11. March 2021

I haven’t had much energy or time to write here lately and I apologize in advance because I’m only writing about Corona… which happened because 2020 has really managed to take the fun out of almost everything and 2021 has continued the same way. After a relatively hopeful summer and early autumn the situation had turned so bad that two weeks before Christmas Germany was staring into the face of a complete lockdown again – which is still going on right now three months lare. All because people are idiots and politicians are too corrupt and squabble too much to make rational decisions.

Last Summer when I wrote the previous post 1000 new Corona cases a day in Germany were worrying, but in the meantime there were thirty times as much and even in our little city the infection rate had been going up so fast that the 7-day-incidence was been hovering around 200 for some time. After several Months, it was under 50 for a while, but with the mutated incarnations of the virus coming, the numbers are rising again. While everyone has pretty much gotten used to wearing masks, too many have gotten careless and everything that scientists said would happen in the autumn and winter actually happened: the infection rates are rising and despite the current lockdown, which has actually been partially lifted again, now still go up.

I have been lucky to not have caught COVID-19 yet, but due to a job opportunity I could not turn down I had to make a daily commute by bus for a couple of months, which was my main worry for a while. That job eventually evaporated again, though – now it feels like Corona has gotten personal! I’ve been and always will be as careful as possible, wearing masks all the time and always carrying hand sanitizer with me, but for some time I was much more exposed than before at the moment. Shopping for groceries is still sometimes a challenge too, the second and now third waves have brought the toilet paper and pasta hunters back out, although the supermarkets have gotten a lot better with restocking lately.

Luckily, I was able to escape to Berlin to my family for two weeks over the Christmas holidays, with lots of safety precautions and two very uneventful train journeys. But the way things are going I’m not sure if I can risk that over Easter again, so I probably will have to stay home again like last year.

On the other hand, I’m okay and have avoided catching COVID-19 so far, but only because I’m in a position to mostly keep away from danger. Right now going shopping is the worst problem and I rarely go to our local shopping mall anymore because the crowded supermarkets in the basement are frightening to say the least. Luckily there is a decent supermarket near me that is less crowded and spaceous enough to be at least somewhat safe. I’m sure that I could survive a Coronavirus infection, but that is not a reason to throw all caution away. I’m continuing to be as careful as possible, because it feels like this could last for a whole lot longer.

But there have still been some good things happening:

  • CosmoQuest is still a bit struggling with the effects of the pandemic, but Daily Space is still broadcast live on Twitch from Monday to (currently) Thursday with all things space and astronomy, hosted by Dr. Pamela L. Gay, Beth Johnson and Annie Wilson – and also available in a recorded version on Youtube the day after broascast. The show is now also being shown on a local Houston TV channel, making the Twitch broadcast more like a recording session for a finished product – which is often fun to watch. Last year, CosmoQuest also held its own online convention with lots of guests and this year the Hangout-A-Thon will return once more for fundraising, because everything is running on donations right now.
  • SpaceX is more in the news these days for its spectacular Starship launches and explosions, but last year marked the first time that the private spaceflight company had sent humans into space first with the Demo-2 test flight in May, bringing two Astronauts to the Space Station. The the first regular crew flight followed in November with four Astronauts, which is still docked to the station right now.
  • NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover finally launched last July and after a long journey touched down on the red planet in a hair-raising maneuver that also brought its older sister Curiosity safely to Mars. This brings the number of operational rovers on the red planet back up to two and there are already a lot of amazing images and a fantastic landing video.

And what’s going on here on my own places on the web?

  • I’m not really posting space and astronomy news here anymore because it’s too time-intensive for me, but I’m probably going to put up a new updated post with a collection of space news links soon – and of course you can always watch Daily Space! I hope I can bring myself to write something here regularly again too, but there’s not much to talk about so I can’t really promise anything. I might write something about music and instruments soon, because I acquired a few new guitars and a new keyboard lately which could be interesting.
  • I still post every day over on my Photography Blog and mirror that over all the social networks – I have enough photos to last for a while from the archives, but there will be new ones soon too as soon as the spring weather gets better. I’ve also got new macro and fisheye lenses to possibly write about and more photography things tpo
  • DVDLog is still dead, I’m afraid. I haven’t had the energy or time to write reviews in ages and the whole site needs a new name and concept, because DVDs are really not a thing anymore. Even I have upgraded to Blu-Ray and streaming by now, but I still hope to salvage all the old reviews and make them into something new that is less about the medium than about the content and film history.

And that was the long overdue post for this spring. Maybe I’ll be back here soon with a bit of a refreshed design or something!

Kategorie: Blog
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