Germany coach: Virus shows world has ‘collective burnout’

BERLIN (AP) — Germany coach Joachim Löw thinks the coronavirus pandemic is a sign that Earth is “defending itself a bit” against modern society, and said the widespread outbreak should be a wake-up call for people focused only on “power, greed, profit.”

Löw addressed media via a remote link on Wednesday, a day after the European Championship was postponed until next year because of the virus.

“The last few days have made me very thoughtful. The world has experienced a collective burnout. Not just individuals but everyone,” the 60-year-old Löw said. “I have the feeling the Earth seems to be defending itself a bit against people who always think that they can do everything and know everything.”

Löw welcomed the decisions to call off Germany’s friendly games against Spain and Italy this month and postpone the Euros, saying “people’s health and their security has to be the top priority.”

Play in the Bundesliga has been suspended through April 2.

Löw also took aim at populist politicians and said people’s priorities were not where they should have been.

“The pace that people were operating at in recent years was impossible to beat. Power, greed, profit, better results and setting records were at the forefront,” he said. “Environmental disasters in Australia or elsewhere only touched us marginally. Illnesses like Ebola in Africa somehow got stuck. Now we have something that affects all of humanity.”

The national team announced earlier Wednesday that it was donating 2.5 million euros ($2.75 million) to help those affected by the virus.