Göttingen Quarantine #stayhome

Several months ago a new virus was found in China, called SARS-CoV-2 or just “the coronavirus”. The virus is extremely infectious and in a matter of days it has spread over the world. As a result, many countries decided to close the borders and to ask their people to stay at home. Germany, including Göttingen, is no exception.

The local administration started worrying about the coronavirus somewhere in the beginning of March – because the first infected person appeared in the city. They then decided to set up a quarantine period and closed all public entities, also our university, from 16th of March. Most of the non-grocery shops, small bank branches, bars and other businesses are closed, and some people started working from home. Only supermarkets and drug stores are still working, as they are necessary for daily lives.

So how do the stores manage their activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, with thousands of people visiting each day? How do they protect their employees? They set up red-white lines everywhere, even on the floor, so everyone is at least two meters away from each other.

The cashiers are more at risk than others – they are constantly in close contact with people. They also keep distance, wearing gloves while touching the groceries and cash, but the most interesting thing is that the shop’s administration literally constructed plastic shields for them, just like those for superheroes. Well, they are kind of one, because they continue doing their hard jobs during the pandemic, like doctors, drivers and many others.

As for drivers, they continue to work as the public transport is still operating. It seems like it has become free to travel, because the driver’s zone is separated from the passengers’ with a line to avoid close contact. You cannot cross the border even though you want to buy a ticket – just travel for free, but don’t expose workers to the risk of infection!

As for self-isolation, I cannot say that most people follow the recommendation. There are a lot of people, especially the elderly, on the streets – it’s impossible to stay home during this amazing spring weather. Well, at least they somehow try to keep distance, which is better than nothing. Most of the GLOCALS follow these simple rules – avoid social contacts, wash hands and keep distance!

Author: Andrey Varfolomeev

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