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So, following up on my brief report a couple of days ago from the South of Cologne in central Germany:

We are experiencing the first Covid-19 cases nearby, the virus got into at least one retirement home here (we have 3 close by). Also I am hearing about people in my personal sphere getting the virus here and there (like the son of the sister of a friend of mine, not in the direct social vicinity, but still people I know and get to see every couple of months), though all who reportedly got it who I personally know did not have a problem and are OK again. Healed, in other words.

Most of what was off the shelves lately is available again, not at all times, but it's not difficult to get anymore. I have seen toilet paper, noodles, liquid soap, flour etc. in various supermarkets during the past 2 days. Haven't checked disinfectant. What seems to still be in short supply are protective masks (not a usual supermarket commodity).

People are still able to move about freely, but most keep their distance, and some are wearing protective gloves and face masks (few though, also due to the aforementioned shortage). Some supermarkets, drugstores and pharmacies are limiting the number of customers who may enter their premises at the same time, so there are queues in front of the stores here and there. From what I saw, people are showing discipline, and the queueing works nicely.

For those of you outside of Germany: You may know or not know that Germany has so far not ordered people to stay at home. Instead, people are basically forbidden to make "contact" with others, with a number of exceptions (shopping essential items, living under the same roof as usual etc.). Further, non-essential shops and services are closed down temporarily.

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@HotznOh, garnicht gewusst, dass du auch von hier bist ^^

I guess it would be hard to "enforce" a real curfew here. As it is enough people are calling to lift what "little" limitations we've got, and I would reckon we have nowhere the law enforment capacity to actually make that work without public support. And my brother has been reporting of packs of people walking through the city, passing cops, and nobody said anything. I just hope this doesn't come back to bite us. But I guess panic would be a heartbeat away if cops would start arresting people for being.

Although, if numbers are to be believed, things are looking a bit up here with new confirmed infections taking a serious downturn over the past 3 days. Then again .... I'm far from a sigh of relief since usually numbers don't particularly lie, but it's hard to get any truth out of them, either, especially since I personally know people that show symptoms that smell a lot like Covid-19, but there simply aren't enough tests in the wild to get everyone tested. So it might as well be exhausted test capacities that cause this downturn. We'll see. So, yeah. None the wiser.

Although I'm amazed you saw some of the mythical and elusive toilet paper in the wild. Here (small town in the middle of Hannover and Hildesheim) people start actually helping out each other since whatever get's into store is gone 5 minutes later. The Rewe (big grocery chain here in Germany) here is actually selling toilet paper under the counter to people they know. Which sounds wise. I've literally seen people with number plates definitely not local stuff 5 packs into their cars, when there already were 10 packs in there when this whole toilet paper crisis took off.

@Jeffery Simpson To keep in contact with friends is good advice. We're social animals, some more some less, but (almost) nobody is an island, and it actually helps to comminicate and reflect your worries with and to somebody else. Much more than we are aware when social interaction is something not as short in supply as it is these days.

I've actually got quite an interesting story about that. A former friend and later girlfriend of mine (a much younger self at some point fully expected to merry one day) and I didn't part on the best of terms for various reasons. Since the whole crisis started we've been back in contact again, after half decade of not exchanging a word, and over a decade after "breaking up", and I guess it's been good for us both. Not just to clean up the mess we left with each other, but also to have someone familiar to talk to that knows and understands you, and while I'm very happy with my family today, I was fondly remembered why we had been actually very good friends once - and maybe could be again. Without this whole mess, who knows if we actually would have every talked to each other again.

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