic is life
While pressing the “pause button”, it also unexpectedly opens the “acceleration button” for the German digital economy.
The picture shows an advertisement in a Berlin railway station calling for people to wear masks when taking transportation that afternoon. Photo by Peng Dawei, reporter of China News Service
Over the past year, the reporter has witnessed the vigorous development of “new things” such as mobile payment, takeaway APP, smart express cabinets and so on in Berlin. Previously, the development of Germany’s digital economy across Europe was relatively slow, and most people in Berlin still insisted on using cash.
But now, Germany’s 5G construction has been advancing rapidly. Deutsche Telekom announced that it has 45,000 5G base stations, and 5G signals will cover 80% of the population by the end of 2021.
The epidemic has also made German e-commerce and express delivery companies winners. Deutsche Post DHL Group expects its domestic package volume to reach 1.8 billion in 2020, a record increase of nearly 15% year-on-year.
According to the research report of Klarna, a third-party payment platform, the online shopping volume in Germany increased by more than 50% year-on-year on Black Friday in 2020, and the sales of electronic products soared by 3554%.
“The coronavirus pandemic has set Germany’s export trade back five years, but at the same time, it’s also pushing digital for five years.” Anton Berner, chairman of the German Wholesale and Foreign Trade Association (BGA), summarized it.
As a people who love speculation, the common sentence of Germans in Christmas New Year cards is “Have you a thoughtful Christmas”. In German, “Christmas Eve” also means “quiet night”.
On New Year’s Eve in 2020, most Germans followed the government’s epidemic prevention requirements and spent quiet time with their closest families, giving up the party.
Jorg Bikmans works as a teacher in Berlin. In previous Christmas holidays, he would go back to his hometown in northern Weizhou in the west with his wife and daughter to reunite with his parents.
On New Year’s Eve, he often enjoyed fireworks with a group of friends. This year, due to the epidemic restrictions, Jorg Bickermans’ family of three chose to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve in Berlin. For the upcoming 2021, he hopes that vaccination will control the epidemic and “get life back to normal”.
Merkel also mentioned on the same day that people have seen the “looking of hope”, that is, the increasing number of vaccinated people.
On December 21, 2020, the European Union approved the coronavirus vaccine jointly developed by BioNTech and Pfizer in Germany.
On the 27th of the same month, Germany launched mass vaccination, and as of 31st, 13626 people had been vaccinated.
“Look forward to 2021 as we live in a safer world, when I will re-gather with friends and drink beer.” Andy, a German, told reporters.