The Moral Storm: Joshua Kimmich’s Struggle as a Vaccine Sceptic

The Moral Storm: Joshua Kimmich’s Struggle as a Vaccine Sceptic

Joshua Kimmich is valued as a robust footballer. Now he appears vulnerable and deeply affected by the moral storm against him as a vaccine sceptic.

Present: the public figure Joshua Kimmich at work Photo: Laci Perenyi/imago

MÜNCHEN taz | ZDF has made a documentary – “Leaders and Drivers” – about Joshua Kimmich. The content is disturbing. The FC Bayern Munich professional, currently playing for the national team at the European Championships, speaks, at times with a voice choked with tears, about a time that left its mark. For those who were substantially critical of corona measures, especially 2G, and who also questioned a methodically new vaccination, these were very profound.

Exclusion, immense public pressure and often irrelevant arguments in the plenary session, in newspapers and on television still have an impact today. The Corona issue still awaits serious political analysis in this country, and as long as politicians responsible then and now can excuse themselves with the empty phrase “We just didn’t know any better”, the wound that was opened back then, almost three years ago, will continue to fester.

Joshua Kimmich now takes our thoughts back to this eerie phase and perhaps provides the impetus for a real discussion of the mistakes, aggression and impositions that degraded honest citizens to objects of state action and pressure. This discourse would be important in an open society that constantly realigns itself in the face of tough conflict and ideally finds solutions. If we continue to maneuver and suppress things, a division will deepen that could hardly have been greater at the height of the Corona crisis. And who could have experienced this more personally than Joshua Kimmich, who was hesitant about the vaccination. Like millions of people in the country, he was not convinced by mRNA technology.

Many people – rightly – doubted the often-reported protection of the vaccination for oneself and others and thus the legitimacy of 2G and 3G. Kimmich himself was worried about negative long-term effects, certainly also about the myocarditis diagnosed in the cohort of adolescents and young adults. The body is an athlete’s capital. He has to think about whether this or that drug is suitable for him. On top of that, the right to physical integrity protects him from arbitrary state action. “It was impossible for me to continue playing football without vaccination,” says Kimmich in the ZDF documentary by Jan Mendelin (available in the media library).

Massive public pressure

He was excluded for weeks as a so-called contact person of infected people, i.e. in quarantine. “It also happened that Bayern stopped paying my salary.” Kimmich had to weigh up whether to stay out of the squad for months or get the shot. “And at the end of the day, I got vaccinated.”

He lets it be known that this decision was not based on free will, but rather was brought about by massive public pressure. “I felt left alone for too long,” Kimmich also says – and once again millions of people in the country will recognize themselves in Kimmich, and be able to empathize with how scrupulous individuals were overrun by the collective.

Although he has been an absolutely reliable employee of FC Bayern for seven years, Kimmich is getting to know the new side of his employer: “I was disappointed and shocked.” The still unvaccinated athlete was seriously accused of being responsible for the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” and thus also for deaths. Kimmich’s friends also blew this horn.

Greatness and the ability to forgive

In the major TV formats and the relevant media, there was mostly just a lack of understanding for Kimmich’s hesitation. Then a text of mine appeared in the taz that deviated from this: “For over 18 months we have not only been testing ourselves for a virus, we are also testing ourselves for compliance – and, as the saying goes, for solidarity. The individual had better be part of the precautionary collective, otherwise things could get uncomfortable. Even liberal minds are apodictically proclaiming in recent weeks: Shut up and get vaccinated!”

And further: “Those who meet the hygiene standards are well-liked, but those who have problems wrapping themselves in the scratchy cloak of the new normal will experience the concentrated incomprehension of an increasingly implacable majority.”

Joshua Kimmich did not give in, as was judged in certain circles, referred to by the masses as the “conspiracy theorists” scene, he simply decided to lead a somewhat normal life again. The fact that he continues to do so at FC Bayern speaks for his greatness and ability to forgive.

As CDU Health Minister Jens Spahn said at the beginning of Corona: “We will have to forgive each other a lot.”

2024-06-23 19:46:54
#Documentary #Kimmich #vaccination #Corona #issue

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