German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state governors are to decide Wednesday whether to extend a lockdown beyond mid-February, as overall infection numbers are declining but concern is high over cases of new variants. Germany’s second lockdown began in November and was extended and toughened before Christmas as numbers of COVID-19 patients threatened to overwhelm hospitals. It is set to end on Feb. 14, but authorities are expected to extend it again — keeping bars, restaurants and most stores closed, among other things. The reopening of schools is certain to be a major point of controversy as many favor the quick reopening of kindergartens and elementary schools to take the burden of home schooling off of parents and make sure that underprivileged children don’t fall behind. In Germany, state governments have extensive powers — including authority over education. On the other hand, the country’s […]