15. April 2020

There’s an old curse that goes ‘May you live in Interesting Times’ and it seems this curse has struck the world with full force. It has certainly been very interesting in the last couple of weeks with the Coronavirus Pandemic. Originally, I wanted to put up a little Happy Easter post, but it somehow didn’t seem appropriate anymore considering the world has been completely upside down now. Since I haven’t written much here for a while, maybe it’s time to start again and talk about what’s been going lately and what we can do about it.

From joking about that strange new virus in February leading into an almost complete shutdown of public life only weeks later, the developments have been frighteningly fast and it still feels like a badly written b-movie. You can’t help but laugh at the almost absurd situation, even though hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions are seriously ill. Not being able to do some of the most basic things in life is strange to a point where it feels crazy. After over a month of all this strangeness people are getting understandably nervous, or in quite a few cases just completely bonkers.

The craziest thing are perhaps the shortages that have had Germany in their grips since mid-March, but this is not really the fault of the virus. It’s the madness of the masses who seem to have turned into preppers hoarding bog rolls and pasta and not leaving enough for the more sensible people. Only now after several weeks the supply chain seems to have caught up, but the great toilet paper and pasta shortage of Spring 2020 will be written into the history books for sure. If we can blame anyone for the situation, it’s the media with their 24/7 fear-mongering and sensationalism – even the more respected media outlets seem to have gone insane in a wild goose chase for clicks. Looking even though my sensibly curated news feed, articles with Corona in the title are still in the majority even though there is not that much to report each and every day.

Compared to the drastic measures in other countries, we have it relatively easy in Germany. Most cities including my hometown don’t even have a full lockdown or curfew, just a public contact restriction with people still being able to go to work or shop or even go on walks if they don’t approach others more than two meters. The worry about catching the virus is not unfounded, though. Even I have started wearing gloves during shopping and taking care not to get too close to people. Starting this week some of the restrictions have been lifted – smaller shops are allowed to open again and some schools have partially opened up again.

One great mistake was probably that nobody insisted on wearing masks back in mid-March and suddenly it’s mandantory to wear face masks in shops and public transport in Germany. This is still difficult because even simple cloth masks are still that not easy to come by. Luckily, I was able to acqure a few masks and I started wearing them where I have to, which is not easy for someone who has to wear glasses all the time! I’m also lucky that my workplace is a relatively secure environment with only few people around. Although I’m sure that I’m healthy enough to survive a virus infection, I’m not taking any chances and of course I didn’t travel to Berlin to my family over Easter as I had originally planned.

What is especially dangerous right now are the conspiracy theories and people who just don’t believe how dangerous this virus really is. If you’re not a trained medical person who has learned about how virus infections work, you should simply not speculate. Questioning the current situation is still a sensible thing to do, but not to the point where you endanger yourself. The example of the ‘mask mistake’ is perhaps the most relevant one – do masks help or not? At first, everyone said that the general population doesn’t have to bother with masks and as more about the way of the infections became known, it became clear that even cloth masks are not such a bad idea after all. So, don’t take risks and just wear a mask when you go shopping or have to ride the bus or train!

Staying at home as much as you can is the most sensible thing everyone can do for now, even if it’s not easy. I’m fortunately not much mentally affected by the crisis, because as an introvert being stuck at home is actually a welcome change allowing me to have some peaceful time to myself – I always have things to do and I don’t easlly get bored. The last few weeks have been relaxing for me, but I have friends who are suffering from this situation much more and I can really understand how it can be a big problem. Mental health is always as important as physical health, especially now! Remember that you are not alone with this.

Fortunately nowadays it’s difficult to get bored. Thanks to the Internet, we can keep contact with family and friends better than ever and there is plenty of free or almost free entertainment around. Streaming services have ramped up their program, the game industry is providing lots of freebies and even Youtube and Twitch have a lot of interesting content to offer if you know where to look. Education and music streamers of all kinds have especially taken the chance to reach a broader audience now that more people are at home watching. I’m going to put a post with recommendations together soon!

Myself, I’m still trying and mostly succeeding in going on as usual. That means I’m still posting daily rounds of photos over on the Photography Blog and you can see me over on Twitter, Instagram Facebook and Mewe where I mirror all my posts – I still miss Google+ though! I’m still thinking about reopening DVDLog, but that will require a name change and a lot of time and effort – I’d love to write about movies and tv series again sometime, but I’m much happier concentrating on my photography right now.

I’ll be fine and I hope everyone else will be – those Interesting Times are not over by a long shot and we have to get used to this situation for the forseeable future. We have to make the most of it and get used to the fact that life is different now. We will make it through those plague times – together!

Kategorie: Blog, Personal
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