BENSTAGE 19.1 Next Level Failure

The Corona Chronicles – Day 19

or: Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently

Before starting another lovely lockdown-week, I still need to close the last one. Need is correct, because it’s on my to-do list and therefore I have no other chance than to obey, be it useful or not …


“We are getting stronger out of this crisis, then we have been before” – that’s a mantra you hear a lot when talking about Corona. I kind of like it. I mean, its bad enough that bad stuff happens, but if it doesn’t lead to something good, it was a waste of time, money and most and for all – lives. I like the sentiment to use horrible things to make something good out of it. Think about the sinking of the Titanic for example. Afterwards, it became a law that any boat must have as many lifeboats on board as passengers. A no-brainer of course, but it was just not common sense before this catastrophe.

Corona offers the chance to reconsider, adjust and improve a lot of things. Starting with the health system, redundant flights, digitalisation, human interactions, any system relevant jobs and so on. There are so many things which become obvious right now, which can be improved. Besides all the horror this virus causes around the globe, it should be fuel to take the next step as human race and let certain things behind, focus and adjust the way we live. But this will not happen. I’m sorry, but if I hear “nothing will be like before” I want to scream. Sure, our daily life will be affected for months or even years to come. But the system which might have not provoked but for sure benefited such global catastrophe is so deeply implemented, that I can’t really imagine that we will adapt it to something more intelligent, social and sustainable any time soon. If any, we now saw how brittle capitalism is. That should not be a surprise: If no one spends money, the system collapses. Living in a society which at least added some kind of social component to capitalism (we therefore proudly call it social market) I am not as fucked as millions in the USA already, or at least I won’t be for some time. When ever stating something like that, it takes about three seconds and someone screams “But communism would be better or what?!” This black and white thinking is so boring. Criticising something, rooting for something better, doesn’t mean I favour the (only?) other option. Why is it so hard for some people to endure critic? Critic comes from something good actually, I care about something and I want to improve it. Anyway, I digress …

I don’t believe that we will see big changes, after this is over. First, I don’t think there will be a clear cut, a day when we can say “that was it”. Long before that, we will engage with other things, cause this might be years away. We’re getting a taste of how bad things can get and I believe, it can get even worse than that. Sure, there will be some learnings, but I don’t believe in radical changes. People will fly again from Berlin to Hamburg, politic will meet again only face to face and keep ignoring digitalisation, climate change will be ignored as well (we now need to fix the damage of Corona right, no time to fix the planet, first we must fix VW, Lufthansa and the others …) and lonely people will be lonely again. I hope I will be wrong and I hope I will see some kind of enthusiastic mood, the lust for change and future but I have no high hopes. The conservatives have the best pools since a long time, people completely ignore that it was them doing so much damage to our health system. But hey, still the best in the world it seems, so we’re pretty okay, right? We just ignore the fact that we endure this crisis on the back of so many people which are dramatically underpaid and under-represented. Sure, some nice words, maybe a bonus here and there. but then back to normal. No time for experiments now, we must keep, what works, right?

I know, the situation in Germany is not the worst in the world, it is pretty good actually. This is a very rich and to a certain degree well organised country. Even though the social state was massively cut down in the past, in comparison to many other countries, it’s still pretty decent. Just watching what goes on in the USA, it’s so sad. Such a powerful country and it looks like a third world country. Completely helpless in the light of something which could have been handled so much better. Just because some powerful man think it needs to be like that. I’m not a pessimist, I will be happy to be wrong about this, but I just don’t see this will drastically change the world to a better. We shall see of course.


Speaking of “no experiments” – already some people talking about another GroKo (great collation), lead by Angela Merkel. After quite some beating her party took during the last election, Angela Merkel paved the path to handover her party to the next generation as she promised, the this term would be her last. I really hope that she stands by her words. I can’t endure here another four years. It is just not normal that in a free country someone rules for 20 years. Besides the trolls, we have some hardcore Merkel fans in this country. There are many decent things about her, especially if you compare here to complete failures like Trump or Johnson. But she is also directly responsible for so many really damaging failings. Especially talking to foreigners I get criticised for saying stuff like that. This is because, they look at her only from the outside perspective. And sure, if you compare her with these other morons, she is brillant but living here I can tell you, she and her party are not that great. Keyword climate change or refugees.

Germany is a conservative country which pretends to be super open and modern. We’re not. We are scared of change, at least sceptical and we want to keep things as they are. We like a politician which actually never really talks so much about politic, which have no vision, no ideals, no big plan, nothing which could be exhausting actually. Just keep the machine alive and adapt here and there if there is really no other chance to do so anymore. I don’t think we live in a time where this is good enough anymore. In fact, I believe that this is dangerous and to a certain degree even deadly.

And another single though: Our government does handle the crisis only as good as the majority of the media things, right? Mortality rate is quite low, so they do a good job, right? Even more important, so far no mass-unemployment, so they doing an excellent job actually. But is this true? I don’t know actually. Not that we have no critical voices, but sometimes it feels like that there is this silent agreement not to criticise the current politic too mich, just not the right time to do so now. If not now, when would be the right time I wonder.


Because there is no Friday, we had our All Hands on Thursday. Did I mention already that I love the online version of our All Hands? Can we please keep this, it works so much better. Besides that it was an intense day and at the end of this week, I was pretty tired. Not really looking forward to the next days but that would have been the same without Corona actually. Easter was this big date. What happens now, will be discussed afterwards. Many root for getting back to normal. I feel, it’s too early actually. Not sure, how I would react if our top management decides we should be back in office let’s say by the 20th. I miss the office. But it does not feel right at the moment I have to say. Also I’m pretty sure, we have a lot of people which are panicking anyway and would not want to go back to the office just now, I’m not one of those actually, but I guess we should keep this up for April and see begin of May where we are.


Thursday, before four days of Sunday I was thinking about if Corona would be a villain, what kind of villain would it be? There are at least two types of course: the one that are aware of being evil and the ones being and doing evil because they feel, they don’t have another choice. For the greater good and stuff. You are not angry with a storm and same is true for a virus I guess. Do we actually know, where this virus is coming from? I mean, how it developed over time? I don’t dare to google it, cause I’m scared of all the conspiracy theories. Anyway, I think Corona is one of the villains not being aware of doing any evil. Other phrase it like this: when the planet is ill, it reacts like every other organism – with a fever. That’s sci-fi actually.

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By Ben
BENSTAGE 19.1 Next Level Failure

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