Hi, everyone and welcome back! As I’m sure is the same with all of you, this past month has been anything but normal. The whole experience of being in the middle of a pandemic has been quite odd and surreal. One month of self-isolating here in Germany has definitely had its ups and downs for me. While we may or may not know of someone personally who has been sick from covid-19, we’ve all had to deal with the change that this has brought to our lives.
Oddly enough, back in February, I was watching documentaries on Youtube about the Spanish Flu that occurred in 1918. Perhaps not what the average person is watching on a Friday night, but I was still baffled at how it managed to take over the world, never expecting it to happen in our age. And yet, here we are.
I envy those who don’t feel the need to read or watch the news every day, but I find myself checking for current articles on the coronavirus all the time. In the beginning, I found it quite scary knowing that there is a high chance that anyone in my family could get seriously ill. Now, I feel mostly sadness for the way governments around the world have taken their time in introducing quarantine measures at the expense of peoples lives. And we’ve now lost over 100,000 of them from this virus alone.
The Current Lockdown Rules in Germany
It has been a month now since the German government began a lockdown. But seeing the covid-19 numbers climb rapidly in Italy, people were already panic buying the week prior. For people in Germany, the lockdown measures haven’t been as strict as Italy, or even France. The federal government has allowed us to still leave our homes to go for walks, though still advising to stay home. And unless you are family from the same home, going out in groups larger than 2 people is not allowed.
The only shops that are open now are the pharmacies, drug stores and grocery stores, as well as restaurants that offer take-out or delivery. And unlike in Canada you won’t find an Apotheke (Pharmacy) or over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol, for that matter, in any grocery stores or drug stores in Germany.
While these public safety measures are currently in place until April 19th, they can, of course, be lengthened. And individual Germany states, such as Bavaria in the south, have even been more strict on what people are allowed to do.
In an article posted on April 1st, you can read about some of the lockdown measures across Europe here. It’s interesting to see how each country takes a slightly different approach.
Grocery Shopping During a Pandemic
Back in December, I wrote about how stressful it is to grocery shop in Germany, but now I dread the task even more. With the social distancing measures in place, navigating the supermarket aisles is no easy task. In my local grocery store, the aisles are all quite narrow and there isn’t really any way to stay 1 and half meters away from people. During the beginning of the lockdown period, when I did a mid-week shop the store was quite slow, which made the task relatively stress-free. Last week, the store was busy, so perhaps people are becoming more complacent and just want things back to normal. While it’s hard to say, I definitely understand.
For me personally, we’ve had to change our routine of me taking the little one to grocery shop during the day while my husband is at work. Now, I plan ahead a week or more and shop alone while my husband is home. I find it very overwhelming having to make sure we have the essentials we need so that I don’t have to go to the store every few days like we used to. Thankfully, at the end of each grocery run I have a Käsebretzel (Cheese Pretzel) from the bakery to look forward to!
Enjoying the Local Sights
Just like living anywhere, the local sights can sometimes be passed over for longer, more exciting day-trips. Even though we’ve been here a year now, there are so many nice nature walks that we haven’t done that we now have more time for.
Germans really love nature and there are so many groomed walking and bike paths everywhere here. We didn’t take advantage of them last spring and summer, so now we want to do more of that in our area.
On top of that, when I do get out for walks with our daughter, they don’t involve errands and we simply get to enjoy walking through town.
While I feel lucky that my life hasn’t changed too much during this pandemic and myself and my family have remained in good health, there are moments when I want things to go back to normal. I’m also an introvert, which has been to my advantage. I mentioned in my last post that I don’t know when I’ll get to see my family again, and I’m still feeling that. But while we’ve technically had 1 month of self-isolation here in Germany, I’m thankful that we still get to go out for some fresh air when we need to.
How has the coronavirus affected your daily routine? Let me know in the comments!