Shutdown two, week fifty

The incidence in Cologne has declined further; it’s at 57 right now.

Are we still in a shutdown? At least the indoor mask mandates are still in effect.

But we do have a shutdown this week: The WandelWerk is finally closing to the public.

When the two car dealerships, Yvel and Levy, joined forces again a couple of years ago and moved to a new location in Cologne, the city offered the former Yvel dealership on Liebigstrasse to KLuG e.V. for interim use, as an open space for social and cultural encounters.

It was a great time, and the idea will live on, in the Quartiersbüro, Liebigstrasse 257.

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(WandelWerk, Cologne, 10/17/21)

Shutdown two, week forty-six

The incidence in Cologne has declined further; it’s at 78 right now.

On a further positive note, our government expects a vaccine for the under-12-year-olds by early next year. Yay!

This Friday, September 24, is the next global climate strike. We’re proud to host the scientist Jason von Juterczenka in Cologne with an exciting talk on the 6th IPCC Assessment Report – we hope to see you there!

I am also eternally grateful to all the artists who moved their craft to a streaming platform and enabled us to attend events without physically attending. I have visited so many different venues over the last two years, and I hope that I will be able to continue to do so after the pandemic ends.

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(Techno Lieben und Leben, Oberzissen, 9/18/21)

Shutdown two, week forty-four

The incidence in Cologne is back down at 121 this week.

The majority of infected people are now in the age group of 20-29 years. The highest number of new infections is in the age group of 10-19 years, according to the Landeszentrum Gesundheit.

Maybe we should protect the kids a little bit better? Just sayin’

Also, after two years, I’ve upgraded my phone to a 5G-capable model, the Nokia X20 with Android One, yesterday – after a couple of hours, I can say that I’m pretty happy with my choice; I’ll post a full review of my experience in a couple of weeks.

The whole process took about half a day, especially logging back into the myriad of transport apps. Two apps are still not working; I think I’ll need a reactivation code, probably on paper. But I’m happy to see that not all credentials and payment information are in the cloud backup.

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(Nokia X20 with Sherwood wallpaper, Cologne, 9/5/21)

Five years!

Five years ago, on July 14, 2016, I started playing Pokémon Go, one week after Niantic officially launched it.

And I’m still playing it almost daily – walking with my buddy is a perfect excuse to leave my desk; it has helped me maintain my weight and sanity during the current pandemic.

I’m very much looking forward to the Pokémon Go Fest 2021 this weekend!

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(Screenshot, start date and stats, 7/14/21)

Shutdown two, week twenty-nine

The infection rates are still going down, and for a couple of days now, the incident rate has been below 100 – we’ve moved from the stricter curfew in Cologne back to federal levels (10:00 pm to 5:00 am).

In some parts of Germany, you can go back to restaurants and eat outside; Cologne will probably follow suit shortly if the reduction of infection rates remains as steady as it is now.

During the pandemic, I’ve come to enjoy and cherish working from home, something I’d hope to be able to continue post-pandemic.

A key learning was to fully embrace “Inbox Zero” by Merlin Mann and tone down notifications on my mobile devices and desktop. Inbox Zero is not only a thing for EMail; it also works perfectly on all other communication channels, such as Slack or Teams, and helps with getting things done.

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(Slack, All unreads, 5/19/21)

Shutdown two, week fourteen

The numbers are still not that good, and we’re most likely looking at an extension of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about arts and culture, what has changed for me during the lockdown and what I believe will continue:

  • Movies: I used to go to the cinema a lot – I love movies. Naturally, the major streaming providers have taken on a much more significant role in my life. I happily pay for renting movies now that I would have watched in the cinema before and might continue to do so in the future.
  • Concerts: Less often, but still quite a lot of times I would go to live shows, sometimes even far away ones. During the lockdown, a couple of online tour providers have come up, such as StageIt or Moment House – it’s not the same experience, but I can and do attend many more venues digitally now than before in person. Hopefully, I will be able to continue this in the future, too.
  • Clubs: Another favorite. Here’s Twitch coming to the rescue, with many event streams and easy support options, for example, for TLL – a club several hundred miles away that I would have never visited if it wasn’t for Corona.

So, at the same time, Corona has reduced my mobility and enhanced it; let’s see what the future holds!

On a side note, spending many hours in front of the computer warrants an upgrade to the interface, and I now have a shiny new gaming mouse:

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(input,hiddev1,hidraw4: USB HID v1.11 Keyboard [ROCCAT ROCCAT Kain 120] on usb-0000:02:00.0-6.3/input2)

Shutdown two, week thirteen

The situation is getting better but is still dire. We will most likely see an extension of the current lockdown while our government ramps up the vaccination efforts.

But how will our life change afterward? Let’s have a look:

  • I do not meet friends and family in person.
  • I haven’t been in an office in months.
  • I haven’t met a colleague in person in months.
  • I hardly ever go shopping anymore.
  • I haven’t been to a restaurant in months.
  • I haven’t been to a cinema or concert for almost a year.
  • I haven’t traveled anywhere for almost a year.

What, if any, of these pre-Corona habits will I take back up?

I am quite happy with social activities being digital, and I hope some will stay that way even after Corona. And once you get used to digital concerts, there’s no way going back. Or is there?

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(Techno Lieben und Leben, Twitch, 1/31/21)

Shutdown two, week eleven

Eleven weeks and no respite in sight – on Tuesday, our government will reconvene with the states and evaluate further tightening of the contact restrictions. I hope they will finally make working from home mandatory for all office workers.

On Saturday, our governing party elected its new leader. They opted for continuity and the least controversial candidate and avoided the ultra-conservative Chairman of the Supervisory Board at BlackRock Germany.

Also, Winter is here, with the first snow of the year. Only two more months to Spring.

I wrote this blog post while dancing to Melodic Sunday at Techno Lieben und Leben – a great place to start the day!

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(First snow, Cologne, 1/17/21)

2021 Goals

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!

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(Final paper of 2020, Overleaf, 12/31/20)

Podcasts

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!

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(Google Podcasts, Radiorebell screenshot, 12/7/20)