Uta’s Diary, January 2021

How does Covid19 affect us?

Well, it is the beginning of 2021. We migrated from Germany to Australia in 1959. So we have been in Australia well over 60 years. We had two children under two when we migrated. And then we had another two children born in Australia. Australia definitely is our new home country wheras Germany is our ‘old’ home country!

When my father died of cancer in Germany in 1966, no way could I have contemplated rushing over to Germany to his bedsite. Airtravel to Germany would have been much too expensive for me. The first time we could afford to travel by air to Germany for a visit was in1977. After that Airtravel became more and more affordable. We were able to travel lots of times to Germany for visits. We even travelled to other European countries to England and to America.

Now, with the virus none essential airtravel is becoming outright unaffordable for the average citizen. Even travel between the different states in Australia is becoming more and more difficult. With all the travel restrictions in place because of the virus, our son, who lives in Victoria, nearly did not make it to New South Wales to be with his dying father!

For the past forty years or so we had become used that travel overseas as well as within Australia had become possible any time. Now, since this virus has to be watched, all of a sudden all this travelling has been put on hold. How do we cope with it? I must say, so far we do not seem to cope with it all that well. All these restrictions because of the virus go on people’s nerves. Wearing a mask to avoid infection? What a bother! No, to have to wear a mask when you are among people, really is not very pleasant. Germans would say: ‘Mach eine gute Miene zum bösen Spiel!’ That means you can pretend to be cheerful even if this thing is not to your liking!

And what about ‘Social Distancing’? How difficult is that for people? In lots of places, some signs on the floor indicate how far to keep away from the person in front of you. When it comes to sitting down, you usually are expected to leave the chair on both sides of you empty, and some signs indicate where people cannot sit. The exception is of course, when people are from the same family and live together, meaning people that do live together do not have to sit separate. But often extended families have the urge to sit close together too!

When they have that urge to congregate in clusters in order to be able to talk to each other, what does that indicate? Can we not talk to each other when there is a bit of room left between us? Apparently the urge is to be as close as possible to the person we want to talk to. This is the normal way to have a converstion, is it not? Well, not anynore! The virus teaches us something different. And we better learn quickly to cope with all these changes for the virus is going to be with us for quite a bit longer. Even all the vaccinations will not wipe out the danger of infection 100%!