Monday, July 25, 2022

(Almost) Carefree Touristing


Last weekend I was in Salzburg with my Mum for our by now traditional visit to a performance of the Salzburg Festival. We were there for just one night from Friday to Saturday and had both been looking forward to our little weekend trip. Late on Wednesday evening a colleague contacted me on our work chat to tell me that she'd just tested positive for Covid (again) and had to name me as one of her close contacts to HR since we were both at the office on Tuesday, had lunch together and I actually also used one of our tiny one-person meeting rooms immediately after her, windows closed for better AC performance. I did a PCR test first thing on Thursday morning as I obviously did not want to infect my mother who is still a "Coronavirus Virgin", but all was well and by Friday night I had almost forgotten about it. My immune system is obviously still well-equipped for the current mutations and we've come a long way from the hysteria (and restrictions) everyone was in in earlier versions of this Corona game. 
Having had my personal encounter with the virus and subsequent isolation and all the rest of it has made me so much more "chill" and able to enjoy life again without a layer of doom and gloom over it and suspecting the worst if I feel a scratch in my throat or need to sneeze. 
It feels so good to be able to enjoy a carefree summer again (like last year when everyone I knew was so happy to have received the first two vaccinations) and as for being concerned for autumn and winter (once more), well, I guess this is just part of our new normal now.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Mission(s) Accomplished


Last week held several surprises, who of which brought me a lot of joy. One was the completely unexpected gift I received from Highflyer: one of the much sought-after Moon (S)watches, i.e. the limited edition collaboration of Omega and Swatch. You cannot buy these online, but only in selected flagship stores and I had asked at the 2 Vienna stores that get stocked regularly (but where you cannot preorder or learn when exactly a new shipment is expeted) probably 10 times in total, with no success. When Highflyer came back from a nightstop in Berlin with this watch that was actually one of my favourites of the collection I was very happy. Not only because of the fact that I am now the proud owner of this item, but that he went to the trouble to look for it and had remembered that I wanted this in the first place.
The second "big event" was the fact that we went to see the Rolling Stones live in Vienna on Friday night, having decided to go and buy a ticket only 2 days before. Well, Highflyer had been eager to go and mentioned it to me weeks ago, but I assumed he would end up going with one of his siblings or a friend and signalled that I was not overly keen myself. I mean, I'm not exactly their fan and was surprised that they were still alive, even more so on a tour of Europe once more. In the end, I was really glad I went because it was a wonderful concert and it was truly impressive in what a great shape Mick Jaggers voice and dance moves still are given that the man is turning 79 next week. It was a special evening not only music-wise, but also an exhilarating feeling to be in a stadium with 56.000 people after years of not having had this opportunity. Whether one of those gave us the gift of BA.5 remains to be seen, but even if that should be the case, I'm inclined to say it was worth it.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Plans. What Were Those Again?


It's almost scary how blasé I have become regarding counting on things turning out just as planned and on the original date, too. Workshops or conferences might be cancelled/postponed/virtualised at short notice. Performances could be cancelled or postponed due to the stars of the show becoming ill or Corona regulations having changed. Dinner guests might get tested positive for Covid and have to quarantine. You yourself might have to do so. Flights might be cancelled last minute because of a shortage of crew or ground staff on strike. Trains might be so full that passengers with valid tickets are kicked out. Something you ordered might not get delivered on time because of a shortage of raw materials or manpower. For more than two years now I have mentally added a "tentative" sticker on all plans and I am beginning to think that this is not a temporary phase, but will remain so forever.  

Monday, July 04, 2022


Last week I was at a conference in Germany (not just as a participant, but as a speaker) and I was concerned that I would not be able to travel on Tuesday. Why? Well, Highflyer announced on  Sunday that his cold "feels just like Coronavirus" (which we both had just before Easter). Who am I to dispute what he is feeling, so I also did a PCR test (plus 4 antigen ones) before I left. After a total of 3 PCR tests and a handful of antigen ones he also believed that he was just suffering from a common (summer) cold. At the conference Topic Number One also came up and a guy I sat opposite from at lunch said that his wife had asymptomatic Covid-19 but now was on sick-leave because of a nasty common cold. That's one thing I hate about these not-so-post pandemic times: the slightest scratchy throat or cough makes everyone panic and think of the worst, passing on their fear to everyone they mention it to. Yes, you DO hear of people who have had Covid 3 times in as many months, but I miss the times when a cold was just an innocent cold that didn't give you a guilt trip and make you think you could have posed a lethal risk to anyone you met two days before. 

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