Pandemic diary

Coronavirus Chronicles: Week 2

Corona Chronicles week 2 #togetherathome | Let the Journey Begin

“The last time our kids left the flat was last Saturday. And yet neither of them has complained about it,” I pondered out loud to my husband. “I wonder what it says about them.”

It seems to me that, at least on social media, some people try to reframe this time as a period of reflection, of appreciation, of happy family time. They go all-out posting daily crafts, home exercise routines, and fancy home-cooked meals. Let me assure you, we’re definitely not among those people. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

At the same time, we’re also not particularly suffering from cabin fever. Nor are we counting down the days until life goes back to “normal”. This is what week two of social distancing has been like at our house.

But first:

What’s been happening in Germany

Last Friday, as I wrote my update of the first week of life during anti-Corona measures, Germany had almost 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. A week later, this number has reached 50,000.

Throughout the week, I’ve seen countless articles about Germany being a complete outlier with regards to the mortality rate (for example this article on The Guardian). In fact, German hospitals are currently taking intensive care patients from Italy and France, as there are capacities to spare. However, most experts seem to agree that the situation will get worse in the weeks to come.

According to the polls that came out today, 75% of Germans agree with the current social distancing measures. In fact, 20% think that even more should be done. And a whopping 95% believe that the government’s restrictions on leaving home and social contacts are reasonable.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a united opinion among Germans on anything!

Life at home

Meanwhile at home days are following their own steady pace. Most days I’m close to losing track of weekdays and dates, as every day is much the same as the day before.

We work, we send the kids out on the balcony for some sun and sand & water play. We eat lunch and work some more. We have dinner, perform the usual evening routines and send the kids to bed. And then we stay awake for much too late, trying to get in some much-needed “me time”.

As days go by, I notice I’m reading less news, less social media, less Reddit. Especially the latter used to be a great source of information but now, as the infection breaks out in the US, it has become too dominated by news from across the pond.

Thanks to the amazing Sendung mit der Maus, the freshly baked 6-year-old is excellently informed about all things Coronavirus, the need for social distancing, and even the correct terminology.

The 3-year-old doesn’t really care much about the outside world and is happy to be at home. He is, however, making great strides in language development so that’s definitely something positive that’s been happening!

Return to normality?

At the moment the schools and daycares are scheduled to reopen on the 19th of April. Yet I am hesitant to introduce this particular countdown in my kids’ calendars. When Birdy asks about playdates with friends, I stick to vague answers.

Because really, despite everyone’s hopes and best efforts, who can really tell when we can get back to “normal”?

To be honest, I’m doubting whether normality as we knew it will ever return. And no, this is not me being pessimistic or fatalistic. I’m simply dusting off my old sociologist hat and saying: this pandemic will bring lasting changes to most (if not all) societies around the world. It doesn’t mean that things will be worse than they were before. But they will be different. Perhaps better in certain aspects. Certainly more digital.

3 things I’m into right now

Bon Iver did a 10th-anniversary live stream of the EP Blood Bank on YouTube last night and it was amazing

Virtual museum tours from around the world to quell that wanderlust

The extensive Hamburg Elbphilharmonie concert hall’s #ElphiAtHome programme

How are you doing? How is life in your corner of the world?

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