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Coronavirus: Joachim Low laments world's appetite for 'power, greed, profit' when friendships always mattered more

By John Skilbeck

Berlin, March 19: Germany boss Joachim Low says the world is suffering a "collective burnout" as the coronavirus pandemic brings undesirable truths of modern culture into focus.

In a news conference conducted by video link on Wednesday (March 18), Low said he had been given pause for thought by the crisis, which by Wednesday had caused close to 9,000 deaths.

He said it had brought home to him how important family and friends are, towering above power and profit lines.

Governments are fighting to contain the spread of the COVID-19 bug, while large parts of the global community are retreating into lockdown and self-isolation.

"The last few days have kept me very busy and very thoughtful," said Low. "The world has a collective burnout. Not just individuals, but everyone. I felt that the world or the Earth is a little bit stubborn and resisting against the people. People always think that somehow they know everything, can do everything.

"The speed, which we humans have set in the last years, could not be increased. Power, greed, profit, even better results and records were in the foreground. Environmental disasters or the forest fires in Australia only touched us in passing. Diseases, Ebola from Africa got stuck somewhere.

"Now we have experienced something that affects every single person and the whole of humanity.

"And now we realise in this time that we also have to look at important things."

The Germany national team have made a €2.5million donation to the fight to beat the virus.

"We are discovering what counts, namely family, friends, fellow human beings, how we treat each other, how we respect each other," said 60-year-old Low. "That these are things that also count in life. And that is what we have to look at first and foremost."

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Story first published: Thursday, March 19, 2020, 5:50 [IST]
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