The number of infections is slowly increasing again. Surprise! Not.
We knew that the new mutations would be more contagious, but still, our government refuses to acknowledge and prepare for the third wave.
A year ago Friday, right-wing terrorists murdered six people in Hanau (Hesse). There were vigils in their honor all over Germany as we still battle the underlying systemic racism in our security forces.
In Northrhine-Westphalia, the state government actively works against all measures to prevent the coming climate crisis and supports the fossil fuel industry, mainly RWE and E.ON.
Our first minister, Armin Laschet, has been caught red-handed, twisting the law to act against climate activists.
Our minister of the interior, Herbert Reul, is trying to outlaw activism outright.
Oh, NRWE – there’s a lot of work ahead!
(Red Rebels, Cologne, 2/20/21)
As expected, we extended the lockdown to March 7th, for now.
We have also set a new target for infection rates (less than 35 per 100,000 people), making a lot of sense.
Still, I am amazed at how many people feel that they can argue or plead with a virus. Sars-CoV-19 is a deadly airborne virus, and there’s nothing our government or we can do to prevent the spread other than limiting inter-person contact.
On a side note, winter has finally come. Did I mention that I hate the cold?
(Cologne, Ruuvi, 2/12/21)
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:
(input,hiddev1,hidraw4: USB HID v1.11 Keyboard [ROCCAT ROCCAT Kain 120] on usb-0000:02:00.0-6.3/input2)
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?
(Techno Lieben und Leben, Twitch, 1/31/21)
The lockdown is going well; we see a slight reduction in the infections.
But there’s still a lot of work ahead of us to flatten the curve.
Some of the new Covid-19 mutations are highly contagious, so we need to improve our mask game with the new double-mask trend recommended by Dr. Fauci. And FFP2 masks in shops and public transport.
(Double mask, Cologne, 1/26/21)
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!
(First snow, Cologne, 1/17/21)
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)