Life in times of Coronavirus lV

Nearly everything has changed. The world is unrecognizable. I’m sitting at home for the third week in a row and am working 24/7. Slowly I’ve adjusted to the new situation. I am making the best of what we’ve got.

The daily program is always the same. I get up, do yoga or gymnastics, then I take a shower, do my bed maybe I’ll fold some washed clothes or whatever is needed in the household and wake up my youngest who needs to get ready for school. He has to make his own breakfast. I sit in front of the laptop with a cup of coffee and stare at the screen pretty much without a break for 10 to 12 hours. Neither my eyes nor my back and certainly my head are not keen on the current situation. I can understand them but I cannot really help them much. In the beginning there were relatively few video conferences. This week the situation has changed and nearly all meetings are held via video conference. That requires the highest level of concentration. You are seen without realizing it. To pick your ear or even worse your nose, would be considered rude. That’s the daily work routine where you constantly have to control yourself up to the smallest detail, very exhausting. The intensity with which you work from home is higher than it used to be at the office. The breaks nearly diminish completely.

That’s why I have changed to phone calls wherever possible. Then I can at least walk around our block of flats. Outside with fresh air with the headphones in my ears.

I basically work outside whilst walking. Most of the time I don’t come across anyone. And if someone approaches me, I cross to the other side. There’s not much time left for food. Only in the evening we cook and eat together as a family. For a movie or book there is no energy left in the evening. We then mostly hold private conversations.

 Maybe we managed the first third of the isolation, who knows. What makes it so difficult is the fact that you don’t know when this all ends. If you need to endure something boring or horrific you usually know whether it will take another 10 minutes or two hours and you can distribute your energy to pull through to the end. But what do you do now when you don’t know whether we’ll be locked at home till mid-May, the end of June or whenever. I miss the fresh flowers. Before I used to go to the field and cut them and I paid for them in a little metal box. Now, probably due to the frost of the past few days they all got put away.

Every now and then (but not always) I manage to go outside again in the evening to catch some fresh air. That has become a great luxury. Being outside. And it doesn’t matter that I am completely alone most of the time. At least I’m outside. But walking between the blocks of concrete is only half as relaxing. I should go into the forest. The next one is around a twenty-minute walk away. Thank god. Last Saturday I was looking for a route to avoid coming across anyone. I didn’t completely succeed but for the most part I really was alone. Every now and then we play table tennis with my youngest at the kitchen table without a net. Our table is far away from the usual table tennis table size but we have a lot of fun and we are getting better with each game.

When I’m on the go I observe how other people deal with the situation. I’ve seen how kids were sitting in a circle on the playground with enough distance and were chatting. Impressive. But on my hike at the top of Zugerberg (Mountain in Zug) I came across two families in a narrow mouth that successfully blocked the path. It was impossible to pass them whilst keeping two metres distance. I waited and hoped that they would notice themselves how egotistically they were acting. Unfortunately, nothing happened for ten minutes. I couldn’t be bothered to have to discipline them and so I didn’t have any other choice other than to squeeze myself into the thick bushes to get around them. The hike was just wonderful and fantastic.

Observing the scenery at the top of the mountain, to listen to the birds, to be out in the green – priceless.

Today it is Friday and I am unusually excited about my weekend. The precious good of a walk out in the woods.

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