18.10.2020 | COVID Notes and a Long Walk

When I gathered stuff for my outing in the kitchen earlier, I came across a piece of paper on which I had jotted down some more things to maybe blog about. And today there were more things coming up, mostly COVID-19 pandemic related and I thought, maybe I should just do a section of that and get it over with. Not in any kind of order, neither topical nor chronologically or whatever.

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COVID Notes #001

Earlier this week I was on a Zoom call with my EU project team from six different countries. It was good to catch up, project- but of course also pandemic – wise. One of the guys was about to become a dad, literally just about. And he wasn’t allowed in the hospital for obvious reasons and also because there had been COVID cases on the ward and it’s all so sad. He was happy for the distraction, but still…. I’m also quite sad because I most probably won’t see either of them in real life before the project ends mid next year. There might be some more real life meetings in April 2021, but as part of the risk group there is no way I’m getting on a plane or train anywhere any time soon.

It’s always good to check my own privilege, because I’m privileged in so many ways. And I’m grateful about it and humbled by it. I just need to be reminded of that when I feel like the dark COVID clouds are coming in.

On my drive back home this afternoon I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of the Frank Turner DJ sets. I’m not sure if I actually heard him play it at one I was at, but I remember an Insta post or story from one of the DJ sets where he definitely put it on. And I was nostalgic about the last one I went to… in 2018? I don’t even recall exactly. I remember that I didn’t dare to just walk up to his DJ desk and say Hi, in fear he might not remember me, so it must have been a while ago. Either way, I miss the carelessness of those days. So much!

According to the German COVID warn app, I’ve been near one person who tested positive within the last two weeks? Few days? The app is unclear about it. No need to worry as we’ve obviously been distanced enough or just been close for a tiny span of time. But still… it’s getting closer and that’s…. scary!

I read a short news report about one local health authority stating, that they are swamped because they have to follow up on 80 – 90 contacts on average for every positive test. And I thought to myself: 80 – 90 Close-ish (face to face over 15 minutes) contact? What are have those (tested positive) people doing? When I look back over my two weeks I get to about 25, who I might have spent distanced (!) contact with for longer than a few minutes. A handful of those where I might have spent a minute or so looking on the same computer screen. Only about 20 more who I passed in the stairwell / on the floor / in the bathroom at work and possibly exchanged a few words with. Always (as far as I remember) distanced. Would all of those 25 + 20 = 45 people needed to be called up by the authorities? I have no idea…

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It is time to make a wide berth around people again. And I did that – more or less – by taking a walk at the old central cemetery in Dortmund, which is about 30 minutes drive away. I had read about it some time ago and thought this might be a good place to go for a walk as it’s open spaced enough to avoid other people who might be out for a walk as well. And that worked indeed quite well.

So here are a few photos, more of trees and nature and less of gravestones and such. I didn’t see that many old and battered ones and also didn’t feel comfortable taking / sharing pictures of other ones, because a grave is still a bit of a private issue, isn’t it? When I saw a marker for “soldiers’ graves” I didn’t know what to expect to be honest. We have a memorial stone at the old graveyard in my small town as far as I remember. I did not expect to see rows and rows and rows of stone crosses marking graves of the fallen. According to Wikipedia there are almost 4.000 graves of soldiers from both wars. Quite the humbling experience…

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