Monday, March 23, 2020

Corona 4

No, it's not a new strain of the virus, but instead, number four in my Corona reports from Freiburg and Germany.

Yesterday evening at the chancellery
 Last evening at 1830 hours following a video conference with all female and male governors (Ministerpräsident or other titles) from Germany's federal states (Länder), our chancellor was life on national television. Angela Merkel spoke about the pandemic or rather read the following statement:

1: Citizens are urged to reduce contact with other people outside the members of their own household to an absolutely necessary minimum.

2: In public, wherever possible, a minimum distance of at least 1.5 meters, or better still 2 meters, must be kept from people other than those mentioned in the first paragraph. It is essential that this distance rule is observed. At a certain distance, the risk of infection is reduced to almost zero. Whether you stand half a meter apart or 1.5 meters makes a huge difference (Being a physicist, she knows the inverse square root law well).

3: It is only allowed to stay in public spaces alone or with one other person not living in the household or in the circle of members of one's own family.

4: The way to work, emergency care, shopping, visits to the doctor, participation in essential meetings, necessary appointments and examinations, help for others, individual sports, and exercise in the fresh air as well as other essential activities remain, of course possible.

5: Given the seriousness of the situation in our country, groups of people celebrating in public places, in homes and private institutions, are unacceptable. Violations of the contact restrictions should be monitored by the regulatory authorities, and the police and sanctions should be imposed in the event of infringements (Angela is careful using "should" for the police authority is with the German Länder).

6: In Addition to pubs and restaurants, catering establishments will be closed. This does not include the delivery and collection of takeaway food for consumption at home.

7: Personal hygiene service providers such as hairdressers, beauty salons, massage parlors, tattoo studios, and similar establishments will be closed because physical proximity is essential in these cases. Medically necessary treatments remain possible.

8: It is essential to comply with hygiene regulations and implement effective protective measures for employees and visitors.

9: These measures should be valid for at least two weeks.

Yesterday evening two lighted windows. Our chancellor is working from home.
Angela seemed somewhat nervous and had while she was reading several slips. Later the nation was informed about a possible reason. The chancellor will stay in her apartment in Berlin-Mitte next to the Pergamon Museum, observing a quarantine of 14 days. She had contact with a doctor for vaccination against streptococci who later was found tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Streptococci may cause pneumonia for the deadly outcome of an infection with Corona.
Tonight's Breaking News: The result of the first Corona test of our chancellor was negative.

On the recommendation of his cardiologist, Red Baron had his streptococci vaccination in 2015 that should be valid up to 2022.

For Red Baron, the new, more definite rules, as Angela called them, do not change very much. Living alone since May 2019, my family being social contacts slowly but steadily has disappeared over the last two months. What I miss in particular is my training at Kieser. To keep my circulation alive, I now do a forced walking of at least 20 minutes per day. Yesterday I was at Elisabeth's tomb and walked for 24 minutes. Today I stressed my legs and lungs for 28 minutes.

I shall go shopping only every second day. When I went to the baker this morning, a young father with his two daughters (remember there is no school) was inside the small shop. So I waited in front, behind me three other persons in more than two meters distance were queuing up (sorry, standing in line). There was no bread left of the kind Red Baron likes, but I bought from the delicious homemade pastry my need for two days.

Later at the grocery, I had to wait less than a minute until a friendly young man called me in to take a shopping cart. They cleverly had reduced the number of shopping carts, limiting the number of customers inside the small supermarket. The only item I could not find was my beloved coarse whole-grain bread. So I went next door to a bakery chain and bought half a loaf of crusty Urbrot.

Friends, don't worry: I will not starve.

I then watched the press conference of the Robert Koch Institute this time for health reasons without journalists present. They had sent in their question before. Professor Wieler was mutedly optimistic regarding the Corona situation in Germany. The number of new infections is slowing down, but Wieler warned that the effect may be because not all new cases over the past weekend were reported to him.

Here is the optimistic curve of infections of this morning in a logarithmic presentation. An exponential increase shows as a straight line that in the case of Germany seems to turn convex. Maybe the earlier measures taken here one week ago, i.e., the closing of universities, schools, and Kindergärten, show already an effect. Let us keep our fingers crossed.

On national television, this afternoon: Freiburg's Kanonenplatz on Schlossberg is deserted.
The poet Reinhold Schneider once wrote the sonnet, "To the steeple of the Freiburg Minster" consoling Freiburg's citizens in a time when their city was in ruins following the air raid of November 27, 1944:

Steh' unerschüttert herrlich im Gemüte,
Du großer Beter glaubensmächtiger Zeit!
Wie Dich verklärt des Tages Herrlichkeit,
wenn längst des Tages Herrlichkeit verglühte.
Stand unshaken beautiful in mind,
You great prayer of a faithful time!
How the day's glory transfigures thee,
when long ago, the beauty of the day burned away.

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