#This time it`s different! The shelves in the supermarkets are well stocked, the fresh food counters, too. I am actually able to buy anything I need. No need to check for toilet paper, we’re still stocked at home. The pasta shelf nonetheless catches my attention. Not only as it has been empty for two days but because of two red notes saying, “pasta was not delivered, we sincerely apologise.” Has it already started? Do we run out of staple foods because some panic shopping people? I don’t think so! But #This time it`s different!
#This time it`s different! At the supermarket cashier I follow social distancing rules. Luckily another cashier opens the moment I want to put my shopping on the belt. Right behind me a senior lady who follows the marking on the floor. So we employ six feet distance small talk. She is definitely part of the high-risk group suffering from a chronical pneumonic disease. She nonetheless needs to go shopping as she has no one supporting her. I thus inform her of the city council’s hotline for help which is 201-1102. Plus the online platform quarantänehelden.de where you can offer or look for help in your specific area. As always, I try putting my shopping cart close around the corner of the cashier only to be stopped by a palette keeping the distance between shop assistant and customer. “I’m sorry”, I mumble only to hear “That’s alright”. Completely understandable, but still strange. Strange indeed!
#This time it`s different! While leaving the shop I check all directions. I usually don’t do this. If I hadn’t checked I would have never seen the senior lady with the mask. For the first time I see such a mask in public. That is because I usually stay home with my kids and only go out to shop for groceries. The lady doesn’t seem to see me – she possibly feels strange with the mask herself. She clings to the shopping cart, as if it was a walking frame. My last thought reads “I hope she’s not up to buy pasta”.
#This time it`s different! I still would like to buy some fresh rolls. They’re out which is not unusual for this time of the day. Remarkably, the bakery also has markings on the floor. Plus a huge sign telling me to keep a six foot distance. That six foot distance still feels strange.
#This time it`s different! It’s quite a weird feeling to follow the enforced requirements of social distancing. Not to be close to other social individuals. Being perceived as a potential threat. I voluntarily stayed at home the last seven days, I only went out for grocery shopping. While at the same time many people didn’t give a damn about the more than reasonable suggestions and warnings from our chancellor Merkel’s remarkable speech Wednesday night. She simply asked for solidarity towards those people whose life is threatened by the Covid-19 Virus. She asked for solidarity not to leave the house unless it’s absolutely necessary. Way too many people simply ignored that! Instead they meet up in parks for BBQ, they go to Solepark am Nass because the regular playgrounds have been closed and they gather outside, spreading the virus.
I #stayathome in order to not feel the present coercion. I #stayathome in order to prevent a general curfew. How different would a general curfew feel? You can make a difference. You can prevent a general curfew by #stayathome.
We’ll have the answer by this weekend. Let’s hope for all to be sensible!