How people deal with fear

Heinz B. knows what it means to take a cold shower. The first thing he does is wet his hands. Then he guides the shower head up from his feet, bit by bit, so that the body gets used to the temperature. The worst: not the hair, not the head. The upper body, says B. You can still remember how his voice shook him. B. and his wife took a cold shower for two months after the flood on the Ahr destroyed their heating. But that was in the summer. "If that happens in winter," says Heinz B. - "good night."

Julia Schaaf

Editor in the "Life" department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

A new existential fear is spreading and creeping far into society. A wealthy couple from Hesse buys electric blankets. A pregnant woman from Rhineland-Palatinate imagines sitting in a cold apartment with her newborn – while her husband earns well. The hairdresser from Berlin takes just one week's vacation this year because she would rather earn money and put it aside for the utility bills. Even in summer, Germans fear winter.

Every second low-income earner has to cut back

They have Putin's war, Putin's gas energy costs let it explode, that drives up all other prices. Inflation rates between seven and eight percent. Since May. At garden parties, at the Lillet Berry, people are amazed that organic butter now costs 3.49 euros. And what will happen without a tank discount and a 9-euro ticket? What is the impact of the gas surcharge? What will the planned relief bring? Four out of five Germans the Allensbach Institute recently discovered this on behalf of the FAZthe price increases are causing great concern. According to a study by Hans Böckler Foundation every second employed person with a household income of up to 2000 euros is forced to make restrictions.

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Heinz B. from Sinzig an der Ahr sleeps badly. The brand new heater they installed for him in October at insurance costs works perfectly. But what if none gas more coming? Or will it get even more expensive? "And it doesn't say that it's just one winter," says the 69-year-old. So he lies awake and thinks: What to do?

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