Austria’s culture secretary shares her feelings with arts leaders

Austria’s culture secretary shares her feelings with arts leaders


norman lebrecht

November 02, 2020

Here’s the translation of an email sent by State Secretary for Culture Andrea Mayer to heads or arts ensemble, expressing empathy for their situation under lockdown and a determination to help them return:

Dear representatives of the Austrian art and culture companies, dear artists,

…I want to inform you directly about the acute developments in connection with the Covid 19 crisis and not through the media.

In the past few months we have jointly managed to contain the spread of the corona virus. This enabled us to restart social, economic and cultural life to an acceptable level. These relaxations were right and important because art and culture are an essential part of our lives.

I would like to express my thanks once again to all those involved in the art and culture industry for their tireless work on the security and prevention concepts and for their exemplary implementation by the bank. Together they have made a lot possible – moments and experiences without which our lives would definitely have been poorer.

In view of the rapid increase in new infections in Austria, we are faced again with a very difficult situation. A further increase in the spread of the virus would have effects on our health system that we must avoid at all costs.

In the next few weeks – until the end of November – we will unfortunately have to do without a large part of the cultural life again. I deeply regret that because I know how important culture is for our lives. Closed cultural establishments are a disaster. But they are currently necessary to prevent an even greater catastrophe. That’s why my heart is bleeding too. However, it now takes a joint effort by the entire population to get the spread of the virus under control again.

I am continuing to work with all my might to design support measures in the arts and culture in such a way that Austria’s art and cultural landscape can survive this difficult phase. It is my declared goal to preserve this landscape in all its creative power and diversity. Doors that are now closed must open again.

The last few months have shown us that we can achieve a lot in Austria if we pull together. I know how challenging these new measures are. These are cuts in our lives that nobody wants – you and I don’t. But they are, unfortunately, necessary in the current situation.

My team and I are by your side and we will get through this difficult time together.

Thank you for your understanding and continued commitment.

Yours, Andrea Mayer

PS: Please share this message in your area of ​​activity.



  • Doc Martin says:

    Yes Cov-19 trends for Austria as per ECDC data increasing.

    Please kindly watch Cov-19 pandemic update 1 Nov, Dr John Campbell, his briefings are clear and concise and well referenced and documented unlike the media!

    EU have underestimated increase and impact of cov-19 cases, scientific advisers in uk experts not great all at sea!
    Trends /1m Increasing cases

    Belgium and Czech republic worst, Slovenia, France and NL, Poland and UK, Greece, Germany slowly increasing, US between UK and Germany per capita figures.

    Czech republic and Belgium reaching its health (hospital) capacity. May be too late as health systems overloaded.

    Czech Republic Prevalence for a 10.7m population

    Belgium current prevalence 300,000 for a 11m population, assume 5% sick, 15,000 people needing treatment potentially.

    Timeline for onset of Cov-19 symptoms and disease milestones up to 28 days.

    Viral replication (1-11 days) – Infection & symptomatic phase

    Early pulmonary phase (6-12 days)
    Late pulmonary phase (12-28 days) – Viral debris
    Delayed innate immunity (6 -12 days)
    Immune dysregulation – “Cytokine Storm”, MAS T-Cell dysregulation (12-28 days)

    Portable Oximiters need to be made available for patients to monitor their Ox Sats at home.

    Treat more patients at home, anti inflammatory meds

    Taiwan successful control measures could not get international information, did not rely on WHO data.

    Keep wearing masks, keep washing hands, use sanitisers, avoid crowds indoors, try to eat well, sleep well, try to relax with a hobby/pastime, (Doc Martin plays his harp and listens to Byrd and Tallis).

    If you suddenly feel ill do not delay in seeking help from your GP/health professional.

    Keep safe folks.
    Thank you.

    • Ghoul Chud says:

      Your screeds about Covid are total nonsense. For those under 50, the flu is a greater risk. At this point the greatest risk to society and the arts is the overwrought policy response, spending untold resources to keep people home and businesses shut rather than to expand healthcare capacity and protect those at risk (disproportionately those over 70 and those with significant comorbidities such as severe obesity, cancer, diabetes). Nobody should be forced to accept the risk (by all means stay home and avoid human contact if you want), but not giving healthy adults the right to make decisions about their health and live their lives normally is tyranny.

  • Lancelot Spratt says:

    The first UK death by cov-19 ONS data now suggests earlier in January 2020.

    The first person in UK to acquire Cov-19 was a student working in Wuhan in November 2019, he had the full cytokine storm and needed oxygen therapy and ventilation, he subsequently recovered, however suffered afterwards and was never the same again and has now died aged 26.

    Covid-19 is far more infectious and has a much longer incubation period than Flu.

    International travel will only keep spreading it.

  • Dave says:

    I see Bojo and Hancock are being sued over Track n Trace appointments, Dildo Harding is in the firing line.

    Jolyon Maugham QC has a case going.

  • Dave says:

    Culture is of course not just music and opera, (in Germany only 33% of the population listens to classical music, 35% in UK according to a record industry survey), these can be listened to on CD, LPs, downloads, you tube without leaving your home and risking infection, besides flights are cancelled and too expensive, if Cov-19 does not kill off attending live concerts, Carbon foot print policy will.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    The Austrians and other European countries are heavy smokers. This should provide a clue about their susceptibility to this virus, but I’m sure that clue won’t be taken as there’s no political advantage in it.

  • Wienerin says:

    Die Kultur wird zugesperrt, aber man darf fliegen, die Kirchen zur Messe und zu Fußballmatches besuchen.