Lockdown diary, day 3

What day is it? Wednesday? Friday? Maybe something completely new such as Blurmday? Ah yes. Wednesday. Day three. So, what’s going on?

The Pötzleinsdorfer Schloßpark, earlier today.

It was a nice day. As T had to teach a class this morning I took the 2 year-old out for a (legally permissible) walk in the park. There were quite a few people out enjoying the sun – not in large groups, and always keeping their distance from others. Elsewhere bakers are still open for fresh bread and takeaway coffee, supermarkets are still open, and the place seems quiet but still alive.

The government’s now announced €38 billion in aid to attempt to keep the economy alive. It’s a combination of direct cash support, loan guarantees and tax breaks. This will certainly help things out, but the other side of the coin is that the country has registered over 49,000 new unemployed people since Sunday. In a country of 8.8 million, that’s a lot. There are no doubt a lot more to come.

Other things have been going on. There’s chaos down the road at the Hungarian border as people wanting to cross the border decided to block the border crossing with parked vehicles when they found they couldn’t cross. The Hungarian government had opened the border overnight for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals wanting to transit the country to return to Romania and Bulgaria, but the message had got out that they would be letting other nationalities through as well and it all got a bit chaotic. I feel for people stuck on the wrong side of a border at the moment. There are measures being taken to make sure people get a place to stay and are looked after, but that’s no substitute when what you really want to do is go home.

Panic-buying, British style.

Back at home, the postman delivered four boxes of teabags to ensure that we don’t run low. One of the logistical complexities of being a British person living abroad is making sure you have a supply of decent teabags. There’s an English-speaking grocery store in town which sells a decent range of British and American groceries, but I’m not in that part of town very often and they don’t always have the tea I’m after so we usually order it from the UK. So long as we have milk and sugar to go with it, and the ability to boil water, we’ll be all right.

Tomorrow I have to attempt to get properly back to work. My employer is extremely understanding and supportive of those of us who need to somehow figure out child care as well as attempting to work from home, but I also have quite a bit going on at work and don’t wish to slow down the rest of my excellent team. We’ll see how it goes.

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