Public life in Germany stands almost completely still. Schools and universities are closed. Events are prohibited. And now we are forced to bring down our social lives. I'm sure that the coronavirus affects every person anyhow here in Germany and worldwide. Me included. Of course, the coronavirus also has affected my life, including this blog. How should I continue? A question I'm not able to answer right now.
And why do I write a blog entry about the coronavirus?
There are actually three reasons.
On the one hand, Torsten from tberg asked other bloggers to write or contribute something encouraging or positive and share it with others (I try my best!). On the other hand, I want to emphasize that I'm NOT traveling at the moment. Although I will publish blog entries in the next few weeks, I want to clarify that I'm at home and I follow the rules of our government: I stay where I am and reduce my social contacts in order to minimize an infection with the coronavirus (#flattenthecurve). Furthermore, I want to ask you - although I think that all my readers are great and responsible - to really stay at home!
The coronavirus as a chance?
There are so many things happening at the moment related to the coronavirus. Borders are closed. More than hundreds of people die every day in Italy and Spain because of the coronavirus. Some government haven't taken seriously the coronavirus before, but just now. The health system is overwhelmed with work, and furthermore, they are not able to provide a respirator to every patient. How can that be?
I check the news nowadays several times a day in order to get the most recent information about the coronavirus. I don't know how often. But it is often. Maybe too often. But is there finally any positive development? Or does it become worse?
The situation is tense. How can I dare to think about chances of a virus in these times?
The coronavirus is terrible. No doubt. And we should do everything to control this pandemic. However, as I wanted to write a more encouraging and positive blog entry about all this, I try to word some of the "good" sides the coronavirus might bring to us.
The coronavirus might have, for example, a positive effect on nature. Just several days ago photographs of blue skies in Beijing were spread through social media. Apparently, the air pollution in Beijing is so bad, that mostly there is no blue sky over this big city! In Venice the waters in the channels is crystal clear again and shining blue and green. Even dolphins and swans came back. And now several news websites say that Germany will reach its climate goals for 2020 because of its economic stagnation. Wow! I'm aware about that the coronavirus will have economic consequences for all of us and I'm sure that there are individuals in financial need or with existential fears. But maybe all this economic stagnation is good for our nature to let her "breathe" at least a little bit?
Better said than done if someone is (still?) not directly affected by the economic consequences. On the other hand, maybe now it is the time to start to live a more modest and humble life? Buy less. Possess less. But also travel less. In any case, life was always too fast for me. In such a materialistic society I live - a society that always wants more and more and more - maybe it is not that bad to be forced to fall back. Slowing one's life down a little bit. Something like that. Being happy with fewer things. I think this could be an important lesson fur our society.
The coronavirus, however, could teach us even one more thing. Appreciating certain professions like medical doctors, but also nurses in hospitals or geriatric nurses in retirement homes. In general, all professions in welfare institutions. We also have to be grateful to all the people who guarantee that we have something to eat every day. Be it the shop assistants in the supermarkets or the truck drivers that transport our food, but also all the people working in agriculture. We could not survive without them. We cannot eat a laptop, book or money. They deserve much more gratitude! Thus, the whole pandemic could teach us to really value these professions.
What will happen?
I don't know, but many questions go through my mind. How many people will be infected by the coronavirus? How many people will survive? When will we have a vaccine? Will the people stick together and follow the rules by their governments in order to control the pandemic? Which country will help which country?
These are probably the most important questions at the moment. More questions will follow afterwards...
When will they open the borders again? Will they open the borders at all? How long will it take for the economy to recover? How many people will loose their jobs? And what about tourism? What about enterprises, hotels, restaurants, cafés, bus companies or airlines? Will they survive the pandemic? How will the pandemic change our traveling behavior?
I know. All these last questions are not that important at the moment when considering the high infections and victims. Health is the most important thing at the moment. But anyway, all these questions go through my mind at the moment and sooner or later we have to face up to these questions.
What about my traveling plans?
Well. I have to say that I had some. I wanted to travel to the Azores in April. I wished to observe whales. March and April are good months to observe blue whales on the Azores. Of course, this journey had to be canceled. Unfortunately. But of course, thinking about my canceled traveling plans would be just too egoistic.
I stay at home. I wait and hope for better times to come like everyone else is doing. As Torsten asked other people to share something encouraging, I wanted to share my thoughts related to the coronavirus. Maybe it is helpful for at least a few people? Torsten furthermore asked: "What makes you happy?" Yes, the pandemic is a dark time for many people, but probably we should still be optimistic and do things which make us happy.
At home I use the time to publish more about previous journeys. Last week I completed finally a blog entry about grey seals. And my next blog entry is about alpine marmots in the Berchtesgadener Land. I hope I can make at least some people a little bit happy with my previous animal encounters. Animals are just wonderful and soothing in difficult times!
This was my contribution to the coronavirus. Stay healthy and help to control the coronavirus!