This is a special post from former airdrielife publisher assistant Sarah Schulz, currently living in Munich Germany. We will be sharing stories from Airdrie residents now abroad as we receive them.
To read Josée Glen’s letter from Madrid Spain click here
The world being turned upside down might be an understatement, but as I sit here in my apartment in Munich, Germany, I can’t help but think how we got here. I remember back in January when Munich’s first case of coronavirus was reported. It was a man who came in contact with a woman that was recently in China. At this point, all cases were related directly to the epicentre of the virus: Wuhan. When the first case was reported, I remember starting to panic. And not necessarily because I thought I could catch the virus, but more so that it was hitting closer to home. The first ten patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 in Munich were isolated in a hospital just minutes from my office. I had started to notice a handful of people wearing masks on the underground trains during my daily commute to and from work. You would see people wearing masks and others coughing in the open on the train with no sense of hygiene or respect for others in close spaces. Little did I know that back in January, it was only the beginning.
Plans. They have been changing so fast. Sometimes, even by the hour. For me, that was (is) one of the hardest things to wrap my head around. I was supposed to be picking up friends from Canada at the airport, taking a trip to Prague and enjoying some time off to explore Munich, when all of a sudden everything was wiped away with border closures and travel restrictions. I have been getting email after email with cancellation information for concerts, events, AirBnbs and even work. The worst part about all of this? Having absolutely no control. The comforting part? I am not alone.
Grateful. I am beyond grateful to have a job where I can work from home and still collect a paycheque at the end of the month to pay my bills. Grateful to have an incredible support system both near and far to get me through these uncertain times. Thankful to be in a country with the infrastructure to help flatten the curve of this pandemic. And most of all, I am incredibly lucky to be in good health.
What’s next? I am taking it day by day, which in my opinion is the only thing we can do right now. Well, maybe not the only thing: Social distancing, staying at home, respecting the rules and laws that have been put in place and doing our part to ensure the health and safety of not only the country we are living in, but the world. I can honestly say that it is difficult to be away from home during these uncertain times as I have never experienced anything quite so huge in all my life, and I don’t think I ever will after this pandemic is over. The impact of COVID-19 is bigger than all of us and it truly makes you take time to reflect on how important it is to stand together when times get tough.
Germany has over 8,000 reported cases of COVID-19 and the numbers have been growing steadily every day. With school, public places and event closures and modified hours for restaurant and bars, daily life has dramatically changed. What was once a vibrant city full of life, especially as we head into spring, is now a deserted city full of uncertainty. I am hopeful that with the emergency measures taken seriously, every country can do their part to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and we can get back to normal sooner rather than later. Not only do our communities, family, friends and elders need our patience and diligence, but so does the economy.
Stay safe and healthy friends, and remember: We’re all in this together.