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)
The Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos was a disgrace for a long time already.
A devastating fire recently left 12,000 people without food and shelter.
And our Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, offers to accept between 100 and 150 minors into Germany and calls it a robust humanitarian gesture – even though many cities and counties in Germany have offered to take in several thousand.
I’m utterly ashamed and disgusted.
(Mario Sixtus on Twitter, 9/12/20)
Thursday last week I attended a great online meeting, organized by the Anti-Sexist Social Club and Next Gen Men; people from all over the world were attending.
Although I miss attending discussions in person, there’s a massive opportunity in remote events – I would not have been able to participate, had it taken place in New York.
During the event, Jackson Bird was reading from his memoir, Sorted, and Dane Woodland was reading from his collection of poems, transVersing.
The event focused on what we can do in the 2SLGBTQ+ community to be more inclusive and less sexist; all proceeds went to The Okra Project.
Many thanks to the organizers and their skillful moderation – I learned a lot, and I look forward to many more such events!
(Sorted, Audio Book – I support Jackson on Patreon)
We’re at the end of the eleventh week of social distancing now, restrictions are easing, and the borders should reopen in two weeks. It could be a time to celebrate, but it’s not.
The institutionalized racism in the West has again led to one more death. Someone caught the murder on video, which is causing massive civil unrest all across the US. In Europe, we’re still failing to support the people at our borders, showing similar, completely inhuman behavior. Why is racism still a thing in 2020?
Black Lives Matter!
We’re also ignoring the climate emergency and fired up a new coal power plant.
Our government is looking to subsidize car ownership once again, as if we didn’t know that we need to rethink traffic radically.
Indigenous peoples all over the world are in danger because they’re protecting our environment.
At least we can finally restart the weekly protests …
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.
(Gmail Inbox, 5/24/20)
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.
(Case from Mini-ITX.com, 5/7/20)
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.
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!
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 … ?
(Pokémon Go screenshot, 5/3/20)
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!
(Coronawalk with my buddy Machod, 4/26/20)
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!
(Bathroom scales, 4/17/20)