Lockdown diary, day 2

The least said about today the better, I think. You know that thing where the plans you’d hoped would carry you through a couple of weeks of emergency measures in a way that would sustain both sanity and practicality evaporate within a day of being put into practice thanks to bureaucratic intransigence, a two year old with a sudden fever who isn’t all that well and just simple bad luck? Yep, that’s what happened.

More tomorrow, and hopefully a resolution tomorrow which takes into account the fact that it is absolutely impossible for a university lecturer to teach while a toddler constantly demands attention. The position that is being taken is “If you are working from home, you don’t need daycare” even when the work that is being done actually involves live teaching of other people and thus needs a certain amount of quiet and the ability to concentrate. The government has been very clear that they want university teaching to continue even with buildings closed, but they need to provide the support academic staff need to make that happen. I can’t take over full-time childcare partly because I also need to work but mainly because if T is in the apartment the toddler will only ever want mummy and will be distraught if he is arbitrarily denied access. So.. yeah, that isn’t going to work.

Of course, some of this can’t be helped. A feverish toddler can’t go to daycare even if he doesn’t have any of the other symptoms that might point to coronavirus, but the difference is that while normally I would stay at home to look after him while T went to the university to teach that option is not currently available. So yeah, overall today was not one I’d like to repeat.

The good news is that now all the panic-buying has subsided the supermarkets are lovely and quiet and extremely well stocked. The even better news is that the Mayor of Vienna was on the news last night and confirmed that yes, it is okay to not only go for a walk to get yourself out of the house but also to use public transport to get to somewhere nice to walk so long as you keep the obligatory 1-metre distance from other people.

The police have reported extremely good compliance with the restrictions. They’ve only had to intervene in a couple of cases. One was when when large crowds formed, depressingly enough, outside a couple of unemployment offices and they had to marshal the queue into something more ordentlich. The other involved the street prostitution around Prater, where I presume police had reason to believe the ladies concerned did not intend to remain a safe one metre away from their customers. For the rest of us, when compliance is good it means enforcement is not going to be heavy-handed. I hope it stays that way.

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