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There talking about reintroducing wolves into Scotland! We’ve had a Stork producing young for the first time since the 1400’s, unbelievable! We have Beavers doing very well in various places around our islands so our wildlife is surviving.
Planning for after Covid 19 seems to be leaping ahead more power to their elbows.

I think one of the worrying things at the moment are the reports of food going to waste across Europe no surprise with hotels and restaurants being closed but somehow it must be usable somewhere. Must go for my daily walk it’s a beautiful day. CA

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4 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Personally, I have just been reassigned to a more cultural aspect of my work in a different building and tourism setting, starting first week of June. Sounds okay. Will return to my usual workplace in July hopefully.

 

notamermaid

 

I know this doesn't apply to your job, but one of the jokes that struck me as quite funny on the Royal Caribbean joke thread [https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2741933-to-add-some-humour/ – warning: now at page 109!] is:

 

 

image.png.2dd1428fbf5b7ef27d0566290ce1a06f.png

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A tour guides not for me to many places to see and people to meet so lucky to be my age and able to do it. The next wildlife on my list is the Great Bustards they have re-introduced to Salisbury Plain. CA

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Some things I have read or learnt in the last few days: 1. surgical face masks/coverings work according to a hamster experiment by a Hong Kong doctor: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/19/coronavirus-wearing-a-mask-can-reduce-transmission-by-75percent-new-study-claims.html

 

2. Germans have stopped doing Hamsterkäufe (panic buying) of toilet paper and pasta.

 

3. CO2 emissions went right down. Brilliant, but they are back up to almost pre-Coronavirus level in a few places: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV9Yc9mCns0

first few minutes of the video

 

4. the plant drink from a certain country, which includes an ingredient from the wormwood family, is being properly studied in Germany and Denmark: https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-tests-for-miracle-cure-herb-artemisia-begin/a-53442366

 

5. In the early stages, i.e. end of January/early February, German politicians regarded the situation as akin to a flu outbreak and wanted to use the epidemic plan for flu to control this. Thankfully, they decided to change tactics "in the nick of time". Yet, yesterday Germany reached 8,000 covid-19 related deaths. That is worse than some other European countries, even when allowing for the larger population in Germany.

 

6. My own state Rhineland-Palatinate is doing well and will allow small events from June (similar easing is going on in other states). I have not understood yet how that combines with the social distancing measures, currently we can still only meet with another household, but that is to last only until 4 June I think. And cinemas will reopen as well in June. Not sure that we are ready to go back to half normal even with masks on...

 

notamermaid

 

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Today, Ascension Day, is a public holiday in Germany, and traditionally celebrated as "Fathers Day" (even "Mens Day" in some parts). Lots of males leaving their families at home, walking in groups dragging a cart full of beer and other goodies behind them and/or crowding the beer gardens. Perfect weather, sunshine all over the country and temps expected in the twenties Celsius (seventies for those in imperial units). And, hoooray, beer gardens may open, at least in some states in Germany. Even in Bavaria, which ran a fairly strict closure policy in the last weeks.

 

But in Corona-days social distancing applies. The rules are complicated, even more complicated when listening to the bavarian minister of economy, Hubert Aiwanger: https://www.bayern3.de/aiwanger-corona-abstand-halten-biergarten-spruch-interview-zitat  (I am afraid, this statement, which does have the potential to become a classic in every comedy show, is in German only). Anyway, the police are on alert to observe distancinf rules, not an easy task  in times of herd intoxication.

 

The more restrictions are loosened, the more people keep forgetting the virus is still active and we are, where we were in, say, February: Without medication, without vaccination against the virus. We have learnt a bit, like masks DO help. But it is still dancing on a volcano. Stay healthy.

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Posted (edited)

Dancing on a volcano, I like the expression here. @AnhaltER1960 Apart from the masks and a certain awareness of social distancing, you are right: we are no better off than in February. Put one infected person returning from holiday in Spain into a beer tent the following day and we are right back were we started in February, unless we keep the masks on which is counterproductive to herd intoxication, as you so aptly put it. Grin. I cannot see any chance of returning to indoor celebration of the large kind soon. Here is the article from Deutsche Welle on the Bavarian first cases study. Quite sobering and what many of us have suspected all along: by the time you feel slightly wrong with a tingling in your throat you may have infected others, or you never even get that "strangely not yourself" feeling. https://www.dw.com/en/new-coronavirus-study-recalls-germanys-patient-zero/a-53473882

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
grammar

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Thanks for all the local German updates.

 

One other way we MAY be better off than in February is IF there is truth to herd immunity, or something like it, and the simple previous infections both reported and not are helping to get to that point.

 

Please note my "MAY" and "IF".  I am not pretending we should all go out and try to contract the virus.

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On 5/21/2020 at 7:45 PM, VistaRio said:

One other way we MAY be better off than in February is IF there is truth to herd immunity, or something like it, and the simple previous infections both reported and not are helping to get to that point.

Yes, that would be good. There have been several studies started now - you know, the antibody tests - in Europe. Some have shown results but overall it is still inconclusive and does not give us ease of mind. Another study has started in Kupferzell, a small place, basically in the countryside in Germany, which makes it ideal as there is no mingling with tons of people from all over the place like you have in a city. Will see what that says. Mean while, we can only read the news, don our masks - or not, if we do not need to or want to be defiant (the latter in my personal humble opinion equals stupid and/or selfish).  Deutsche Welle has got some interesting stuff in today's update, including a medicine video, the figures for Germany which cannot make one happy yet, but it is better overall than in the previous weeks. https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-latest-spain-anti-lockdown-protest-draws-thousands-of-far-right-supporters/a-53542279

 

What I do not like is the report of the restaurant near the Dutch border, if correct it shows how we can easily get a problem arising from a minor setting like a dozen people eating together. It does not bode well for river cruising. I have copied it out for ease of reading, timestamp 6:58: "

 A small cluster of cases in northwestern Germany has been linked to the reopening of a restaurant following the easing of the nationwide lockdown. At least seven people who visited the eatery in Leer district, in Lower Saxony, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

"The infections are probably related to a visit to a restaurant," said a statement from the district authorities. Lower Saxony, which lies next to the Dutch border, was one of the first states to allow restaurants to reopen from May 11.

Around 50 people who came into contact with those infected have been told to quarantine themselves. According to public broadcaster NDR, it is unclear whether staff or customers had ignored social distancing/hygiene rules.

They include a 2-meter (6 ½-foot) distance between tables, masks for waiters and an obligation to take the name, address
and phone number of guests so that possible infections can be traced.""

 

I think without using a tracing app and written personal details, we will be stuck in a unhappy scenario for months. And I do not like this pushing for tourism to reopen across European states: https://www.dw.com/en/will-eus-summer-travel-rebound-from-coronavirus-pandemic/a-53511166

 

We know more than we did in February, but it is not necessarily reassuring, especially for when tourists return home and re-join their local area in indoor activities.

 

More on what I mean by that another time.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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5 hours ago, notamermaid said:

 Mean while, we can only read the news, don our masks - or not, if we do not need to or want to be defiant (the latter in my personal humble opinion equals stupid and/or selfish).  

 

notamermaid

 

In regards to masks...  my concern continues to be that people foolishly believe that wearing the mask provides them with protection - and then they ignore the guidelines around physical distancing.  I cannot tell you the number of people that I see wearing them improperly (ie: not covering their nose and mouth, have it over a beard - with the beard hanging below, wearing them while driving alone in their car, walking around - coffee in hand - with the mask pulled down etc), not handling them properly after removing them (ie: putting them into their back pocket or purse) - with no indication of when (if at all) the mask was laundered.  If someone gets too close to me (and believe me, I am not out much at all these days...) - it is usually because they are wearing a mask and feel they are "safe". 

 

So - I choose not to wear a mask unless it is mandated - as I am not convinced about the value in doing so.  I do a lot of my shopping on line, and for places I need to go in person , I choose a store that I know takes the social distancing guidelines seriously - and restricts numbers in the store, has signage about the way to walk through the store etc.  These are my choices - but I read lots of literature on (non-medical) masks - and none of it is robust. If a store decides I cannot shop without a mask, then I can choose not to shop there if I do not want to comply. 

 

Fran

 

P.S. Don't get me going on people wearing gloves!!

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Fran,

 

yes, wearing masks does need to be done correctly. The gloves, that is a different matter and as far as I have read, washing your hands is more effective. The virus gets through flimsy gloves and sticks to hands when they sweat. Eek. I have stopped wearing gloves. The main thing is standing away from people and not touching your face when you have touched surfaces. Which one should avoid anyway when out and about.. Easier said than done, I know. Again, that is where a mask could help.

 

A couple of updates: the suspected outbreak in a school in Trier wasn't one. Few other cases had been found. All in all in Germany, children do get ill from it, but they are not driving the outbreak it seems. Going back to school with precautions will be a good move for most children. Many can learn better in a class environment and the social aspect must not be neglected. Fortunately, so far, few people under the age of 30 have died in Germany.

 

As regards socialising, this went a little wrong in a church in Frankfurt. They have not broken any rules there, it was well done, nevertheless there are now 40 infected people in the area, traced to church services in that church building. Most are fine, just a couple in hospital.

 

A real bad press case and a worry for the hospitality trade is the restaurant in Leer that I have mentioned. It has turned out to be a reopening ceremonial day, just invited guests, but 40 of them. Business partners, friends, etc. This is under investigation as rules might have been broken. With the owner being infected as well, there could be more cases coming as the restaurant was open to the public for the following three days. As of today there are 12 confirmed cases, but already over 100 in official quarantine. Even if none of them get ill, it shows how even quarantine rules can have an impact on a small economy setting like a rural district. The restaurant is also closed for 14 days of course.

 

Tells me, indoors strict rules for social distancing will need to apply on river cruise ships for a long time.

 

notamermaid

 

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Fran, I share your thoughts about masks.  Being a retired infection control nurse, I have long known that they don't protect you, but, in hospital setting protect patient and keep you from spreading your  "germs".  I never wear one on a walk or in a car. Will wear one in shops that require them, like our local Aldi.  They have been at the fore front here in Ohio with staff wearing masks and having the plexiglass screen. They also sanitize carts before use (no quarter needed), and have one way aisles .  Try to do most of my shopping there.  It took until 10 days ago for our local Kroger to have staff wearing masks. They do however not bag if you bring your own bags--the customer bags.

 

Our churches are opening this week.  Fortunately our parish is being sensible.  They tell us if you are not ready, then don't come.  They will continue to stream.  We will watch the streaming til they work the kinks of in person services.

 

We are getting a lot of small projects done, also not ready for a restaurant meal.  This will all come back slowly for us on this special weekend when we remember all who have lost their lives in service to our country.

 

Stay safe and well.  Blessings, Pat

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Posted (edited)

Hi pacmom.  Where I am in Ontario, they do wear masks.  We see a good 65 - 75% wearing them in the stores, but they quickly get pulled down once outside as we are warming up and finding them a bit hot.  Oh well, if it helps keeping others from getting something I may have, I'll wear it.

 

I think all of our stores now have the plexi glass barier, I wouldn't be surprised to see them stay once things settle down.  They sanitise the carts (and have bottles there for us to do our hands at the door) for us.  I did have a good laugh this weekend, had to go to a specialty store to get some liquid soap, and after being asked to sanitise my hands, I was provided gloves!  Then I waited at the entrance while the clerk (my "personal shopper") went to get my soap!  Had to take them off to pay, so really not sure why I had to put them on, however I sure wasn't going to argue as I am sure they are getting some pretty impatient and rude shoppers.  We are being told that gloves are actually not preferred (that could change, you never know these days),.

 

It's been a nice weekend weather wise, and we were happy to see that when we were out for a drive, those we saw in the small parks for fishing / relaxing along the river were all social distancing in small groups.  Maybe our area has gotten the idea, our numbers are dropping quite a bit....now if only we can get the rest of the province onboard, we may get some more businesses open.  

 

Edited by Daisi

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6 hours ago, pacmom said:

Fran, I share your thoughts about masks.  Being a retired infection control nurse, I have long known that they don't protect you, but, in hospital setting protect patient and keep you from spreading your  "germs".  I never wear one on a walk or in a car. Will wear one in shops that require them, like our local Aldi.  They have been at the fore front here in Ohio with staff wearing masks and having the plexiglass screen. They also sanitize carts before use (no quarter needed), and have one way aisles .  Try to do most of my shopping there.  It took until 10 days ago for our local Kroger to have staff wearing masks. They do however not bag if you bring your own bags--the customer bags.

 

Our churches are opening this week.  Fortunately our parish is being sensible.  They tell us if you are not ready, then don't come.  They will continue to stream.  We will watch the streaming til they work the kinks of in person services.

 

We are getting a lot of small projects done, also not ready for a restaurant meal.  This will all come back slowly for us on this special weekend when we remember all who have lost their lives in service to our country.

 

Stay safe and well.  Blessings, Pat

Pat - I am also a retired nurse...  and so it is frustrating to me to see people wearing PPE improperly.  And - how in the world do people get N95s when our front line workers are still struggling to get access??  

 

Stores in my area are really good about sanitizing carts.  Most have removed baskets (you have to push a cart - does help you keep your distance...) and some will not let you bring in your own bags.  One store doesn't even handle your merchandise.  They ask you to hold the item up - and they scan it - and then you put in in the plastic bag(s) they provide.  Almost all stores ask that you do not pay in cash - they prefer payment by credit or debit.  Many have a "click & collect" option - so, I order on line - and pick it up at the store.

 

Restaurants are not open here - except for take away.  We try to order in once/week - to try to help local businesses.  And, churches are not open - but I "attend" weekly via Facebook (we have the option of a U-tube live stream as well...) --> thank heavens we have a young minister who knows how to works this stuff!!

 

I should be doing more purging/cleaning - but, have spent the time sewing.  Lots of Covid quilts out there these days!!

 

Blessings to you as well...

 

Fran

 

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13 hours ago, franski said:

  And, churches are not open - but I "attend" weekly via Facebook (we have the option of a U-tube live stream as well...) --> thank heavens we have a young minister who knows how to works this stuff!!

 

 

 

 

Sorry, I'm chuckling as I read this.  My cousin (who lives next door to his parents) has to bring his laptop over to their house, set it up with his phone to supply internet, and let them "attend" Mass  - one of their family members told them this is how they were doing it....she is 91, he will be 93 in Sept..  My Mom (after some calls with my sisters & I) is also attending the same way.  They younger ones may have the skills to set things up, but their parents are learning.   🙂 

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Daisi, how lovely of them to be able to do that. Those annoying electronic mod cons do have some great use after all. Smile. Much safer for the old folks at home than in a church it seems. That outbreak in the church in Frankfurt is a bit baffling.

 

The restaurant in Leer on the other hand is under official investigation for violating the rules - the owner says no - and the circle is widening as secondary infections have been confirmed, also in the adjoining municipal districts. As of this morning, 18 people are infected and 118 quarantined. Embarrassing about this is the fact that the head of personnel at Meyer Werft (the cruise ship shipyards) in Papenburg is infected and due to the fact that she subsequently had attended meetings, much of the works council of the shipyards is now in quarantine. Further guests who were not on the guest tracing list have come forward and more cases could arise - again with subsequent quarantine, of course.

 

Even more embarrassing is the case in Mainz of the police behaving badly (!). Several policemen celebrated in a pub past the curfew hour of 10pm a few days ago. No cases have arisen, but due to the damage done to the image of the force, some serious fines are being discussed.

 

Oh, and discussions are underway for me to go back to my original workplace soon, after all. In this crisis, although living in a rich country, also my family income has been diminished by a sum larger than a ten day river cruise - I myself and my immediate family do not qualify for any special "happily spending German government" benefits - , but I still have my job (contract), have food, home, a stash of disinfectant bottles, computer, family and my neighbour's cats, so notamermaid is smiling. :classic_smile:

 

Take care everyone.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Daisi said:

 

Sorry, I'm chuckling as I read this.  My cousin (who lives next door to his parents) has to bring his laptop over to their house, set it up with his phone to supply internet, and let them "attend" Mass  - one of their family members told them this is how they were doing it....she is 91, he will be 93 in Sept..  My Mom (after some calls with my sisters & I) is also attending the same way.  They younger ones may have the skills to set things up, but their parents are learning.   🙂 

Hi Daisi, that is really great that your cousin is doing that!  Listen, I am 62 and I am technically challenged about plenty of things☹️

Actually , I am having to send my laptop to a friend later today for some "fixing"........the only other thing

I have is a smartphone and will have to use it for the next few days......until I get my laptop back. At least I do know how to log in here on my phone LOL and can check my email. (I don't even own an I PAD)

So I can surf the net on my phone.

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 Today has been a big day in my state Rhineland-Palatinate. From today outdoor swimming-pools, gyms, cinemas, theatres and some other establishments can reopen. There are limitations and social distancing remains in place. Outdoor events of up to 100 people with traceable contacts are also allowed. Town was full today. It almost feels normal. And we are doing well with the figures: in our population of over four million there are only 11 new confirmed cases and 1 death in the last 24 hours.

 

With all the new freedom of movement and mingling, will this change? And the holidays that can soon be taken in other regions and countries, what will happen? I am not too happy about it and doctors have already warned of a second wave.

 

Next week I will be given a "tutorial" of how to organize my workplace and contacts with the public safely. Will be okay I should think. I will start worrying more as Summer progresses and turns into Autumn.

 

The outbreak in Frankfurt due to a church service was down to not wearing masks and singing in service, they think. Social distancing was done. The parish is rather unhappy and has with immediate effect returned to online services only.

 

Now, that restaurant in Leer is another matter and it shall keep the regional news busy for a few days. Latest figures there: 27 cases, taking those quarantined to 154 individuals.

 

notamermaid

 

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@notamermaid our numbers are still a little higher... As for Bavaria we had 140 new infections within the last 24 hours and 23 more deaths. Munich has 35 new infections. But the good thing is that the number of those people who have gone through the infection per day is much higher than the number of new infections.

 

steamboats

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I found the image below useful in showing the effects of wearing masks, whether one is ill or healthy.  Looks like transmission is slightly smaller when both are wearing masks.  I live in NY where masks are mandated in all stores.  It's fine with me, I've gotten comfortable wearing one.  We live in the western part of the state and are probably starting stage 2 openings on Friday, which covers restaurants (outdoor eating), non-essential stores, salons, etc.  I will probably give it a few weeks before venturing to any of these places, waiting to see if there's an uptick in cases.

 

569289798_coronavirusdistance.thumb.jpg.87efa798c53e183ecfd9a3e5dc87dcda.jpg

 

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@KathyK13

Thanks for the illustrations. Says it all - stay at home and you will be fine. What s strange world when being the most socially nice is to be a recluse (or computer afficionado with a worldwide audience)...

 

@steamboats

For the fact that Bavaria was hardest hit from more or less the beginning, I think you are also doing relatively well now. Herr Söder's stricter course of measures seems to have paid off. I can understand why he is nervous about Thuringia. I am so glad everyone in the end accepted to extend the basic social distancing measures.

 

It was a good day for Rhineland-Palatinate yesterday: we had just 21 new infections and no reported deaths.

 

The weather is lovely, perfect for Whitsuntide festivities and short holidays. Who knows what will happen to my state after that. The coastal areas in the East are doing extremely well, but the North Sea area that is East Frisia not so much. That restaurant in Leer is turning into a real problem. There are 38 cases now which has led to now 281 people being in quarantine. Partying or something close to that and church congregations are pushing the state of Lower Saxony to the top of the list of states with the most new infections in 24 hours. Not a good thing. But overall the town of Regensburg is close to the 50/100,000/7* rule which necessitates intervention with increased measures by the authorities. I think I shall avoid Regensburg for a while. * 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days.

 

Why do I keep mentioning the Leer restaurant? It shows as the officials have quite rightly pointed out what can happen in an environment where social distancing is not adhered to. Now I have to point out that the owner still claims they acted according to the rules. But this looks increasingly unlikely. The lesson to learn from this is either: if the rules are ignored and social distancing is not done we can get problems from any small indoor gathering. That would be a huge problem for confined spaces like river cruise ship lounges and excursion coaches and all those measures taken by the companies make perfect sense. Or, if all the rules are adhered to we still are in no position to have any kind of indoor gathering without a significant risk. I do hope they broke the rules in that restaurant, otherwise it would mean the latter lesson and we would be up a certain creek without a properly functioning paddle.

 

No barbecue for me this weekend, no long trips, but perhaps a local museum and café.

 

Have a good weekend everyone.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Here in Melbourne, we are finally starting to open up.  Today cafes, and restaurants can open.  They are limited to only 20 customers, they must have a full meal, not just a snack and/or drinks, and cannot stay for more than two hours.

 

I am not sure how it will work out, but our country only has 400 active cases now, so I doubt it will be too bad.

 

On Saturday we are going to visit our friends for the first time since February.  There will be ten of us getting together for take away pizzas.  Presumably we will all be social distancing, but the house we are meeting at is easily big enough to allow it.  We can't wait!

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How much quarantine and safety measures that can be put in place by the authorities interrupts public life also on a local community scale if the right (or wrong) people are hit is evident in Leer. In the small town connected with that restaurant outbreak a local community administration had to shut down and the head of the larger administrative rural district is in quarantine and politicians are afraid to come to meetings in person.

 

Much wider implications does an outbreak have in Göttingen, a town in Lower Saxony. Following several under that time illegal family parties (and under investigation is also a shisha café) many infections were reported and one man is severely ill. It is so bad that schools have shut down again for a few days, a swimming pool closed and no group sports activities are allowed. The figures are 105 infected, 220 in quarantine. Deutsche Welle classified this as an example of superspreaders. A few people through their many contacts infected many more people than the average of three.

 

Especially parents in Göttingen are understandably annoyed.

 

It shows how as travellers we need to be careful as anybody can become a superspreader, even a river cruiser in a small community. An example: a wine tasting in Beilstein on the Moselle, the vintner gets infected, the wife who is a primary school teacher follows with symptoms, then the cashier in the village shop and you can more or less close down the whole village!

 

But overall Germany is doing well.

 

Now I am off to my tutorial at work for social distancing and customer contact.

 

notamermaid

 

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@djh1959 

How was the pizza party?

 

Here people are getting fairly relaxed it seems, some even seem to forget that we still have social distancing of 1.5m. They just sort of creep closer quite naturally. Well outdoors that is not such a big deal but I nearly said something to a shopper today. I am back at work and happy about it, hygiene routine basically works, but I cannot maintain the 1.5m rule at all times so I am glad that masks are mandatory in my annex building just like they are in shops.

 

The big problem indoors are the aerosols, they hang in the air longer than droplets. In this warm weather I try to keep my office well ventilated. I have air conditioning but it broke down earlier this week. Brilliant, just as it is getting hot with close to 30 degrees forecast for this weekend.

 

Air conditioning: I read on Deutsche Welle that the systems do not spread the virus, in fact, they are helpful in refreshing air it said.

 

Oh, and Germany will get the Coronavirus app very soon: https://www.thelocal.de/20200608/germany-gets-ready-to-launch-coronavirus-tracing-app 

 

Have a good weekend.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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