Tag Archives: coronavirus in vienna

The Pandemic in Austria

26 Mar

I’ve been recording the numbers more or less daily for three(!) years and have decided to stop. For that, I did want to do a quick review.

On 26 March 2020, 35,995 tests had been done. (A lot, I think, given that the pandemic made it into our consciousness only about two weeks before that.) As of yesterday, 207,503,628 had been carried out, an unimaginably big number. At the height of the testing campaign, there were a few days when over 500,000 tests were done per day. The daily rate is currently around 25,000. (Out of gratitude for them, I try not to think too clearly about what the testing and vaccination campaigns have done to the environment.)

The early statistics included only four numbers: tests, confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries. We now get eight numbers: the seven-day average (as of yesterday: 246.9 compared to over 1,100 at its peak), tests (see above), positive tests (a cumulative number: 6,021,769), active cases (currently 37,912), people hospitalized (1,044), people in intensive care (in addition to those hospitalized: 55), fatalities (22,082), and recoveries (5,961,775).

For a while, I was also keeping track every few days of the vaccination rates, but these have hardly changed in the last few months so it hasn’t been very interesting. (In fact, it started to get a bit discouraging.) My last recorded figures tell me that 71.8% of the population have gotten two doses; 56.2% have gotten three; and only 18.7% percent have been “aufgefrischt”, which is defined as having gotten 4 or more.

Not only have the numbers changed. The terminology has, too. “Bestätigte Fälle” (confirmed cases) became at some point “In Labor bestätigte Fälle” presumably to distinguish those results from the ones we get from self tests, of which we still get five per month for free on our health insurance. “Todesfälle” has become “Verstorbene,” which sounds a bit more tender. And “Auskuriert” has become “Genesene” (recovered). I’d love to know the reasons for the changes, but I don’t.

Coronavirus is still with us, but we are getting back to life without masks and such frequent testing. Spring seems the perfect season to live a bit more again, a bit like coming out of hibernation.

Should you be interested in where I got the numbers: https://orf.at/corona/daten/oesterreich

Wishing all a beautiful Sunday and great health!


The Pandemic (remember the pandemic? ;-))

25 Feb

The front page of the Kurier reminding us that it was three years ago today that the first coronavirus cases were detected in Austria. Things moved very fast after that. As of March 1st this year, most of the restrictions will fall. Public transportation in Vienna has been something of a holdout, still requiring FFP2 masks. Even that will no longer be the case, although a third of Kurier readers polled have said they will voluntarily continue to wear them.

The first day of this lockdown

22 Nov

I am on the tram going around the Ring and found myself, as so often in the past 33 years, looking at the marquee on the Burg Kino to see what was showing (“The Power of the Dog” and “Dune” among other things) when I realized there was no point. Like so much else it’s closed for the next three weeks.

Coming alive again

2 Jun

I’m out running errands near Mariahilfer Straße and can’t help noticing what a difference there is to my visit two weeks ago, when I dropped off my computer to be repaired. I don’t think it’s all due to the loosening of Covid regulations, although there are certainly lots of people taking advantage of the fact that we are now allowed to sit down and eat out. My sense is that the weather is playing the biggest role. After weeks it’s finally sunny and over 20°C (68°F) and people are soaking it up.

Switching from work-from-home back to normal

12 Feb

“And what makes you think that going from working from home back to normal could be a problem for me?” 😉


31 Oct

Well, I didn’t see that coming, even though our numbers are terrible. As of Tuesday we will have the first curfew of Austria’s Second Republic. True to Austrian form it is early. We will not be allowed on the streets between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

There isn’t much front page news that interrupts my habit of starting at the back of the paper and working my way forward (the last I remember was the announcement of Karlheinz Böhm’s death), but this was one of the items that did.

Today’s headline, by the way, says that the government is tightening the screws. I’ll leave you to consider which ones.

If Freud had lived in the time of coronavirus

23 May

He would have realized that penis envy is nothing compared to mask envy. I’ve seen several in the last 15 minutes I wish I had. Fesch!

Eating out

16 May

Yes, you read that correctly. As of yesterday our restaurants are open and people are allowed to eat out. There are, of course, certain restrictions, but they don’t seem that tough.

What is really interesting and, I feel, particularly Viennese is that the city of Vienna is issuing gift certificates to each household for use in a restaurant. EUR 25 for single households and EUR 50 for families. Gives new meaning to the expression “Put your money where your mouth is,” doesn’t it?

Alice in Wonderland?

10 May

In the last 24 hours I have seen two of these actually well-executed white rabbits. I know we usually go in for Kafka more, but how can one not suspect someone is implying that the times we live in, even in Vienna, are like Alice in Wonderland?

What do my readers think?

A little history lesson

3 May

As we struggle with the coronavirus, let us not forget that 75 years ago the Second World War was ending. In Austria alone, as the Kurier reported this morning, the timeline looked like this:

29 March 1945 – Soviet troops entered Austria in Burgenland; members of the SS rolled boulders off the rim of the quarry in St. Margarethen onto the forced laborers who had been driven together in the quarry below, causing a blood bath; massacres of forced laborers took place in Deutsch-Schuetzen and Bad Deutsch-Altenburg; a death march from the southeast towards the concentration camp Mauthausen near Linz (approximately 300 km away) were started

6 April 1945 – There is a massacre, called the “Krems Rabbit Hunt” (Kremser Hasenjagd), as the concentration camp Krems-Stein is being evacuated. In this massacre, prisoners who tried to escape, including the freedom figher Alois Westermeier, were caught and executed.

8 April 1945 – The freedom fighters Major Karl Biedermann, Captain Alfred Huth, and First Lieutenant Rudolf Raschke were executed at the Florisdorfer Spitz in Vienna for trying to negotiate with the Red Army a peaceful transfer of Vienna.

13 April 1945 – The battle for Vienna ends. St. Stephen’s Cathedral stands in flames.

17 April 1945 – Theodor Koerner is appointed interim mayor of Vienna.

27 April 1945 – Declaration of independence and founding of the Second Republic.

28 April 1945 – U.S. American troops approach Tirol and Upper Austria. The last of three death march groups reach the camp in Gunskirchen, Upper Austria. Thousands of those people do not survive the next few days.

29 April 1945 – Last murder by gassing of prisoners in the concentration camp, Mauthausen. French troops enter Austrian soil in Vorarlberg.

30 April 1945 – In Vienna, at the orders of Interim Mayor Theodor Koerner, street signs with National Socialist names are taped over. Hitler commits suicide in his bunker in Berlin.

6 May 1945 – British troops cross the Carinthian border into Austria. The concentration camp [actually Aussenlager”] Ebensee is liberated by U.S. American troops.

8 May 1945 – Eight days after Hitler’s suicide, the Third Reich capitulates unconditionally and the war in Europe is over.