Darth Vader and the cat: incorrect data make corona tracking difficult

Darth Vader, please report. What sounds funny at first, sums up the dilemma of the Hamburg health authorities in the pursuit of a corona outbreak: Many visitors to a bar in the Schanzenviertel, which is popular with party people, have not entered the contact lists with their real names and telephone numbers and instead identified themselves as Lucky Luke or Darth Vader immortalized – maybe just for fun. But now it has happened. Several waitresses in the always well-attended “cat” are Corona-positive. Around 600 guests could have been infected. The authorities lack real contact details for around 100.

It is somewhat reminiscent of the hut fun in the Austrian winter sports resorts at the very beginning of the pandemic. Or the latest case in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where someone infected with the coronavirus had taken a pub crawl and, according to the current status, could have infected up to 30 people.

There is also regular exuberant celebrations in the ski jump. The alcohol flows freely. So strong that the authorities have been banning out-of-home sales there on weekend nights since the beginning of August in order to avoid uninhibited crowds. The “cat” is popular. The party-goers regularly stand close together in and in front of the bar.

Because the relatively small guest room is difficult to ventilate and the minimum clearances have not always been observed, one must assume a high risk of infection, says the spokesman for the social authority responsible for health in Hamburg, Martin Helfrich. 500 guests have already contacted the health authorities. Most are now in two-week quarantine.

Specifically, it is about the evenings and nights of September 5th, 8th and 9th, when the infected waitresses were behind the counter – without a mask. This is generally permissible if the minimum distance is guaranteed, he says. In the “cat” case, however, it is checked whether the hygiene concept has been adhered to.

Everyone who is classified as a so-called “contact person one” must be in quarantine. Since infected people had worked in the bar, these were all guests who had entered the interior of the “cat” on the days in question after 7 p.m. “I assume that the majority of them are classified as contact persons and have to go into quarantine,” says Helfrich. He called on the around 100 guests with unknown identities to report.

“It is well known that many guests do not register with their real names,” says a waitress from a neighboring bar on the shoulder blade. “The authorities should have checked that.” This cannot be expected of the waitresses and bar operators. The woman does not want to express herself further. “It’s also about solidarity here in the ski jump.”

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