Life in times of the coronavirus

I was travelling by train on Saturday and heard two men about 50 and 60 years old talking to each other. Respectively it was like a monologue, one of them was speaking and the second one nodded the majority of the time. It sounded more or less like this:

Many people are afraid. Afraid of being infected, even if the fear has little to do with the possible consequences. Why is a smoker afraid of the coronavirus but not of his cigarette and the substances that he exposes his lungs to every day? It seems that many people have panicked. When you panic, you can no longer think clearly. What is the point of buying pasta, rice, sugar, tinned food or flour in advance? When you panic, you act reflexively and irrationally. It’s true. How else would you explain that someone suddenly buys 50 rolls of toilet paper? On Saturday I had to go through 3 stores before I could buy a pack of toilet paper. Terrible. In a worst-case scenario, I would have had to resort to newspaper as a substitute. Thank God I haven’t cancelled the paper edition of my newspaper yet, although I don’t really read it on paper anymore. I wanted to cancel it a long time ago, but I never got around to it.  The paper edition ends up directly in the waste paper collection.

However, with the panic purchases, there are perhaps also rays of hope. In the sense of everything bad for something good. The condoms are also sold out. My business partner from Shanghai said that there might be many Christmas children this year.

If you are only afraid, you can still think and perhaps still act reasonably. You can analyse the causes of fear and assess the consequences of your own actions.  Obviously the panic seems to be visible in the same way in many countries. Especially regarding to the panic shopping. The same shelves are empty in Hungary, in Germany as well as in Switzerland. We lock ourselves in voluntarily, have ourselves monitored down to the smallest detail, seal off the entrances and demarcate and isolate ourselves from the “suspects”, whoever they may be. Does anyone else dare to get on the train with a cough? Hardly, who knows, maybe he could be lynched even though he only has a pollen allergy – it all wakes up because nature is earlier this year.

Actually, until this week I thought that the Swiss people could deal with the issue relatively pragmatically. I was in the Tonhalle this week. Gregory Porter’s concert was sold out weeks in advance. A ticket cost at least CHF 160. The Tonhalle Maag has a capacity of over 1200 spectators. If such a concert has to be cancelled, the damage is huge. It’s almost CHF 200,000, but Switzerland is pragmatic. The concert has taken place. You ask yourswlf how, if events with more than 1000 participants were banned and the Basel Fasnacht, the Watch Fair, the Engadine Ski Marathon were cancelled? Precisely – pragmatic, solution-oriented Switzerland. The organizers have unloaded 200 people and don’t ask me how they managed that. But because of that the number of spectators fell below 1000, probably we were 999 listeners and the fantastic concert could take place. On the other hand all my ice hockey colleagues were angry because the games had to take place without spectators.

But now I hear about an increasing number of bans and cancellations of events. People are driving cars again to avoid getting “infected” in the train, they suddenly become digital, because instead of going shopping, they order online to avoid meeting people. In our office disinfectants were placed. But since the disinfectants are sold out in the shops and pharmacies (not to speak of masks), they are constantly stolen because people are in panic. This is a brazen theft! They probably never stole money, but disinfectant as “life-saving” seems to be justified to them.

Actually, it seems like a dream. I’ve read about what’s happening now. My flight was cancelled, that was years ago and I had to wait at the airport for 6 hours. I bought the book (I will share details on request). Everything what is going on now was described there. A virus that started in Wuhan and caused a pandemic.

At that moment I had to get out. That’s all I heard, although I would have liked to have listened further. But when I told the story of the men in the train a few times this week, I got some photos. I would like to share them with you. I am worried about my parents and I am willing to do everything I can to stop the virus. Help each other and help to protect those who are at risk. Take care of yourself!

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