In The Thick Of It

I’ve been thinking about how Covid is affecting me and my life. Covid has been locking countries down for a couple of months and we do seem to be in the thick of it. I think these national lockdowns would be so much harder without IT.

Abandon hope ...

We had some friends cycle past yesterday – they stopped at the foot of the garden for a brief chat. It is surreal what is happening.

But actually I am enjoying the lockdown. I bought a table tennis table for the cellar – apparently this will arrive tomorrow. This should help with exercise. Houses in Germany seem to almost always come with a cellar, and they are pretty big ones. Ours has a high ceiling (8 foot or so) and three rooms – a pantry, one for the plumbing gubbins, washing machine, etc and a large one the Germans normally call the hobby room. We have our spare bikes down there, a pile of moving boxes we have yet to unpack (and maybe never will) – literally around 70 of them, and I still have enough space (22 foot by 14 foot) for a table tennis table. So we’re looking forward to that. I am also cycling once a day around the Baggersee (the local lake) – it is only 30 minutes but better than nothing and a lovely ride. In the summer we go swimming there.

I finished my second novel yesterday so will be publishing this on Amazon shortly . Maybe I should get it made into an audiobook – I am sure George Clooney or Morgan Freeman would do a great job reading it.

And everything is still fairly new for me – even though I arrived in Germany in 2018, I still look in wonder at everything. No restaurants is a shame, but I cook good food here (I do enjoy cooking) and can buy gadgets from Amazon. I just ordered the new Fitbit (charge 4), though the only main difference between than and the charge 3 is that it now has GPS – something I don’t need since I always have my phone with me, so I was tempted to get a charge 3 and save some money. Readers of this blog will know that I did have an Apple watch but had a fall on my bike while commuting (the tyre got stuck in a tram rail – apparently everyone does this once … and then learns and never does it again!). This time I wanted a band rather than an obvious watch because I bought myself an Omega last year in Gibraltar (tax free) – quite an expensive piece of jewellery – and a) don’t want to wear 2 watches – that would look silly b) don’t want to just wear the Apple watch since I didn’t buy the Omega to sit in a drawer. Thus a fitness band seemed like the right option.

And the family are here with me (though my daughter is 18 next week – hardly a kid any longer), and the dog, so plenty of company. And no commute. So all in all, pretty good 

I suspect most people throughout history live through at least one tough time. In the UK, the last really tough time was WW2 though of course there have been plagues, many other wars, famines, earthquakes/volcanoes. So maybe Covid is what we have to live through – and compared to the others, it could be a lot worse. Obviously I am not trying to make light of the problems people are going through as a result of Covid: there is a lot of genuine suffering going on, some people are dying, others losing their livelihood and almost everyone is suffering financially as a result of this awful virus. But when things are bad I often find it helps to try to put things in perspective and compared to a lot of the disasters that have hit, I believe this could be worse.

I am hearing about the lockdowns in the UK. For many weeks now, Germany has been testing half a million people per week – I believe the UK wants to get to that number (or was it one hundred thousand?) by the end of this month. I don’t think the government planned properly and the country is paying the price now. It is so desperately sad. Germany has 3.5 times the number of hospital beds per head of population as the UK, and this also means that the health service should be able to cope. Thus we are in lockdown but can still get out and do things. I saw the photos of people in the parks in the UK over the weekend – it does not seem wise.

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