Wait, what? Has it really already been a month of social distancing from the rest of the world?
The last day the kids went to daycare they still wore their winter boots and warm jackets. Now, these memories of winter have been washed and packed away.
The last time I was at the office was the 11th of March. And even though this past year I have worked from home at least twice a week, it does not come close to the current daily life madness.
But first, the weekly recap:
What’s been happening in Germany
This Friday evening Germany counts just over 120,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 2,600 deaths. While the fatality rate has been steadily growing, the confirmed cases now double only every 16 days and the reproductive number (i.e., how many people one COVID-19 patient infects) is down to 1.1.
As the numbers improve, discussions of return to normality are picking up pace.
Most restrictions nationwide have an expiration date of the 19th of April. Which measures can be loosened (and which not) will most likely be decided on the 15th of April. As Angela Merkel hinted in her speech on Thursday, these decisions will be heavily influenced by available data and studies. And it’s not just virologists who are being consulted: discussions on both country and state level include economists and legal experts alongside sociologists, psychologists, and social workers.
So far, public opinion remains in support of the government. 90% of the population believes that the current restrictions are appropriate. 80% say that the government is doing enough to slow the spread of the virus.
Oh, and did you know how much Germans love asparagus? As the closed borders and travel bans threatened this spring’s asparagus harvest, Germany organized special planes to bring in seasonal workers from Romania. Well, photos from the Cluj-Napoca airport in Romania do not look like social distancing.
Life at home
After an uneventful weekend, this week was off to a rough start.
I reached my breaking point on Tuesday. The kids needed more attention, the housework was piling up, and I had too many things at work that I wanted to wrap up. Throw in some sleep deprivation (have I mentioned I need loads of “me time” these days?), and my nerves were paper-thin.
Pregnancies aside, I am not a person who gets mood swings. Being even-tempered even at stressful times is generally a good thing but, as I have discovered lately, it also means that I am too hard on myself when I am feeling burned out.
I suppose living through a global pandemic is a great time to learn that sometimes you just have to go through the motions and cut yourself some slack.
Some days will be good, some days will even be great. But there will also be days when you just want to hide under the blanket and ignore the rest of the world. And feel overwhelmed because you can’t.
And it’s all okay.
Kids and connections
As weeks pass by, the honeymoon period of week 2 is also over for the kids. They miss the daycare, their friends, and their teachers.
Unfortunately, keeping in touch is not easy. This week I had arranged a video call with one of Birdy’s friends but we had to hang up already after 5 minutes. Seeing her friend made Birdy realize how much she misses everyone and she started crying. I guess we’ll be sticking to letters to friends for the time being.
On the bright side, our children are getting even better at playing with each other and come up with new things to do all by themselves.
The thing with the masks
Are you wearing a mask when running those essential daily errands?
After reading one too many articles on this topic, I am now using a mask when I am in public indoor spaces. And let me tell you, for a person who has never worn one these before – it feels weird.
First, you have to learn how to put it on properly. Because you really don’t want to be readjusting the mask with your germy hands. Then you have to get used to breathing in a mask and it can feel hot and slightly uncomfortable. And then there’s interacting with others: for example, I am used to smiling at cashiers or people who let me pass on the street. Wearing a mask, it feels like there’s an additional barrier between me and other people, not just physically but also emotionally.
But, at the end of the day, such minor inconveniences mean nothing if wearing masks helps to reduce the spread of the virus.
If you also decide to wear a mask, do it better than me in this photo. As I have learned since, you should keep your hair out of your face and away from the mask. Why? Recent studies show that the virus can stick to the hair (source: a doctor. Thanks, Kristīne!).
Holiday at home
After the ups and downs of a month of social distancing, I am really looking forward to next week. We are on vacation for the next 10 days!
Well, we won’t really be “holidaying” but a week free from work sounds like absolute bliss right now. Fortunately, we hadn’t made any concrete travel plans (we wanted to book something last minute) so there’s no lingering sadness of missed adventures.
Have a good week, my readers. Happy Easter if you’re celebrating! I will check back with you next Friday.
3 things I’m loving right now
Sir Patrick Stewart is reading a Shakespeare sonnet every day on his Instagram account. Here’s him reading sonnet 116 – the one that kicked off the reading marathon.
John Krasinki has created a Twitter account called Some Good News and it’s truly a ray of sunshine.
The r/aww subreddit – because some days all you need is adorable videos of kittens playing with puppies.