When I first drafted this blogpost little did I know what we were expecting at the beginning of the second lockdown. A terror attack happened in Vienna close to Schwedenplatz on 2 November. It was tragic and I was shocked, like most of my fellows in Vienna. But we’re not giving in. Here we go, my thoughts on lockdown 2.0.
It is 1 November 2020 and we are about to go into a second lockdown in Austria. After the first lockdown, which happened in March/April 2020, the situation seemed to be more or less under control in Austria and in Europe in Summer, even though people were travelling around. Covid-19 was still present in the news, but we went back to ‘normal’ (We had to keep distance and had to wear a mask most of the time though). However, in the past few weeks cases have been rising exponentially. The city of Vienna tried to combat the expansion of Covid-19 cases, but the containment of the virus got out of their hands. Contact tracing and testing was far behind confirmed cases and more and more Covid-19 clusters seemed to appear. Even I was one once involved in a cluster. I went to a new gym for the first time and a few days later I received an email saying, sorry we need to close and you should go into quarantine and get yourself tested. (Luckily my test was negative and I’m still part of this gym.)
Nevertheless, if I think of this second lowdown it makes me sad and anxious. In general, not much of my everyday life will change, since we’ve been doing home office for the past 7 seven months at PwC AT. On a side note, I am still beyond grateful for the flexibility my company has been giving to us since the Corona virus situation got serious in March. If someone told me one year ago, that you’ll be sitting in your home office and this is your everyday life, I’d told them “no way”. (It has been my dream to have this flexibility in my work life since I’ve entered the corporate world.)
Coming back to the second lockdown, AT government announced in a press conference on 31st October, that all restaurants, bars, cafés, museums, theatres, gyms, yoga studios etc will be closed. This time a curfew from 8pm to 6am was announced as well. The main purpose of all those regulations is to contain private gatherings, since those are the main sources of Covid-19 infections. Another example, it will be prohibited to come together in garages, huts and other locations which are not meant to be residential area (i.e. an everyday living area, ‘home’).
Those measures are quite severe cuts into the personal life and they are daunting. However, it is beneficial for the society to ‘suffer’ and to cut back for a month, instead of causing a catastrophe. Facing the facts, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. It has never stopped and the virus did not vanish over summer. I’ve already written down my thoughts End of April about this situation and about our new reality. I was already convinced about the severity of this situation back then and that we had to adapt our everyday life. I was proven right with my thoughts, because the craziness aka Corona still determines our lives.
The hardest part for me in the past months had been the isolation and that social contacts had been restricted. Since I’m living on my own this has been the biggest challenge for the past six months. I know for myself that I am a social person and that I get a lot of energy being surrounded by lots of people and interacting with them. (However, I still need my downtime and time for myself to reflect.) What has been helping me a lot lately was doing sports together, especially those gym classes/training. It is very interesting, to see my process over the past few months. Since I’ve not only gained a lot of strength, also I’ve grown mentally a lot. I realised once again I am very well capable of pushing myself beyond my limits. So what can’t I not do then? (I guess the logical consequence would be something like “the sky is the limit”.)
I do believe the second lockdown will be challenging enough and it will also need a lot of mental durability to get through it. I have to admit, I am still quite relaxed and I think time will pass quickly in the end. But as far as I know myself, moments with struggles will also appear.
To sum it up, we are in this together and we are getting through this together. I also think, as soon as a ‘solution’ (referring to vaccines and other treatments) is found, I dare to say that we are going to go back to ‘normal’ as faster as we might imagine right now (whatever ‘normal’ will mean in the future). So, wherever you are and no matter how bad the situation is, always remember we will overcome this. One day we will be talking about this whole situation, oh “do you remember back in 2020. We got through a pandemic. How crazy was that actually?!”. You might call me crazy, naivly optimistic or whatever, but in the end everything will be fine. I think we just need to endure this just a little longer and then it’s good.
Btw, I’ve taken these photos with my mom in Schönbrunn lately, which is currently a fall fairytale.