Oh, my esteemed audience, I almost forgot a typical 2020 anniversary in the sound of the sirens. Or rather in the non-sound. For me at least nothing was crying except maybe a couple of tin foil hats about the once again unusual doomsday. For those living outside the realm of spuds and krauts: there was a national emergency test scheduled for yesterday. Epic failure. So much about the idea to install a New World Order – we’re not even capable of testing a few sirens.
But now for the anniversary: I am at home for six months and one day, half the year has just been filled. And no end in sight. If I may invite you on the trip we’re all on. Somehow together and yet everyone for himself. For me time for a Corona resume.
Maybe a week, I thought in early March. A suspected case in a very wide area, no drama, but caution is the mother of the porcelain box and anyway, one doesn’t know for sure.
No, I did not know anything. None of that that came.
At the beginning there is great motivation. A lot planned, only some of it actually done.
Morning sport with VR glasses and finally a walk, real breakfast, no subway.
The weeks are dragging on
And unfortunately, also the dark clouds.
My father’s 80th. Failed, quarantine.
Company broke, job gone.
My window to the world becomes – even more so – the monitor. While retreat is becoming the norm for me, the pandemic fuels the parade of the brain-dead in their strange lust for doom. The scraps of news seem more bizarre every day. People fight over toilet paper. Press conferences, statements, the final triumph of streaming.
Tables, statistics, R-values, K-values, curves up and curves down.
My temperature curve is rising. Fortunately, only the virtual one.
Hearse wagons in Italy, ambulances at the door.
Burning cities in the USA, burning forests in the Amazon, in Australia the remains are glowing.
I become passive, watching becomes increasingly masochistic. But at least I take it off.
Söder mutates from baffoon to doer, Drosten to meme, the numbers and charts begin to overlap, to blur. Daily change at the top of the new infections, a tour-de-madness.
Bars closed, bars open. Clubs closed, beer gardens open. Businesses closed, businesses open.
Masks down, masks up.
The “outside” suddenly seem threatening to me. Strange. The throat is scratching.
I have to get out of this loop. Now. Immediately.
The claustrophobia of my world, which has shrunk to a few square meters, is the key.
Only when everything condenses is the path to opening possible.
So I get out. In the evening. With distance.
I am starting to see again. To observe. Perceive.
To experience my city with fresh eyes.
It seems to me that I needed this distance to regain closeness.
And I learn. In these six months I have learned more than five or 10 years ago.
Photography rediscovered for me, video, sound. I am writing again for the sake of writing.
Homepages set up, YouTube channel started.
Yes, a lot is a quarter done and half started.
But I can’t get any further without doing it – and it’s a pleasure, a lot of fun.
My batteries are charging again, barely noticeably at first, but at some point, I realize that I have more energy than I thought I could have again.
My life has changed a lot more in the last few months than I expected. I think most of them do. The pandemic is real, even if it doesn’t taste or smell. The mask in the pocket has quickly become a matter of course. Thinking about who to meet where, too. Wasn’t he only Spain, doesn’t she have an awful lot of colleagues in the office? Meet in things? Oh no, don’t be angry with me, but the tables are very narrow.
Is that the “New Reality”?
Bullshit – as if there had ever been an “Old Reality”.
We live in the here and now, there is no going back to virtual normality.
And as long as there are crazy people who want to go back to the empire and, better still, to go straight to the cave, I don’t have the slightest interest in it.
During the last few weeks, I have realized that there will be no going back to the start.
Much is lost, including much that is important to me. Many questions, few answers.
Will we ever have nights again, sweating, and happy in tight clubs? Barely.
Will we ever again walk through crowds of people completely inexperienced, get on crowded subways without hesitation? Rather not.
At least not me.
Back to cruises, consultants flying around and across and a world where home office is still an excuse for doing laundry? Back to a world that was completely out of joint even without Corona? Definitely not.
Not with me. There must be something else, something between unrestrained consumption as an end in itself and inhibited crawling at home.
And I want to find that, whatever it is.
Corona definitely changed me. The fear of catching this damn virus cannot be discussed away. A lack of social contacts, protection of parents from infection, fear for the neighbour and anger at people who deny reality endanger us all, a mix of feelings that I have never had before. Grief and compassion for people who have died, maybe just hanging on a fan somewhere, between death and life.
And yet – or maybe because of it – I feel more alive and creative than ever.
I know about the schizophrenia of this condition, but I cannot and will not feel guilty about it. Because the situation is what it is. In the end, it only matters what you make of it. I try to see the opportunities. Maybe some things will change permanently. Less flights, less travel, less buying. That may not serve the economy – but I don’t want to define myself by whether I am sufficient for the consumer goods industry.
Corona made me more thoughtful – and in a perverse way freer in the midst of the constriction. Freer in my thoughts and freer in the possibilities to express them.
Six months without a real résumé
What has Corona done to me now? Certainly not to a better person, not even to another person. But it made me humble, more grateful for what is and what is possible. And these six months made it very clear to me that life is a journey without a defined destination, plans are just what they are: plans. Certainties are only certain until they are cleared away and taken to absurdity. Three times a day if need be.
I am calmer than six months ago, more balanced and more open.
And – for whatever reason – much more optimistic.
It is far too early to be able to draw a conclusion. I don’t really know where the journey will go and how things will play out along the way.
Second wave, no wave, perfect wave or a perm?
But one thing I know for sure: I’m curious to see it, to experience it and to capture it in my own way. Because we all can’t choose, we’re in this boat on this trip and getting out is simply impossible. So only one thing really helps: make the best of it.
With that in mind, my esteemed readership: for the next six months. Or twelve.