We all know that the COVID-19 outbreak that started in late December in Wuhan, a city in China, has caused worldwide panic after more people started getting infected with the highly contagious and deadly virus.
In fact, as of today, more than 721,400 people have been infected with the virus and more than 33,950 people have died from it.
While many governments have been struggling to help their people to deal with the economic impact, 54-year-old Mr Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state, has unfortunately committed suicide because he had allegedly become “deeply worried” about the economic situation brought about by COVID-19 in Germany.
German Finance Minister Committed Suicide Over The Impact of COVID-19 on the Economy
Mr Schaefer passed away on Saturday, 28 March, and was found near a railway track. According to the Wiesbaden prosecution’s office, it is believed that he committed suicide.
State premier Volker Bouffier said, “We are in shock, we are in disbelief and, above all, we are immensely sad.”
He continued, “Today, we have to assume that he was deeply worried.”
“It’s precisely during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him,” he added as he looked visibly shaken by the news.
Who He Was
Mr Schaefer was Hesse’s finance chief for 10 years, and according to Mr Bouffier, the former had been working “day and night” in an attempt to help companies and workers recover from the economic impact.
He belonged to Dr Merkel’s centre-right CDU party.
In case you didn’t know, Hesse is where Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt is, and it is there where major banks like the Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have their headquarters. Frankfurt also houses the European Central Bank.
Mr Schaefer was very popular and well-respected amongst his people and was often believed to be the possible successor to Mr Bouffier.
His death has obviously shaken many, and he leaves behind a wife and two children.
We would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones as they try to get through this difficult time.
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, be it because of the current COVID-19 situation where they find it difficult to cope or because of other matters, please seek help.
If you require counselling, you can also call counselling hotlines like Touch Line at 1800 377 2252. It is available daily, from 10am to 10pm.
Alternatively, you can also call the Institute of Mental Health 24-hour emergency helpline at 6389 2222.
Let’s get through this together.