It’s Friday evening, I have poured myself a glass of wine, put on some good music, and opened a fresh blog post draft.
Over the past 1,5 months, this update has become my end-of-the-workweek ritual. Born out of the need to write down my thoughts and experiences in these crazy times, it has become a great way to reflect on the week and to connect with friends and followers across the world.
So let us begin!
What’s been happening in Germany
This week saw Germany opening up the first shops and having endless discussions about bringing football back. In the last days, the country has surpassed 150,000 Coronavirus infections and 5,500 deaths. That said, almost 70% of those confirmed as having contracted COVID-19 have recovered, and the number of new infections has continued to decrease.
On Monday schools will open their doors for the first students, but the school will look very different in the upcoming weeks and months. Smaller groups, reduced hours, only selected subjects, different seating, different breaks, and more. And while schools are gradually being opened up, the parents of younger kids (like us) remain completely in the dark about the whats, whens, and hows of sending kids to the daycare again.
While some lockdown measures are being loosened, there is a major new one. From Monday, people across Germany will have to wear masks when in shops, at farmer’s markets, and in public transport.
In the light of easing restrictions and people being less careful about social distancing, both the head epidemiologists and the central government are increasingly concerned about a second wave of infection. Next week we will reap what the sunny 4-day Easter weekend has sown. A week after that we will see the true effects of the first loosening of the lockdown measures.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed, or as the Germans say, my thumbs pressed.
Life at home
The holiday last week was a lifesaver for all of us. “Returning” to work on Monday certainly felt less exhausting and crazy than it was before the break. To be honest, I was even glad to have something else to do!
Hubby is still on sick leave (and will be also next week) which helps to reign in the chaos. The sun was shining every single day so we had long lunch breaks in the nearby park, playing frisbee and riding bicycles. In addition, I’m less stressed about meal planning and shopping, the strange new things are starting to become habits.
From this week our 3-year-old has two weekly therapy appointments which give some additional structure to our week and which he really enjoys. His sister feels a little jealous of the fun play stuff her brother gets to do so we’ve been trying to provide her with some additional fun activities as well.
Below you can see a scene from one of the little projects that we did together. She had asked me how videos are made so I decided to let her go through all the stages herself. She came up with a few short plot sequences, we filmed them, and made the cutting decisions together. Then she helped me choose fun transition effects and music, and we recorded audio in Latvian and German. We cut the best takes and she decided on the timing of the recording and the sound effects.
Fortunately, the new rule of wearing masks didn’t come as much of a surprise for us. We have been wearing masks when grocery shopping for over two weeks now. And, thanks to knowing the experiences of friends in other countries as well as staying informed about recent research findings, we knew that having masks at home is a sensible course of action. There’s so much choice right now that we even got a few different types to try out. After all, masks are the hottest fashion accessory of 2020!
3 things I’m loving right now
We just launched a new series at Multicultural Kid Blogs with stories from across the world about our lives in the times of Corona. It’s called #MKBStaysAtHome and you can follow on Instagram and Facebook!
Over a month ago on my private Facebook profile, I shared an excellent article about the spread of the Coronavirus called The Hammer and the Dance. Now when hammers have fallen across the world we all need to learn how to do “the dance”. That’s what the continuation series of the article is about and it’s an incredibly valuable read for everyone.
The writer Neil Gaiman recorded a short video for TED Talks about fragility and resilience. Click play, it might be just what you needed today.
“We are tougher than we seem. We are tougher than we think. Our stories will outlive us. Let’s make them good.”
— TED Talks (@TEDTalks) April 23, 2020