Tag Archives: coronavirus in vienna

The masks are coming out

31 Mar

Yesterday the government announced that as of tomorrow supermarkets will be handing out face masks to shoppers and we will not be allowed to shop without them. Suddenly, this morning I have seen several people wearing masks on the street. Probably a good precaution but eerie nonetheless.

Runners

28 Mar

Not me! I’m just a dog-walking observer. And as an observer I can’t help noticing how many more runners there are than there were just two weeks ago.

The other thing I’m noticing is how fast some of them are running. I still remember walking through Central Park in New York with my then Austrian partner, about 15 years ago, who couldn’t get over how fast all the runners were moving. Vienna was in the throes of the “slow running” fad, and until now I hadn’t really thought about it, but Vienna was still in the throes until the coronavirus lockdown started!

Clearly, there’s currently a lot of energy out there that is not getting used up in other ways.

Day 11 – There are signs in the parks

26 Mar

These are new. As the weather gets warmer probably a necessary precaution. I wish the teams of young men hanging them up had thought to take the advised distance into account, though. They were separated only by the thickness of the tree, one holding and one tying.

The ORF reporting in the time of the coronavirus

25 Mar

As I was listening to the news this morning I was impressed and grateful for the ORF coverage and general approach to reporting on the coronavirus crisis. One thing they have done is set up a toll-free number where people can call and leave their questions on an answering machine. The questions are then grouped according to concern, the ORF has people getting definitive answers, and the answers are announced on the news. After that, the questions and answers are available on their website. A real service in a time when clear and reliable information helps people take the steps they need to take.

The ORF, by the way, is the national broadcasting corporation in Austria, rather like the BBC is in the U.K.

Tuesday evenings

24 Mar

There is a store in Vienna called Eduscho or Tchibo. They technically sell coffee, but they also sell inexpensive consumer goods that change every week. The change is made on Tuesdays. So I am used to looking with great curiosity at what they have in their window when I walk by with Maylo on Tuesday evenings.

It is just one of many reminders that we are on coronavirus lockdown that the window has been the same for three weeks. I must confess I am getting a little tired now of the underwear in their shop window!

Special coronavirus opening hours

21 Mar

Maylo and I are still in bed as I write this. We would get up (it has stopped raining), but then we would get to the Trafik before they opened and not be able to get treats (Maylo) and Saturday newspaper and instant lottery ticket (me). They’re opening an hour later than usual for the time being. Special coronavirus opening hours.

Will the ante be upped?

19 Mar

There was some question today whether the parks would be closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. A friend of mine was quite worked up about it because–as so often happens–the people who were behaving carelessly were ruining things for the rest of us. (She said people had been partying in the park near her.)

Given that this was hanging over our heads, I checked the news especially before going out with Maylo this afternoon and saw that the Minister of Health had specifically said that parks were not (yet) going to be closed. Nonetheless, it was hard to miss the police present in one of the parks we often walk in. Three police officers just keeping an eye on the distance between people and occasionally speaking to pairs or trios, asking them to move farther away from each other.

Because I was alone with Maylo they didn’t say anything to me. We even were able to sit in the sun a bit. Then there came the announcement over the bullhorn, “Hier ist die Polizei. Bitte gehen Sie nach Hause.” (“This is the police. Please go home.”) Slowly, reluctantly, people got up and started to shuffle, more or less, home. It was only when Maylo and I were about halfway home that I realized they were almost certainly talking to a specific group of people, no doubt behaving carelessly. They only said it once and did not do a tour of the park.

We shall see where we go from here.