Coronavirus (COVID-19) and home office tales – weekly updates

Week 1:

Unfortunately we find ourselves in the middle of a major epidemic and in one way or other it has affected each one of our lives.

Living in Europe, our daily lives are heavily impacted due to wide spread of the COVID-19.

So what changed in Germany for the people?

  • As of writing this post, all the schools and Kindergartens have closed
  • Most of the employees who can work remotely are advised to work from their homes
  • Other than the essential stores (supermarkets and drugstores) are suffering from limited opening times
  • Large gathering (more than 50 people) banned
  • Limited buying power in supermarkets (2 kg sugar and flour, 1 bag of toilet paper / kitchen roll)
  • No tourist activities (heavy border checks)

But what is important to understand is, all these measures are to protect the people from the epidemic and not create a panic.

My husband and I are also working from home since yesterday and finding it hard to find the rhythm to which we were used to. We used to walk to our place. Now that has to be sacrificed, we need to find alternative ways to get fresh air.

What is also difficult is to stay fit as working out at home is not as much fun as it was in the gym, although we still can enjoy our runs outside. To beat this gloominess, we have decided to take longer walks and hike more (for which luckily our region offers a lot of opportunities). Yesterday we took a walk in our beloved forest which spans around Hockenheimring, which some of you might know from the Formula1 races and nature had plenty of peace to offer.

And we found a lot of pretty flowers welcoming the beautiful spring. Enjoy them and stay healthy, take care of your elders as they need it most right now and don’t forget to wash your hands and don’t touch your face so often.

Week 2

If you are following my blog, I think you all already know that here in Germany, the governments are trying very hard to “flatten the curve” for coronavirus cases and hence begins the second week of exclusive self-quarantine with working from home.

So what changed compared to last week:

  1. Now only maximum 2 people are allowed to be together in public places and at homes, exception being families and relatives.
  2. In all the supermarkets, there are extra investments to create a temporary queuing systems so that only a certain number of people can be in at a time.
  3. Food supplies are coming back slowly slowly and the measures to prevent hoarding are still in place.
  4. All the streaming qualities from Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Prime Video have been downgraded to standard from High Definition.
  5. Disney+ made today to Germany so yeah, something to look forward to.

Those are the major updates from this week. See you next week.

Week 3

Here comes the update from week 3. At least here in the neighbourhood, nothing much changed. Even though the number of infected people in Germany stand above 60,000 , the people are still staying relaxed. So let’s start with what changed:

  • The non-essential store closing has been extended till 20th April, so easter is going to be affected vastly.
  • More and more people appear wearing masks and gloves in supermarkets.
  • Supermarkets are getting back at almost usual level of stocks.
  • Toilet paper still remains to be a luxury and is hard to find.
  • Some supermarkets like Edeka are requesting people to let the elderly have preference between 10am and 11am so that everyone gets a chance to shop for necessities without worrying too much and still maintaining social distancing.

In USA the situation is becoming tricky right now and having a lot of friends over there, we pray and hope that the situation improves and no one needs to suffer.

We used the weekend to take a little hike and walked up to Königstuhl in Heidelberg but for better or worst the view point was closed thanks to corona measures, but as they say, “it’s about the journey and not the destination”.

Signing off for this week from this post. See you next week. #staysafe # stayhome

Week 4

Yesterday marked the start of 4th week of self-quarantine. Even though the curve is starting to deflate and the number is only doubling in 10 days, the life here in Germany, stays still as before.

A lot of people will miss the easter celebrations with their dear ones as the government has asked people to not join the families and abide to the social distancing rules in place atleast till 19th April.

So what major changed for us in last week:

  • supermarket situation is getting better and shelfs are filling up.
  • People are following the social distancing whole heartedly to stay healthy.
  • Days start to be warm and sunny, making it even harder to work from home and stay home all day.

So let’s stay strong, and take it one week at a time. We are going to get through this. #stayhome #staysafe

Week 5

Here we are in week 5 already, easter came and went, no one realised. Although it was a very long weekend (4 days), it was no different than any other day.

Our offices are still closed, we are still working from home. Nothing much is happening.

Now that easter is behind us, the picture should get clearer here in Germany how the relaxation of COVID-19 guidelines going to happen.

On a lighter note, we got us Easter socks from Many Mornings a polish sustainable and fair brand and we totally love them.

Don’t the bunnies look cute?

That was all for week 5 update. See you next week. #stayhome #staysafe

Week 6

To be honest, I never thought that it would come this far. But here we are in week 6, and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though the lock down conditions are going to ease up starting today from Germany, we still are in home office until further information from my employer.

So what all changes in this week here:

  • All the shops whose area is less than 800 square meter, can open starting today but still the regulations for safe distance of 2 meter need to be followed.
  • All the car dealer and books stores (larger than 800 square meter) can also open starting today.
  • Restaurants still need to be closed to public and only take-outs are allowed.
  • Schools are still closed and will only start opening in May.

Although now we head back towards normality, only time will tell how much normality can be restored.

We realised in these hard days and we don’t even need all those stores open all the time. The things one need to live are very few and it’s easier to get them.

We are reading our books in free time and enjoying each other company and that’s all that matters at the end of the day and not the shining things you can own and buy from stores.

Here to another week of working from home and staying safe and staying safe.

Week 7

Well, who would have figured that it would come this far. And there seems to be no end to this pandemic.

This week brings some new regulations in Germany as more and more stores are operating again.

  • In almost all the German states, wearing masks is mandatory while shopping, be it in a supermarket or bakery or any other store.
  • It is also mandatory to wear masks while using public transport. It doesn’t have to be a medical grade mask, even a scarf is allowed as long as mouth and nose are covered.
  • More and more large retail stores are also opening by reducing the allowed space for buyers to 800m2.
  • Schools and kindergartens still remain closed. Social distancing rules are still in place.

Whether opening the stores so early was a good decision or not, only time will tell. We read a lot of articles which say that there will be no going back to the normal after COVID-19, but if that would be the case, would there be a need to open all the non-essential stores until everything was calmer?

We also sewed our masks yesterday using old handkerchiefs and the ties from an old t-shirt. I have to say, they came out pretty good. Also for last 6 weeks we were able to shop in a supermarket without masks, but now we need them, really?

See you next week reader. #stayhome #staysafe

Well, they do their job.

Week 8

Well, I am slowly losing interest in the whole working from home charade and there seems to be no end to it as our employer indicates that it might be December until all the workplaces are open in full capacity.

To keep ourselves motivated and active, we ran the Wings of Life World run on Sunday and it was a lot of fun.

So what changes this week in Germany:

  1. Hairdressers are finally open starting this Monday and guess what are already overbooked for coming months.
  2. All the states have their own plan now how they want to lift the lockdown rules on certain things.
  3. Zoos, libraries and museums are also open now. Public playgrounds are also again open., leaving the Kindergarten’s still closed.
  4. Beer gardens are also slowly going to open in some states now. How necessary they are for living is a topic up for discussion but that’s not the direction I want to go in. 😉

That was all for this week’s updates. Stay strong and stay safe people. This time will also pass.

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