Corona. Actually, I am not someone who has to jump directly on any current events. But now that the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, meanwhile also known as “COVID-19-Pandemic“) starts to restrict me personally on many levels, I want to write a few lines about it.

Since I first heard about mad cow disease (BSE) at the end of the 90s, almost without exception every year there was a new “killer disease” that would wipe out the entire human race. At least that was the mood that the resulting panics/hysteria spread. I remember spontaneously especially bird flu, swine flu, SARS, EHEC as well as the new editions of plague, cholera, Ebola, and measles. For the influenzas with animal names, I even remember that they were called A/H1N1 and A/H5N1, respectively. -And I am super bad at memorizing or remembering names.

SARS and the Arabian MERS were also coronaviruses, as I have since found out. Interesting that I heard Corona in connection with a virus for the first time this year. I’m sure the brewery that produces the Corona Extra beer would have liked it to have a different name this time as well. Their profits have probably already plummeted by $170 million in the first two months of this year. It’s no surprise, then, that queries on Google for “Corona Beer Virus” are going through the roof.

So, the virus is called SARS-CoV-2, and the resulting respiratory disease is called COVID-19. Since I am not a scientist or journalist, I will write below only by the name of Corona.

Corona and I

Christian Hockenberger mit Taucherbrille, hilft nicht gegen Corona
This is rather not serious

I am quite relaxed. Ever since I first heard about Corona and its progress in China on the news at the beginning of February, I knew that just about everyone in the world would get it. All it takes is a little bit of general knowledge. The more surprised I was actually about the WHO. Almost every day they spoke up and revised their previous statements about Corona. First, they said, “low risk of infection, no action required”. Then they called for caution, later changed low risk to medium and finally to high. And now there are recommended protective measures and warnings. All in all, I have completely lost my trust in this organization in the last 3 weeks. The fact that our federal government and especially the Minister of Health first downplayed Corona and now also stirs up panic is a shame, but based on the expected skills less surprising than with the WHO.

So, Corona and I, what’s going on? I’m worried about old and sick people, first and foremost in my family, of course. My grandmother, stepmother, and mother-in-law will probably have to sit it out at home in isolation, unfortunately. I don’t have to change all my habits now because of Corona. Since I ride buses and trains, I clean my hands regularly anyway and touch as little as possible. But I don’t want to totally restrict my children, of course, they should continue to go out and have social contacts. My wife and I also have to continue working. The only chance we would have of not getting Corona is to stop going out. None of us and of course no one would be allowed to come to us anymore, not even the mailman. -That’s not going to happen.

Now the situation is that on Friday it was announced that the schools will be closed from Monday until at least Easter because of Corona. Of course, the children have to be taken care of. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to work in my home office. My boss is very understanding there, not only in the Corona crisis. Going shopping is a pain. And people’s distrust of everyone is really unpleasant.

The interventions that are now being made because of Corona to slow down the spread is of course sensible with regard to the endangered people. However, this ridiculous communication with the population as well as the long hesitation until something is done at all are ridiculous!

If there is something like that, and you want to contain it or defeat it, then you have to act as quickly as possible and as maximally as possible. In the case of Corona, this would have meant that all the countries of the world should have closed all borders for the entire month of February. Stop traffic, curfew for everyone. That would have been very extreme and a hard February. It would have cost a lot of money. In return, Corona would not have spread and would have been eliminated in a month. Instead, each country cooks its own soup, which will go on for months and ultimately mean much more money, violence, and above all, deaths.

In any case, I find it super fascinating to witness. To see how Corona is spreading, how the governments are behaving, and above all, what it’s happening to the populations. I kind of expect to hear about civil war-like conditions like the violent LA riots in 1992 on the news every day. Of looting and open violence, military presence in the streets. Our defense minister today asked us soldiers of the reserve to help out in the military hospitals. Sorry, I can’t support in medical facilities. When it comes to restoring public order, I’m happy to stand on the line.

By the way, just as a side note, not only because of Xavier Naidoo but especially because of Corona there was yesterday the worst and saddest DSDS (german variation of American Idol) live show since the start in 2002.

Corona and the others

I understand why a lot of people are panicking, the government doesn’t exactly seem like they’re protecting us in any way from Corona or anything. But I think it really sucks that these hoarding purchases, this amateur prepping, is causing so many problems now. Is it so hard to have soap, Sagrotan, toilet paper or ravioli basically in a reasonable amount at home? You can always buy something like that, especially if it’s on sale. It doesn’t go bad so quickly. It’s really not great that people who depend on keeping everything sterile in their lives can no longer do so. That baby food is no longer available for parents who depend on it. I watched in a supermarket in Frankenthal how a young guy with disposable gloves bought 12 packs of toast, the shelf was empty then. The clip said they only had a shelf life of 8 days (I took my pack before). So many things. If we were all a little more organized, strategic, prepared, it would all be a lot less problematic. We should be. I think I’ll write a post about this when I get a chance.

Folks, get yourselves together a bit, and please stay healthy. If you haven’t already, please take Corona as an opportunity to follow the hygiene recommendations and start having small supplies. And please keep it up. After Corona is before the next pandemic.

What’s next?

Now even the Bundesliga (German Soccer League) has been suspended because of Corona. I’m sure that hurts the hearts of most Germans the most. -Which I find sad. I expect the restrictions to become stricter and stricter, bit by bit, and in the end, everyone will be under a curfew. I expect riots and looting. But real anarchy rather not. As already written, we will certainly all get it. And (unfortunately just) mostly survive.

Corona this, Corona that. I’ve already seen Corona shirts and Corona mugs available for purchase on the respective commercial platforms. Will Corona eventually be named word of the year? I’m curious.

Hopefully, my next article won’t be about Corona.