Dara was very tidy. Her apartment was always bright and shiny. Cleanliness and order were not part of her life but were her life.
When she broke her right hand and came back home from the hospital with a white cast, she realized that all the things she had managed to do in the past, she can’t really manage without her right hand. She still managed to keep order, but certain tasks turned out to be hardly feasible. After a long struggle with herself, she looked for a cleaning service with good ratings on the Internet and ordered them to her home. Two women arrived who hardly spoke any German. Both were around 40 years old. The communication was not easy, but somehow, they managed to communicate. The two cleaned thoroughly and to Dara’s complete satisfaction. The result was impressive. Dara could feel good again despite her broken arm, because her apartment was again as it should be for her. Clean and tidy.
The two of them came a few more times until the hand had healed and the cast could be removed from Dara. That was at the end of September. From then on, Dara could take care of her apartment herself again. And then the 2nd wave of Corona struck back. It spread, emptying the public places and buildings, leaving the tables in the restaurants and the bars empty. Dara retreated to her apartment and worked from home. She had great respect for Corona because she had suffered from asthma since childhood and the idea that she could get a virus that could make it difficult for her to breathe scared her. Dara was very disciplined. She never went outside without a mask and actually she went outside less and less.
One day one of the women who cleaned her house during the summer called. She begged for work. With broken German she explained that she had no jobs and hardly any money to live on. She begged to be allowed to come and clean. Dara felt very uncomfortable and didn’t really understand everything the woman was saying, but she felt the need that the woman was radiating to the other side of the line. Dara promised to come call back. However, she did not want to let anyone into her own apartment. At the same time, she was embarrassed to turn away someone in need. Then she decided that she would simply transfer money to the woman. Dara sent her a text message that she would get in touch with her tomorrow.
On the second day at 8 o’clock in the morning doorbell rang. Behind the door stood the woman. This was very uncomfortable for Dara; she opened the door with a mask on her face and explained to the woman that she would not let her into the apartment. The disappointment on the woman’s face was visible. At that moment Dara got the idea. She sent the woman to go shopping. After about 1.5 hours the woman was back and put the bags in front of the door and put the rest of the money in the bag. Dara paid the woman with gloves for the work. At that moment the woman got down on her knees, grabbed Dara’s hand and kissed her. Dara was so surprised that she had not even managed to take a step back. She was infinitely embarrassed.
She heard herself say that the woman should come back next week to shop for her. When the woman left, Dara spent half an hour in the bathroom to disinfect all the shopping. She struggled with mixed feelings. She knew that she had done the right thing humanly, at the same time she was afraid of infection and the gratitude for the little money was super embarrassing for her.
That’s life in times of Corona, too.