Saturday, 21 March 2020


Though we’ve already both been trying to avoid going out in public as much as possible, Bavaria joins Italy, California, Paris and many other places in a near total lockdown and restriction on movement—modelled after early and successful interventions in Asia that virtually stopped the spread of COVID-19.
It is not to much to ask that other municipalities, neighbourhoods, households absent leadership to do the same and look out for the vulnerable in your communities and offer to pool shopping trips to limit unnecessary exposure and to make sure everyone’s needs are met—especially worrying considering that the first cases were detected in the United States and South Korea on the same day, 20 January 2020, and while the latter has managed to contain the spread, the former has been grossly inept. A long-distance commuter, before being dismissed permanently to tele-work, I slowly realised my rather abrupt descent into full blown Lady Macbeth madness, real business stopped anyway and little to do except agonise over the news, wash my hands and disinfect. Wash my hands, disinfect. Wash my hands.
As a certified misanthrope, I was not enjoying my splendid isolation as much as I should have and grew highly but silently suspect of those I thought were being too careless about personal space and touching their faces. One should not beat oneself up over missteps but I did not really pack properly for this occasion and though taking the largest suitcase I had, I didn’t seem to have brought nearly what I ought to have—I think that was the moment I realised I had gone a bit addled by the stress. It is good to have a list and advance plan.  I did have the wherewithal at least to provide for my house plants and moved them to the balcony and at the office to a common area where someone can attend to them in my possibly, likely extended absense.
There’s the ghostly smudge above of where a poor pigeon crashed into the window spreadeagle—years ago but the mark is still there. The other images: the school lessons left on the stoop, the abandoned Corona display shelf and the removed outdoors seating were other signs of shifting changes. As good as a disinfectant as sunshine can be, the first inviting signs of spring after a gloomy middling winter brought people out in throngs and in close proximity, flounting the advice of health authorities and prompting the state government to intervene with an imposed restriction on movement and assembly. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay calm and look out for one another and please stay inside—like an indoor cat, you can do it.