A Letter From Bonn, Where Quiet Calm Meets COVID

A Powerful and Transparent Health System—And a Confident Chancellor—Counteract a Crisis

As a resident of Bonn, a small college city that once served as West Germany’s capital, I know something about calm and its connection to health.

I live a brisk walk away from the home of our most famous native son, Ludwig van Beethoven. In 1812, the composer, who had health problems that might have made him vulnerable in this pandemic, headed off to a retreat ordered by his doctor. While there, he wrote to an unnamed woman, in one of his famous “Immortal Beloved” love letters:

Be calm my …