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Germany under the pandemic: restaurants can be closed, bookstores cannot be closed

Germany under the pandemic: restaurants can be closed, bookstores cannot be closed

On January 30, customers shop inside the Dursmann Cultural Store in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Shan Yuqi, reporter of Xinhua News Agency

Berlin, February 3rd In order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Germany is taking strict prevention and control measures throughout the country.

Except for supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies and other necessary places for life, the vast majority of shops and cultural, sports and leisure places have closed down, and restaurants are prohibited from eating in canteens.

However, journalists found that bookstores in some places are still open and seem to be immune to the ban.

There is a large bookstore called “Dussman” in central Dublin, with five floors above and bottom, with a business area of more than 7,300 square meters.

The bookstore has a large collection of books and a variety of products. It is claimed to be the largest in Germany, and it is adjacent to famous attractions such as Bodhi Tree Street. It is a must-see place for many locals and tourists.

In mid-December last year, before Germany launched a “total blockade”, there was a long line in front of the door of the Dursman bookstore.

Journalists waited more than 20 minutes to enter the store.

Only after asking questions did I know that many people were worried about the closure of the bookstore, so they seized the time to buy more books.

By January of this year, the blockade order had been implemented and the bookstore had not been closed.

Unlike before, in-store radio constantly prompts people to wear masks and keep a distance from others.

Customers are in a hurry and leave quickly after buying books.

On January 30, customers shop inside the Dursmann Cultural Store in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Shan Yuqi, reporter of Xinhua News Agency

Not only well-known bookstores such as Dussman, but also many ordinary bookstores have not been closed due to the pandemic, but their business hours are shorter.

In Talia, a common chain bookstore on the streets of Berlin, many customers wear masks to choose books.

The bookstore has put hygiene and safety instructions at the entrance, and the floor is pasted with a spacing sign.

Popular science and regulations books about the pandemic are on the most prominent shelf at the door.

This is the entrance to a Talia bookstore chain in a shopping mall in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Shan Yuqi, reporter of Xinhua News Agency

Why are other shops closed and the bookstores still open? “We have obtained government permission, museums and cinemas are closed, and cultural life will continue,” Taliyah’s clerk told reporters.

The Dursman clerk replied more funnyly: “Maybe because the bookstore is a soul gas station.”

The metaphor of “soul gas station” comes from the late former German Chancellor Schmidt.

Last December, the Berlin municipal government’s cultural affairs official also used this metaphor to explain why bookstores can open: bookstores belong to necessities stores, gas stations can be open, and bookstores can of course.

On January 30, readers read a book in a Talia chain bookstore in Berlin, Germany. Health and safety instructions and disinfectant hand sanitizer are placed at the entrance of the bookstore. Photo by Shan Yuqi, reporter of Xinhua News Agency

The reporter found that not only the governments of Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt have given the green light to bookstores when formulating pandemic prevention policies, but also bookstores in 13 other German federal states are also allowed to set up pick-up windows.

Some people question that the continued operation of bookstores is not conducive to strict pandemic prevention.

But polls show that the bookstore opens with more support.

Germany’s Daily Mirror recently conducted an online survey: “Do you think it’s right or wrong that bookstores can still open during the total lockdown?” Nearly 30,000 people participated in the survey, 45% thought it was “very right” or “pretty correct”, and 39.3% chose “very wrong” or “pretty wrong”.

On January 30, customers read in the Dursmann Cultural Store in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Shan Yuqi, reporter of Xinhua News Agency

The coronavirus pandemic has hit economic and social development and blocked people’s communication.

When socialization decreases, people’s enthusiasm for reading is stronger.

According to the German Book Association, after a complete lockdown in spring 2020, German summer book sales quickly recovered.

Book sales hit double-digit year-over-year growth in the two weeks before the lockdown tightened last December.

Germany has a strong reading atmosphere.

Usually on buses and subways, even if there is a mobile phone signal, there are many passengers holding books.

Every year, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Leipzig Book Fair and other large-scale book fairs, readers of book shopping are one after another.

The scene can be described as a sea of people.

This is the corner of the book fair filmed in Leipzig, Germany on March 21, 2019. Xinhua News Agency (Photo by Kevin Vogt)

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the book’s “spiritual food” nature, said Monica Groots, the German federal government minister of state for cultural affairs.

Books are the mediums of happiness,” with books, people can enjoy the culture, even the blockade ban cannot stop it.

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