Shutdown, week ten, corona-style exams

We are still not taking care of the people at our borders, leaving them helpless and defenseless, so we had to rally again on Saturday. Shame on Europe!

Also on Saturday I sat my first corona-style exam, with ten feet between the students and wearing a face mask, a very strange experience. The university since changed all further exams this term to term papers. June is going to be busy!

The Corona shutdown is in some kind of weird in-between state – we’re still trying to distance socially, but at the same time we are reopening stores and restaurants; there’s even talk about vacation travel in summer.

Today (Sunday) was Seedot Community Day.

And I’m getting better at managing my Email.

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(Gmail Inbox, 5/24/20)

Shutdown, week nine, IDAHOBIT

Today is #IDAHOBIT – the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia, celebrated all over the world.

30 years ago, on May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization finally removed Homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems – a huge step forward for LGBTIQ humans everywhere.

We’re also in the ninth week of the Corona-Shutdown here in Cologne, although we were able to lift so many restrictions that it no longer feels like a shutdown. Two more weeks and cinemas can reopen! If R, the reproduction rate, stays at its current level, that is.

Staying home and working from home is good for home improvement projects and at long last I was able to finish my new, all-flash NAS build.

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(Case from Mini-ITX.com, 5/7/20)

Shutdown, week eight, Liberation Day

Friday was Liberation Day, marking the end of World War II in Europe and the end for the Nazi-Government in Germany. It also marks the end of the most atrocious crime in humankind, the murder of millions of Jews and other people in Germany and the occupied territories.

Never Again!

Never Forget!

Social distancing is still in effect, but our government lifted a lot of the restrictions – I hope all goes well and that we won’t be seeing a new wave and a second shutdown.

I’ll stop my “Shutdown” series on Instagram for now, though – stay safe!

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(Stolpersteine, 5/8/20)

Shutdown, week seven, May Day

Seven weeks of social distancing now, the numbers are beginning to look better and next week might see some easing of restrictions; FOM has extended remote teaching until June though.

Friday was May Day, a pretty somber event without all the rallies, but I think we were able to get the message of solidarity across. Especially since we’re still failing the people at our borders big time – such a shameful behavior of our governments and our society! This is not what the EU was meant for.

On a positive note, walking with my buddy Machod helps me stay sane and in shape … 😎

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(Pokémon Go screenshot, 5/3/20)

Shutdown, week six, LDW +2

We’re at the beginning of the seventh week of shutdown in Cologne, and we’ve started to cautiously ease some of the restriction and re-opening shops for business again.

Social distancing measures are still in place, new for this week is the requirement to wear a face mask when shopping or using public transport. We’ll know in two weeks whether R continues to stay below 1 or not …

Also, two years ago, was my last day at Hewlett Packard Enterprise – the fourth term at University is coming to a close, too, with one more year to go.

And, we still haven’t acted on the refugee camp in Moria and at all the other places at our borders – shame on us!

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(Coronawalk with my buddy Machod, 4/26/20)

Shutdown, week five, maintaining weight

At the end of the fifth week there is cautious optimism in Cologne and starting Monday we’ll see some small measures of reopening the city.

Overall, contact avoidance and social distancing will remain in place though.

You might recall that I started a LCHF diet in November 2018 and I’m quite happy that I have been able to maintain my weight until now, I hope I’ll be able to continue to do so – the added exercise during shutdown seems to help. A bit.

The other big news this week: We are still failing the people at our borders, big time. Shame on us!

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(Bathroom scales, 4/17/20)

Shutdown, week four, total lack of solidarity

It’s the end of the fourth week in which Cologne has shut down, and it’s definitely the most somber and silent Spring Break and Easter holiday of my life.

In Christian mythology, Easter signifies hope, but not at our borders.

The utter lack of solidarity across Europe, and even more at our borders, towards the most vulnerable people of all – migrants fleeing the perils of war, civil unrest and strife – is appalling and deeply shameful.

Our Federal Ministry of the Interior recently agreed to allow 50 (in words: fifty) migrant kids into a nation of 80 Million.

Happy Easter!

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(Pikachu on lawn, 4/11/20)

Shutdown, third week, staying sane

We’re entering into the fourth week of shutdown now – the measures seem to be working and the spread of the virus seems to be slowing down.

Three things have been helping me a lot to stay sane in the past weeks, and hopefully will continue to do so in the weeks to come:

  • A simple activity tracker (Misfit Ray), to make sure I get enough sunshine and exercise
  • A virtual buddy, to make walking alone less alone
  • Social media, to make social distancing less distant

Stay safe and support your local businesses!

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(Ferkulum, 4/4/20)

Shutdown, second week, with many Artists and Pokémon

As we’re finishing the second week of shutdown here in Cologne, two things have stood out:

Many artists are going out of their way to entertain us, and Instagram Live emerged as the platform of choice for me. Thank you!!

If you’re going alone, Pokémon Go is a great companion app for the daily Corona walk. Just remember to feed your buddy with enough Razzberries …

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(3/25/20, screenshots of various live streams)

Shutdown, first week, with home concerts

In Cologne, we’ve just completed the first week of the shutdown, with many more to come and a lockdown looming on the horizon.

As long as there are neither tests nor a vaccine, the only course of action to prevent spreading the infection of an airborne virus is to maintain physical distance. Staying at home as much as possible and avoiding physical contact is a show of solidarity, a display of caring for others, not an infraction on personal freedom.

I am very privileged and very thankful for that: FOM has quite successfully moved to remote teaching, and I can carry out all my work from home.

I am also very thankful for all artists that go out of their way to make our life at home much better!

  • Adexe y Nau,
  • Johnny Orlando, and
  • Oscar Stembridge,

to name a few. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

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(Adexe y Nau, #Yomequedoencasa, 3/21/20)