We can finally make plans. The neighborhoods of the cities fill with people who want to be with strangers again. The power of Covid is waning, hopefully freedom will soon increase considerably.
Yesterday I strolled through our neighborhood. The sun was shining, the bright blue sky high, mild warmth. I had to zigzag because people were sitting in sidewalk cafes, restaurants, bistros, taking out as many tables as possible and making the sidewalks smaller, but that didn’t matter. A good mood spread like a glittering lake, simply because you could eat, drink and talk outside again. Outside and not inside. Among people, among strangers, among friends. A long line formed in front of the excellent ice cream shop, which patiently pushed its way forward rather slowly. No bad blood, no stupid remark.
Saxony-Anhalt, Wernigerode: guests sit in a street cafe on the market square. (Source: dpa)
I live in Berlin, which is usually in a bad mood, regardless of whether the sun is shining or the horizon is dark. Many scruffy sentences begin with: Hamwa nich, get wa nich, don’t want wa nich. In no other city is honking so often wildly, so often the middle finger raised, so often gasping the red gas as here. The most popular popular sport is gossiping about the city government, the administration, the police, Hertha BSC and every person who insists on it, such as Franziska Giffey with her doctoral thesis.
One can make plans again
When Berlin smiles against every habit, there must be something special going on. The power that Covid wielded over us is diminishing. The power we have over our lives is increasing. The incidence is falling and the number of people vaccinated is growing. Countries like Germany, in which there are not excessive but sufficient vaccines, are preparing for easing. How good when restrictions give way and natural freedoms gradually become a matter of course again.
Can you be happy about it? May one. If people revive simply because they are allowed to meet other people again, that is a good sign. What still makes the social more difficult, such as constant testing or the compulsion not to forget the vaccination certificate, can be coped with. It gets better. You can make plans again, take on something. It is progressing. Why not go sailing, meet friends in large numbers, fly somewhere.
Resolutely against the third wave
All is not well. People are still dying from Covid every day. That’s bad, that’s sad. Society mustn’t forget them, that’s true. The pandemic is not over as long as it rages in Brazil or India and breeds mutants that come down on us.
It’s just that we always perceive and think on different levels. When it comes to the joy of increasing freedom, nobody forgets that it is a luxury product of the country in which we live. This is undeserved happiness, it just happened that way. The breakthrough of the third wave of the pandemic is the result of decisive action, which the government rallied after hesitation and mistakes. One only has to briefly imagine that our Federal Chancellor was called Jair Messias Bolsonaro – Messias!
Other things are easier to endure with good prospects
With all the nonsense about the Chancellor and Mr. Spahn, about too much niceness from the Chancellor candidate Armin and too little experience from the candidate Annalena: There are countries, to put it mildly, in which it is considerably less pleasant to live.
Munich: Numerous people enjoy the beautiful and sunny weather on the banks of the Isar. (Source: dpa)
I’m personally looking forward to the European Championship and I’m curious whether Jogi Löw has a good hand. The Berlinale takes place as a major open-air cinema event, and it can be something when it gets warmer. If there is justice, Bob Dylan will soon show up in some German city and I get tickets. With this prospect, the other can be more easily endured: the election in Saxony-Anhalt, which gives rise to fears of bad things; the growing hysteria before the federal election; Not to mention Lukashenko’s nefariousness or Mr. Assad’s bizarre self-celebration.
These days it is easier than usual to be happy about the not at all small changes for the better. It’s never all downhill.
You can find all columns here by Gerhard Spörl.