This is the first day after the shutdown, the first day the corona virus crisis has taken on a face, here, in a small town in the eastern part of Germany, where just a few days ago it was said that there were no cases of infection at all. Now everything is different. We have 15 cases, 200 people under quarentine. This is not a region under heavy load. Eastern germany isn`t Italy by now, it isn't Cologne or Heinsberg.
But all schools closed, theatres closed, the zoo is closed. In the supermarkets a few empty shelves, in some others a few more. It's all there, but just not everywhere. More: https://www.mz-web.de/
Let's go into the open. Outside the door bright sunshine, 13 degrees, the first real day of spring. The air is clear and clean, birds are chirping and in the supermarket queue people are talking to each other strangely muffled. Just a normal weekend shopping says an elderly gentleman. It's nonsense to panic now, the young woman behind him answers.
It sounds like an evocation of time that has not been long gone, of a time when everything was normal. Climate fear and climate denial were the topics that were hotly debated in the pubs. Rising rents. The next holiday. Who will be German soccer champion?
Now two old ladies are sitting alone in the open-air seat of the pub mile, who is heavy crowded in other times. They are the only guests and they`re whispering to each other. Nobody else is to be seen. Coffee time without coffee guests. Football bars without football. The beer taps no longer crow.
Nevertheless, it seems that many people want to get out, somewhere in the open. Who knows what's coming. "Who knows how long we will have this freedom", says one woman to her companion. "Just look at Italy," she replies.
People are drawn to nature, to the parks that no one can close. An ice cream van has pulled up and the bratwurst-car is also there, as if the whole world hadn't been shaken up. The queues at the fixed excursion cafés are even longer than usual. Where no one has nowhere to go, everyone meets where it seems safe.
The world looks like a scene from "World without end", laboriously re-colored. No car drives by. No hip-hop gang rattles the Bluetooth box.
It has become very quiet at a civilisation who is normaly a noisy, raucous and uproariously place. The only sound you can even hear now is the sound of corona. The sound of silence.