Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 15 March 2020

No Man is an Island...

... entire of itself" wrote John Donne - and we see the truth of it every day now.

Berlin reacts too: schools are closed, universities and kindergardens closed. I pity the parents who have to work - grandparents are asked NOT to chaperone their grandchildren (or other children like those of the neighbours) - because one fears that the old ones get infected and die. The only kindergardens open are for children of nursing staff.

That my fitness center had to close from today on: bearable, I can do a lot of exercises at home - and the staff there gets their salaries.
But what about the students working as waitress in a café: they have to pay their rent. Clubs closed, theatres closed, and..and...and...

We think about services we take for granted: garbage collection, cashiers and so on.

As you know me: even in severe situations I cannot avoid seeing unintentional black humour:
Berlin's bus drivers (poor chaps!) were ordered not to open the front door of a bus any more  -
that reminds me of the advice we got against nuclear war in the Good Olden Days:
they told us we should put a briefcase over our head in case of need...!

There might come a bigger stop to public life. Economy suffers dreadfully.

We have to wait and to hope that it vanishes soon - seems that it does so in China - I hope they tell the truth.

Keep your chin up! Stay healthy - I wish you (and us) that with all my heart.

Stay kind.

As John Donne said: "No man is an island"

PS: NOT kind: President Trump does everything to buy a German research company, CureVac, offering them (and the scientists) billions - and demands that the USA gets the formula (against Corona) EXCLUSIVELY.
Me, me, me... German government tries to thwart that. (Thwart the purchase - they can do nothing against "Me, me, me").


  1. Trump is a bad combination of stupid and self-serving, but mainly stupid.

  2. I think he is a lot (I am not lost for words, but time :-) - but stupid he is not.

  3. I feel for loss to the economy and the knock on of that. Businesses, large or small, cannot just stop and switch off and simply switch on again without serious financial consequences. Governments will eventually have to step into some big breaches.

  4. I do hope Angela gives the orange boy the finger, or however you do it in Germany.
    It is sad for so many marginal workers to lose wages. That's why we have unemployment insurance all over this country.

    1. I think they found a way to keep the scientists and the research company in Germany - and the news are always accompanied withe the words: results for all (!) mankind - a dignified way to stick that finger!
      In Germany we do have very good social security rules ( some say: too good - many people don't work because that does not give you much more money than sitting as cashier in the supermarket.). I was thinking of students with 450 Euro-jobs, mini-jobbers. But now I also feel for the big companies too - and very much for the small ones - having a restaurant at the moment is a financial disaster!

  5. We must be sensible and not panic I guess Britta. Being unprecedented, there are no rules as to how to handle it but we must all do our best.
    I was positive that I commented on your post about your grandchildren but it’s not there so maybe I didn’t press publish 🤣 How amazing .... they must be into all sorts at the moment. Our newest grandchild is 10 months now and she is into everything !!!!
    Take care Britta and keep washing your hands 🤣😂 🙏 XXXX

    1. Thank you, Jackie! I do NOT panic, and listen to the news only once a day - otherwise I do things to keep me fit and healthy and my spirits high. I try to help others, but that is limited because we "older people" are under special protection, which is kind.
      The triplets are marvellous - they laugh a lot, have a happy disposition and I miss them. Are you living near to your grandchildren? You know best how quick they grow and learn and change - I want to be able to see more of them - though Berlin is my favourite city (in Germany :-) , Bavaria is very far away..
      Take care! XXX

    2. Our children/grandchildren don’t live in the same town as us but they are not too far away but, because of ‘ you know what ‘ we are not seeing them which is sad but, I think, necessary.
      Look after yourself Britta ..... it’s good to have our blogging friends to chat to in these difficult times. XXXX

  6. Curevac say the newspaper report was wrong and they did not receive takeover approach from US. Now Curevac have received money from Germany so perhaps the rumours paid dividends for them. So much is believed without substantiation.