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)
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)
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)
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)
We need to talk: For the past decades, you have billed yourself as the leading party supporting the protection of our environment.
In the face of the current climate emergency, the ecological movement has grown into a worldwide climate justice movement.
However, in the states where you are governing, you’re coming up short – sending riot police after peaceful protests protecting our forests is abhorrent.
Maybe now it’s time for you to step aside and make room for a new green party, one that’s less clinging to power but more willing to fight for climate justice?
(Twitter, @oekofuzzi, 11/16/20)
We just completed the second week of the second lockdown.
Wednesday (11/11) in a typical year would have marked the start of Carnival – this year, we canceled all celebrations and the day was eerily quiet, with only security guards out on the streets.
The infection rates are still not looking good, and more contact restrictions will be necessary for the coming weeks. Also, we can expect Christmas and New Year to become virtual celebrations this year.
But, there is light at the end of the tunnel – the early tests with the vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech look quite promising!
(Louis The Breakfast Club, 11/11/20)
A week ago, the second lockdown started after the number of infections steadily rose to unmanageable levels.
Public life has again come to an (almost) complete standstill, and most events have moved online. In addition to the Corona Warn App, I’ve also started a Corona contact diary (Coronika) to track where I was and whom I met, just in case.
Today was the 82nd anniversary of the Reichsprogromnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) when Germany started slaughtering its Jewish population, the most heinous crime ever committed in the history of humankind.
(Corona contact diary, 11/9/20)