Still no end in sight; today, our government has tightened the contact restrictions again and extended the lockdown to the end of January. Quite rightly so, the infection rates are still way too high.
Even though we all know that the virus transmits from person to person, some politicians from our governing party advocate to lessen the restrictions and have more people die instead. I guess that’s all about shareholder value.
Also, RWE uses the lockdown to destroy more villages around the Garzweiler open-pit mine, even though we know that we won’t need the lignite anymore. Is that about shareholder value, too?
(Photo op, Zülpicher Platz, 1/10/21)
It came, and it went, my first virtual New Year’s Eve. Relatively uneventful, zooming with family and friends, and watching a Techno live stream on Twitch.
The start of the new year was not a big thing; we’re still in the first year of life in the age of pandemics, and nothing is going to change a lot in the short term. I hope that by the end of 2021, we will have made significant progress towards solving both crises, Covid-19, and the Climate Emergency!
To keep the momentum going, we started 2021 off with our first climate strike of the year, asking for #solidarity
(Climate strike, Haymarket, 1/2/21)
I’m happy to say that I reached most of my 2020 goals, except for my YouTube targets.
Here are my goals for this year:
- Continue to support Fridays For Future and the Climate Justice movement actively
- Maintain my weight and continue to exercise
- Move my transport needs to a (shared) cargo bike
- Continue regular (online) Rancher meetups in Cologne
- Write my Bachelor thesis and finish my studies
2021 must be the year in which CO2 emissions finally begin to drop!
(Final paper of 2020, Overleaf, 12/31/20)
My first ever entirely virtual Christmas – and it went quite well! And so will New Year’s, I hope.
As the lockdown goes on and social distancing rules remain in effect, I’m getting less and less anxious and more adapted to the “new normal” – I guess it will feel somewhat strange in late 2021 / early 2022 to meet people again in person regularly.
On a sad note, I have to mention that someone performed an arson attack on the Mahnwache in Hambacher Forst – luckily nobody got hurt, but why do people do something like this?
(Screenshot, extended Christmas walk, 12/26/20)
The second week of the hard(er) lockdown and a new mutation has surfaced in England and South Africa, with a much higher infection rate.
Christmas and New Years’ for me will be virtual celebrations only.
Which should give me enough time to finish all the outstanding work for university! (One paper left for this term, data analysis on blog performance)
I’m not a fan of winter and the darkness – I’m quite happy that the winter solstice has passed and that we can look for brighter days to come.
And as the days get longer, there will be more time to look for Pokémon with my buddy Machop.
(Rain, Pokémon Go, 12/21/20)
As expected, the current lockdown measures were not enough to slow the infection rates, and we will go into a much harder lockdown beginning Wednesday. Schools and shops will close, and contact restrictions will remain in place over Christmas and New Year’s.
Then there is still the other crisis, the looming climate emergency.
Two years ago, Fridays for Future staged their first climate strike in Cologne. In honor of this birthday, we dropped a giant banner on Deutzer Brücke to remind us to always #FightFor1Point5 and our politicians to #MakeParisReal.
(Fridays For Future, Heumarkt, 12/11/20)
One casualty of Covid-19 in my life is podcasts. In pre-Covid times, I would listen to podcasts during my commute or at any other time when I was waiting for a connection or a meeting or something else.
However, I’m now working almost exclusively from home, and there are no idle times anymore.
I am not very good at listening to someone talking in the background, so I’ve been missing many podcast episodes lately.
To make up for it, I want to share my top three:
If you’re still finding time to listen to Podcasts, give them a try!
(Google Podcasts, Radiorebell screenshot, 12/7/20)
The current measures do not reduce the number of infections enough; this week, state and federal governments will convene again to tighten the rules. Aside from Covid-19, we also had two significant events on the other crisis, the climate emergency:
On Friday, we had a scientist, Jason von Juterczenka, deliver a fascinating lecture on tipping points in our climate and how close we are on the road to the worst-case climate scenarios (RCP8.5).
On Sunday, we met the Eiffel tower en route from Dresden to Brussels to remind the EU government to keep the Paris Climate Accord.
(Eiffel tower and cathedral, Roncalliplatz, 12/6/20)
We haven’t been that successful in flattening the curve of infections, so it didn’t come as a surprise when our government announced an extension of the current measures until December 20.
Even though I understand the desire to lift the restrictions a bit over Christmas and New Year’s, I firmly believe that the virus won’t care. The current lockdown will most likely need to last until mid-February to slow the spread. For me, I plan to visit family and friends over the holidays virtually and avoid personal contact.
At the same time, the fight for the Dannenröder Forst continues.
(Your tax dollars at work, Volksgarten, 11/23/20)
Infection rates are dropping way too slowly; we will likely see an extension of the current lockdown at the next federal conference tomorrow.
Still, Police in the state of Hessen is using the lockdown to press ahead with the utterly unnecessary destruction of the Dannenröder Forst. And the Greens are keeping their silence.
All over the republic, activists are staging protests in support of the people defending the forest. Well done!
(Danni bleibt, Volksgarten, 11/23/20)