In Germany, the tightened measures due to the pandemic are now in the third week and it still feels like a normal Sunday afternoon: Men walk with their children, women go for a walk with the dog. If the situation were not tragic for some, it could be paradise for many. Thanks to the officially pronounced recommendation to stay at home we have time for each other again. We call old friends and listen to each other, below the economic pressure a sort of freedom underlies. Before the Corona crisis, I was feeling the way many people are doing now, little turnover and lots of competition. Now I still have little money, but an understanding I could not expect before. While previously looked with disdain to those with little, now everyone is understanding and sharing what they have, apart from toilet paper, of course.
The day the world ran out of toilet paper
I was surprised that suddenly toilet paper was more valuable than food. The people at the checkout argued with salespeople and market managers who tried to ration this valuable good. I thought at first that there were practical reasons for the massive purchase of toilet paper; toilet paper doesn't get bad and you can always use it. But psychologists justify the hamster buying of toilet paper as a form of expression of feeling vulnerable in uncertain times that make us think of our intimacy and so we strike at the toilet paper and at the till. I'm glad to know that if you don't have much to eat, there won't much to wipe.
Breathing is a human right, but breathing masks are not
In the pharmacy you can no longer buy any breathing masks, online the masks are far too expensive. But people on the street rarely use masks. I wonder if at least they’ll use all the toilet paper to make masks as they ran out of these. Fortunately there are many instructions on the Internet on how to build your own mask and a friend even opened an online shop for designer masks, which I consider brave in these uncertain times.
Please keep your distance!
Keeping a distance in Germany is not hard at all. That someone stops at the cash register and talks to sellers is an unknown phenomenon. The fact that in Germany strangers get closer to each other can only be seen in movies. And when young people really come closer, there are still at least half a dozen of cans of beer or two bottles of wine distance between them. But the space in Germany is also wider, the streets, the footpaths and subway tunnels and stairs were generously designed after being destroyed during WWII. Berlin ain’t Paris and Munich ain’t New York.
No fever, no test
It is the beginning of March and the Berlinale has ended. I come back home with a cough and fever. I talked to a lot of people at the Berlinale, shook a lot of hands, and let my face speak loudly to at even louder parties every night, meeting people from all over the world, including China, Japan and Korea. The conversations were inspiring and the projects path-breaking. The virus is not yet an issue in Berlin. Today Berlin is a hotspot, for just another global trend. But that's not enough for my doctor: “37.8 ° is not a fever! If you haven’t in a risk area -Berlin is trendy, not risky - please get out of my practice! Yes, you can keep the mouthguard”.
Stocks fall and awareness rises
Comments like "the markets are recovering" or "the markets are startled" felt strange always, but are absurd now. To treat markets as if they were living beings and not the consumers, that is, actually people is more absurd than talking to your pet about the grammatical and non-grammatical tenses (It just wants you to take it for a walk!). The Corona-Pandemy confirms once more: Markets are mainly false expectations and spring the promise of summer.
Lazy people do better to this world
Nature is recovering and we find out that not only the residents were annoyed by tourists. The tourism industry has rarely been as innovative as it is now. Some guides now offer virtual tours on the phone or fly with drones over the usually crowded historical monuments. Museums offer virtual visits and film festivals take place online, just like the Visions du Réel does this week.