Monday, June 29, 2020

Brings out People

In the first weeks of isolation many people remarked that the exceptional circumstances everyone found themselves in served as some kind of social glue and people seemed to be friendlier, more helpful and mindful of others. Random strangers suddenly greeted one another, young people offered to go grocery shopping for their elderly neighbours and all was rainbow-coloured and harmonious.
Well, that benevolent atmosphere seems to have evaporated. Every household in Vienna was supposed to have received restaurant vouchers (redeemable at one of many restaurants in Vienna who had registered for the programme) last week at the latest. It's not that I am in desperate need of the 25 EUR a single household is entitled to and was in fact thinking about donating it, but I had not questioned finding it in my postbox at all. When I did not, it dawned on me that it might have "disappeared". A quick Google search revealed that in fact a lot of people never got theirs and there were instances of whole sets of postboxes having been vandalised just in order to get those vouchers (and resell them online on some classifieds site). To be honest, I felt both naive and mildly disgusted. There's a small chance that upon my next visit to Vienna I might find a delayed voucher in the post, but it's even more likely that it got stolen. If somebody really needed it to prevent imminent starvation (rather unlikely) they are more than welcome to it but if this was not the case...well, I just hope that karma really is a b**** .


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