First of all, it should be noted that the AfD, like all politicians, parties and the population, was completely surprised by the Covid 19 crisis. In addition, the majority of the population is currently in favor of the measures taken by the government and you will not present yourself as a polluter and troublemaker in the face of an international / national emergency and attack the government openly. The fatherland is calling and it would be downright unpatriotic to shoot cross-wise.
There are two main reasons for this: Firstly, within the party, since part of the AfD consists of social darwinist public/people´s health apologists and opponents of vaccination who advocate survival of the fittest, the elimination of the weaker, a light euthanasia and biological selection, a relief for the social, health and and pensions system by means of a pandemic exit from sick members of the national community, but do not speak out openly. And just neoliberal ideologues, for whom doing business is more important than any death toll and accepting it like Trump and like in a war. It is forbidden to say this openly at the moment, however, because the other part of the AfD members and voters, compared to other parties, consists of older people, who are risk groups, above average. On this question, the opinion within the AfD is as divided as the Greens regarding the Homeopathy Act.
Therefore, the AfD is currently advocating abstention in the Bundestag in order to keep all options open, but in addition to these party-internal reasons, it also wants to wait and see how the crisis develops. Should there be a new economic or financial crisis in the face of massive loss of prosperity, bankruptcies, mass unemployment, debt and / or dissatisfaction among the population, also due to the continued deprivation of liberty and due to the widespread hedonism, then the AfD will try to use this posthumously to accuse the government of moral mood-making, manipulative misinformation, incompetence, wrong crisis management as well as the ruin of Germany as with the transport, energy transition and refugee policy. It can then also portray itself as a victim of manipulative and undemocratic mood-building by the government, experts and lying press who, like the German people, have fallen victim to moral extortion.
Furthermore, Gauland called for a strategy beyond the next 2-3 months. That is not wrong, but on the one hand the government is already working on it, Söder is also calling for an economic stimulus package after the Covid crisis, among other things, and it remains to be stated that the AfD itself does not have a formulated strategy and does not present it, but leaves it at this abstract demand, because she is afraid to become concrete herself and to enter into intra-party disputes that could add to the divisional dispute that Meuthen instigated with Höcke’s wing, even catalyze it. The AfD rather stays in the vague, especially since she knows that the government won’t ask the AfD for a strategy because it doesn’t currently have one and it is only in the works. In addition, a strategy at the present time is like the milestones/ stage goals declared by the FDP. To set stages or even a time frame, it is still much too early, since one would have to be to foresee the development to determine those. At best, different scenarios with different options for action are conceivable.
The AfD hopes to emerge as the crisis winner and after the financial and refugee crisis to have the crucial crisis that should make it the People’s Party. But it is also possible that, depending on the crisis management and course of the crisis, that it emerges as a crisis loser instead of a crisis winner, which is why Gauland did not frenetically cheer the Covid crisis as a “godsend” as in the case of the refugee crisis, especially since the split discussion within the AfD has just started.