In Germany in particular, life seems to continue relatively undisturbed despite the closings and exit restrictions, but the impression is deceptive. In the retail and service sector companies in particular, which are considered systemically important and therefore remain open, the situation can change from one second to the next. Adequate security is not only a sensible precautionary measure here, but can unexpectedly prove to be of existential importance.
Public order is under scrutiny
In facilities such as supermarkets, drugstores, hardware stores or hospitals, exceptional social situations show how fragile the behavior of the building is in reality. The transition from civilization to chaos and anarchy was surprisingly quickly crossed.
“You have to imagine people in an unfamiliar situation like a pressure cooker just before the overpressure,” says Essen security expert Uwe Gerstenberg. “Everyone strives for civilized behavior, but it’s bubbling beneath the surface. A tiny little thing is enough to escalate the situation. ”
Even in drive-ins for corona tests, the situation can explode in a matter of seconds, the security expert knows. “Only one person has to think that he can no longer get there, or that others are preferred, and there are problems.”
Security for orderly business operations
Supermarkets and drugstores in particular are offering a variety of occasions these days to allow everyday quiet sales to sink seamlessly into commotion, property damage and assault.
“It’s one thing to put up a nice sign with a restricted entry in front of the shop door,” explains Uwe Gerstenberg. “The problem begins when it comes to monitoring the restrictions and enforcing them if necessary. Without competent security, there is little that can be done, especially in stores with larger sales areas. ”
It can be particularly problematic when important consumer goods are not readily available. A typical case for security professionals is the last piece of an item on the shelf that multiple customers are arguing about. Such situations show just how thin the civilizational ceiling in our society is.
Hospitals and the deadweight effect
Clinics sell the most important human good: health. The situation is correspondingly tense when people feel that they have no or insufficient access to it, as is the case with the current access restrictions in hospitals.
This makes the entrance areas of emergency outpatient departments particularly critical zones when it comes to security and the maintenance of public order. The feeling that there is no help for one’s health problem quickly turns people into uncontrollable risk factors.
“The problem is that hospitals are usually only allowed one access,” says Uwe Gerstenberg. “Fear, insecurity and anger accumulate in a confined space. This can quickly lead to confusing situations and chaotic processes. ”
Security monitoring of hospitals will become increasingly important in the near future. “The peak stress of the clinics has not yet been reached,” explains the security expert. “It is clear that hospital staff cannot be expected to provide security in this situation. Experienced experts who can deal with crises should be used for this. ”
There is potential for safety problems not only in the emergency outpatient clinics, but also in the reception area of the hospitals, above all due to the stop of visitors. “People who care for their relatives and are not allowed to them can develop a surprising level of aggression and activity,” says Uwe Gerstenberg.
The reason why such situations escalate quickly can be found in the deadweight effect. “Many people don’t dare to push through their concerns,” explains the security expert. “But when you watch how others do it, you take courage and join in. And massive conflicts are already on the way. ”
born 1991 in Münster, Germany, is an editor at Euro Leaders. As a trainee at a media group, she gained her first journalistic experience and further expanded it in the course of her career as a freelancer for various online media and the daily press. Jacobs studied Cultural Studies with a focus on European Cultures and Society in Northern Germany. She lives with her partner and the dogs Chester and Baki in the eastern Ruhr area.