German word of the day: Eindämmen

German word of the day: Eindämmen
A nurse at Essen University Hospital works in the infectious disease unit. Photo: DPA
You may have heard this word from the German news coverage of the Coronavirus. So what does it mean?

The word Eindämmen is a verb with two primary meanings: First, to dam something up, like a river or lake. Second: to stop the spread of something by containing it.

We're interested in the second definition of Eindämmen, which relates to Germany's efforts regarding the coronavirus. 

READ ALSO: The German vocab you need to understand the coronavirus

According to Germany's Health Ministry, completely quarantining or cutting off areas is not in yet the cards for Germany.

However, keeping better track of travelers within the country and ensuring easy contact in case of outbreak is what authorities are focusing on now.

Travelers entering the country by train or bus will have to give more information about where they plan to stay.

Washing hands for at least 20 seconds is an easy way to stop the coronavirus (or other germs) from spreading. Photo: DPA

All of these efforts are part of Germany's attempt to quash the spread of the virus. But something else might help with the Eindämmung efforts: Spring.

While cold, humid air is perfect for the spread of the virus, the higher temperatures and drier conditions of the summer months often slow down winter infections. 

READ ALSO: What's the latest on coronavirus in Germany and what do I need to know?

Although it's unclear how the changing seasons will affect coronavirus just yet, let's all keep our fingers crossed. 

Examples: 

Gesundheitsminister Jens Spahn sagte nun, die Epidemie könne nur schwer eingedämmt werden.

Health Minister Jens Spahn has now said the epidemic could only be contained with great difficulty.

Die Eindämmung des Virus war selbst bei bestehenden Quarantänezonen nicht erfolgreich.

The containment of the virus was unsuccessful even with existing quarantine zones.


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