Shutdown two, week fifty-eight

The incidence in Cologne is going down slightly again; it’s at 300 now.

The number of new infections in Schools and Kindergartens seems to lessen a bit; also, the vaccines for kids from the age of five onward are finally available now.

Our new minister of health realized that the previous government did not order enough vaccines for the first quarter of 2022. Oh my.

Short update this week – we’re in the middle of moving to a new (home) office.


(Moving, Cologne, 12/14/21)

Shutdown two, week fifty-seven

The incidence in Cologne is slightly going down; it’s at 391 now.

We have a new government!

Two important aspects: The new minister of the Interior stated that the biggest threat to our democracy stems from right-wing terrorists. She will make that a priority for her tenure. Yes!

And the new minister for Transportation from the FDP said that there would be no future for internal combustion engines. From the FDP.

Also, I got my booster shot. Get vaccinated, everybody!


(New versus old, Cologne, 12/4/21)

Shutdown two, week fifty-six

The incidence in Cologne is almost 400.

Our government, old and new, federal and state, finally had a conference where they debated what measures they might decide to enact in the coming weeks. With 100,000 people dead already.

Why am I not impressed?

At least they are considering mandatory vaccination, which is a good start.

A full lockdown would also be nice.

And closing the schools!


(Cathedral at night, Cologne, 11/28/21)

Shutdown two, week fifty-five

The fourth wave is in full swing, and the incidence in Cologne is at 290. We have introduced a new trigger measure based on hospitalization; with the delay between infection and becoming ill, this amounts to sounding the fire alarm when the building is already engulfed in flames.

On the bright side, we might get a new government in early December. At the moment, our handling of both emergencies, Covid-19 and climate change, is abysmal at best.

Walking through Cologne, I came across this blast from the past: Did men ever fall for this kind of imagery?


(Advertising from a bygone era, Cologne, 11/21/21)

Shutdown two, week fifty-four

The fourth wave is here; Germany has a record number of new infections, and the incidence in Cologne is at 220 right now. With a dysfunctional acting government and a not-yet-functioning incoming government, we are stumbling headfirst into disaster. Hopefully, a full lockdown is coming soon.

The absolute low point this week was when the chairperson of the fringe liberal party, Christian Lindner, was schwurbling on TV that it was scientifically proven that contact reductions would not reduce infections with the Corona-Virus. They might end up in our next government – we’re so doomed.

COP26 was similarly a disaster – our acting government avoided any form of commitment and didn’t even sign the declaration ending internal combustion engines or firmly commit to stopping burning coal.

Reaching a compromise in politics is challenging work – but why are most people in power (mainly men) so unbelievably ignorant towards scientific facts?

On a positive note, our labor minister is preparing a new home office mandate – yay!


(Festival of Lights, Pokémon Go, 11/14/21)

Shutdown two, week fifty-three

One week into the second year, the incidence figures are going through the roof; Cologne is at 186 right now.

Similar lousy news from the COP – to speak with Greta, it’s time to stop the blah blah blah and get down to concrete action and reduce greenhouse gas emissions right now.

On the same subject, I am trying to change what we eat to plant-based only; unfortunately, I’m gaining weight again – back to calorie-counting. Sigh.


(Vegan Santa, Cologne, 11/7/21)

Shutdown two, week fifty-two

One year later and the incidence figures are rising again, as predicted; Cologne is at 151 right now.

The people with the highest risk are our most important and, at the same time, most vulnerable group: Our children – our future.

Why do we not do more to protect them?

We are not only failing them with Covid-19, but we’re also failing them in dealing with global heating. COP26 does not seem to be the breakthrough our planet needs. Our leaders are talking about reaching a compromise – as if they could discuss with Physics. It’s so simple: To stop the global warming of our planet, we need to stop burning fossil fuels. Now.

One place where we try to defend our planet is Lützerath – come and join activists from all over the world!


(1.5 degree limit, Lützerath, 10/31/21)

Shutdown two, week fifty-one

Not surprisingly, the incidence in Cologne has gone up again; it’s at 93 right now and rising. Are we officially in the fourth wave yet?

Last Friday, we had another global climate strike in Berlin. We wanted to increase the pressure on the coalition talks underway between the Social Democrats, the Greens, and the Liberals, to make sure they keep the climate emergency at the forefront of their negotiations. Also, COP26 is around the corner, and we need to focus on actions this time, not on another round of pledges.

The protest in Berlin was quite a success, with 20,000 people attending from all over the country.

The police, however, did not behave that well and used force against some protesters.

Also, the Social Democrats were quite upset at a social media post referencing one of their grave historical mistakes during the formation of the First Republic. Oh well.


(Global Climate Strike, Berlin, 10/22/21)

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.


(WandelWerk, Cologne, 10/17/21)