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The mood has completely changed – Corona Update March 13

While people and daily life still seemed very normal at the beginning of this week, this has now changed, almost overnight.

Yesterday, everything started changing throughout the day. The Coronavirus Infection rate was rising at an unbelievable speed, and it’s still accelerating.

While we only had about 5 cases about two weeks ago, there were a 100 cases on March 8. Two and a half days later we reached 200. Yesterday in the morning, we had about 300, by the evening we had 361. This morning, we had over 400 and by now, 3pm on March 13, the case count has already reached 504.

The separate case counts for each of Austria’s states is as follows:

Lower Austria (63), Vienna (82), Styria, which is our state (52), Tyrol (167), Upper Austria (84), Salzburg (23 – davon 3 Personen nicht in Salzburg aufhältig), Burgenland (7), Vorarlberg (22) und Carinthia (4).

Yesterday, Styria had 28 and the day before that 18, and the day before that around 11.

While more new measures were planned by our government yesterday, rumours started spreading.

It started yesterday morning. Rumours that were saying that absolutely everything, including supermarkets, pharmacies and all government offices (including social welfare, national health, health department etc) will close down next week. I knew right away it wasn’t true and I tried my best to keep telling people it’s not true.

The government was simply working out the next important steps to help contain the outbreak, and the first couple of these measures were presented in a press conference yesterday in the afternoon. In that press conference, the government also said that more measures are being planned and to be announced the next day (today). At the same time, they were also stressing that these rumours floating around are false.

Supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, government offices, post/mail and basically everything that is important for the country, daily life, the infrastructure and it’s people will remain open no matter what. They said that potential closures and restrictions will only be implemented on branches and services that people can easily live without for a few weeks. They also again begged people to stay home as much as possible if they can in their free time or if they’re retired or at home for other reasons anyway. For other companies, they said that companies should try to have as many people as possible work from their home.

The point is basically to try to stop as much unnecessary movement of people as possible for a while.

Yesterday, a pharmacy in the city was already limiting the amount of people who were able to enter at the same time. Only 3 people were allowed in the pharmacy at once.

Today, that same pharmacy was serving people only through the hatch in the door.

Then this morning, more rumours were spreading which caused widespread panic buying

Early this morning, some more rumours were floating around and spreading like wildfire. Some rumours were still the same and others were new. Today the rumours said that absolutely all stores, pharmacies, gas stations and banks will close down by midday today and that a curfew will be implemented for the nighttime starting Monday.

These rumours, paired with the shocking rise in coronavirus infections over the last 24 hours, caused people to actually panic today.

People started panic buying in such numbers, that there were massively long lines in front of the supermarkets. It kept getting progressively worse all day. The shelves are now empty pretty much. Even shortly after the supermarkets had opened for the day, shelves were emptied within a short time. Some stores were hit worse than others, depending on their location.

Long lines of people waiting to get into one of the larger grocery stores in a mall not far away from us. It was like that at most supermarkets. (Source: KronenZeitung krone.at/2116507)

I heard from my friend, who lives just a block away from us, that she saw people ripping food out of each others hands at the store. Then we heard that one Aldi (called Hofer in Austria), located in a rather bad area, had been pretty much wrecked by people ripping open packages and simply being rowdy and selfish.

Mostly it was long long lines in front of grocery stores. People were running into banks and building lines in front of ATMs. In turn, many ATMs were out of order by the early afternoon.

What also did not help was that nothing was being done about people taking way too much at once for themselves in the grocery stores (for example one person/family buying up all the milk).

The media and government kept repeating on TV, radio and on the internet, that the supermarkets will not close and that the supply of goods will keep going. Yet, people were panic buying all day.

My Dad said that all of the bread was gone within a short time after the stores opened in the morning. I hope the panic buying will calm down again over the course of next week, when people see that the supermarkets will not close down and that they also continue to be restocked regularly. , starting yesterday morning and still, new false rumours are spreading. There were rumours that everything will be closed down, and a curfew will be implemented. None of it is true though.

The actual new measures that were announced by the government today

  • All schools, including high schools, elementary schools and kindergartens, as well as universities and any education facilities will close by Wednesday. Universities and higher education will be closed on Monday already. But students can stay home already if they can.
  • Restaurants, pubs, cafés etc, have to close by 3pm in the afternoon. So nightclubs and anything else that would be open all night, will stay closed completely. They want to avoid all those many people coming together every night, especially during the weekends, while going out.
  • All sports events are cancelled
  • Some areas in Tyrol, which is especially badly hit by the outbreak in Austria, will be put under quarantine.
  • Supermarkets, banks, pet supply stores, pharmacies, tobacconists, public transport, post and mail services and other essential parts of society, like all facilities and companies that are important for all the infrastructure in Austria (including Telephone and Internet), will not be closed at any point
  • Public transport: Trams and Busses will automatically open the doors for entry and exit at every stop, so people won’t have to use the buttons to open them. Only the trams and busses will be used that have a separate cabin for the drivers to protect them
  • People are asked to stay home, unless it is absolutely necessary and can’t be avoided. People should gather with friends and family for now and instead use other means (internet, phone) to stay in contact.

Some news regarding my medication supply

I had put in a request to get my pain medication supply home with me for the next 3 1/2 weeks, so that I would not have to go out anymore at all within that time, to protect Ralph more.

Though I got a call this morning from my doctors office, informing me that the health department has said, that nobody is getting their medicine home for a longer period of time, even if they have plenty of their time allowance left, which I did. No exceptions. I’m sure the reason for that is that this measure stops people from moving and leaving the city and their areas. Since everyone is tied to their medicine, by having to go to the pharmacy all the time, nobody can leave, which stops even more movement from and to different places.

On the other hand, I also got some reassuring news. Apparently, my pharmacy will not close down, even if it gets worse. The way it will work is that all customers are basically outside the pharmacy, while the staff is behind the door, which has a little hatch, through which everyone is being served. Those hatches exist for the night shifts, where people are being served through those hatches as well.

Either way, the government does not seem to implement things in a chaotic manner. Therefore, no matter what, if the health department has to think of something else to make sure that all patients continue to receive their medications, then they most likely will. Everything now is being implemented as things are happening. I’m feeling better regarding that and not as worried as I had been before.

Our plan for the next month (or beyond if it’s neccessary)

Ralph and I will stay home for the next weeks, or for how long it’s going to be necessary. Our supplies last for about two months, including the supplies for the cats. But we are still able to order things online as well for now, which I am doing too.

That means I will only go out to the pharmacy, on my bicycle, on a street where I don’t really come across many people and where I am not close to other people anyway. Also, the pharmacy is only 4 minutes from us if I use my bicycle. Additionally, the pharmacy itself is quite spacey and you don’t really come too close to people in there, especially now, as people are avoiding the pharmacies as much as possible, which is good for me.

The risk is still not extremely high that I could catch the virus while in the pharmacy, or outside of it. I also try to keep as much distance between me and anyone, and I keep disinfecting my hands constantly. When I get home, I take off my shoes outside the apartment and then I walk straight in to wash myself, before I put my clothes away and wash myself again.

No matter how crazy this might sound, I rather do everything I possibly can to lower the risk to Ralph and myself.

It’s now eerily quiet and empty in the streets

I was out at about 4pm, which is normally very busy on Friday. But even the busiest street was very empty. Hardly any cars. Hardly any people. And now at night, nobody is out. It’s totally quiet and empty in the street as far as I can see.

One supermarket I passed by was dark for some reason. Looked like they had to close down for some reason. I also saw people with loads of boxes of groceries, and big bags full of the same, entering their apartment buildings, or carrying the shopping home. I also saw long lines in front of Tobacconists in the city centre. Our area wasn’t like that thankfully.

It was already very weird and quiet everywhere. Even our building is quiet. Normally you would hear people getting ready to go out on a Friday night, but there is no one going now. There is no music being heard from anywhere, no friends coming over. People are just in their homes, possibly a bit in a state of shock.

I would not be surprised if some rather bad people will try to use the emptiness of city streets for bad things. We are thankfully in a safe area anyway, but I still closed down the shutters in front of our street facing window. I’m always rather safe.

There will be more restrictions coming, but I prefer that to not doing anything. The more people are stopped from moving, the faster the numbers will stop climbing, while the number of people who have recovered, will increase. Everyone who can needs to stay where they are, all over Europe. Just for a while, so that this nightmare can come to an end sooner, rather than later.

Lets please get through this ok and then celebrate once it’s over.

Be careful and keep in touch. I’ll keep you all updated anyway. Ralph, the cats and I are still perfectly fine ❤ I’m now off to bed, as it’s way past midnight and I’m tired.

Love from us and the cats to all of you!

Good night from Sonic and Lisa in our fluffy comfy bed

20 thoughts on “The mood has completely changed – Corona Update March 13

  1. We are purraying for everyone affected by this. Reading blogs from outside the U>S> (where we are) reminds us that the rest of the world is struggling , and we are all experiencing the same type of worries and fears. And love for our animal companions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You could not have said this any better.
      It’s really surreal in some way. Usually, if something bad is going on, we’re used to it being in one place. But now, all of us are basically in the same boat. The restrictions and measures are very similar in Europe, the US, and Asia. Everyone is affected by the same things now, in varying degrees, (Panic buying, empty shelves, lockdowns, quarantines etc.)

      New measures and restrictions are decided every day now in Austria, just like everywhere else at the moment. I’ll update you all again later today. Just depends on the furbabies how long it will take me to write it 😉

      Big hugs to you and your furkids!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The speed at which both the virus and the panic have spread is phenomenal. I’m praying for everyone, but particularly for you and Ralph. It’s sounds like you are prepared to sit this out comfortably, already having collected the things you need. Your updates and insights from Austria are probably more accurate and valuable than what is available on the news. Stay well!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. Seems like it’s pretty much the same everywhere. I’m certain there will be more restrictions coming in every country in the EU. The only way to stop this, besides a vaccine and a cure, is to stop or drastically decrease movement of people and quarantines.

      A friend from Utah in the US sent me a picture, showing completely empty shelves. Even in their massively huge supermarkets. Totally empty.

      Everything will be restocked again next week, I hope people aren’t going to buy it all up again as soon as the grocery stores open.

      Be careful and stay safe ❣️ Hugs 🤗

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi dear Natascha, I was thinking of you too, I keep watching all news and EU is going to worse… This is unbelievable but it is real… In here, we have some cases (5) history of them not is being explained, we only know they came from abroad… but from west or east…? they don’t explain. Anyway you can learn more in my post today. But there is same panic of buying… so many things have been already finished… Even there is not any problem right now but people are buying… stocking…

    I am glad to hear that you are at home. This is the best. We are not living an easy days… I do pray, I wish/ I hope everything to be normal again. Thank you, please stay in contact with us, Love and Hugs to you ALL, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This Covin-19 Virus is beyond something. Now that the Pandemic is a National Emergency well things are something else.
    Between my sinus cold, allergies and regular cold I stay inside most of the time.
    Stay well and the same for the cats.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow!! Natascha & Ralph it sounds pretty intense there! And guess what? Pretty much the same way in Canada…well at least where I live. Stores are emptied; people are fighting over toilet paper (really?) & rumours abound & we have NO CASES in our immediate area! Finally after a week of people stripping shelves bare in grocery & big box stores; there are now limits of 2 per person…why the stores did not implement this in beginning, who knows???
    I managed to get out with Mary-Ellen to buy extra cat food & treats & Feliway for another month. I did buy some food but nothing extra….I still have to top up Scripts…
    I am down with a Flu NO not Corona Virus….just a regular Sinsus Flu. My nerves are shot. (There are bad things happening in my building). I totally am staying isolated from the world. Yesterday (Saturday) my phone line was cut…won’t have phone til tomorrow if lucky!! Thankfully Internet is OK. I came close to having a seizure also but BellaDharma averted it. 2020 is turning out to be worse then the last 4-5 years. I just want this Corona Virus gone! And I’d like this place to get rid of all the idiots who have made our lovely building a jail…
    Sorry…I’m quite overwrought…..
    Give all the kitties lots of strokes & kisses from me ok?? Fond regards to Ralph & you Natascha.
    Sherri-Ellen & BellaDharma ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh dear my lovely friend & furend! I don’t know why, but WordPress put your comments in the spam folder! And then I was not even notified about that comments need to be reviewed. It usually always notifies me. Sigh. So sorry about that. I rescued all your comments and I’ll reply to them.

      It is absolutely crazy. And news about new measures being put into effect are coming constantly, while the country works out how to keep the important things running and functioning.

      It’s so stupid about the toilet paper. Why on earth are people panic buying toilet paper and fighting over it too!? Absolutely insane.

      Yes, it’s a shame. The same selfish people all over the world. Even though the government and the store managers keep repeating that there is no need to panic buy and empty the shelves in the supermarkets. They repeatedly said that the supermarkets are still being restocked and the delivery of goods and food is still continuing and will not stop.

      People ignore it though and still keep storming into the supermarkets. I’m glad I have bought what we need before, because it’s actually dangerous to go into the store as it is. The supermarkets are absolutely PACKED with people and the shelves are emptied within a short time after they had been restocked.

      The stores need to start preventing people from buying ridiculous amounts at once. If people can’t be normal, then their shopping needs to be limited to a certain amount for each person. That would help so much! But they’re still letting people leave with their carts full of toilet paper, or 3 carts full of tinned food, or bread or milk. Like they will even need that much stuff!

      Because of a few people who buy up the majority of the stuff as soon as the stores open, the majority of people can’t even get the most necessary things. And the next day, the same thing happens all over again.

      Also, so many people at once in the store is stupid right now. If one of them has the Virus, they will infect countless others that are in the store with them, because of the close proximity to each other, when it’s so packed in there.

      I’m so glad you were able to get some much-needed things for at least a month. I hope it will be better in a few weeks. People might have calmed down by then. I totally understand and relate regarding your scripts… That is such a massive worry for each of us, who depend on medications.

      I hope you can still get your scripts sorted out easily. If it’s possible, try to sort out your prescriptions sooner than normal. I’m going to do the same thing.

      I’m sorry your nerves are shot. I am getting so angry reading how you always have to worry about these awful people living in your building. It’s gone on for so long. I wish somebody would do something about them. They need to be evicted and put in a different and special place, if they can’t behave like a normal person.

      I feel with you! My nerves are shot too. I’m shaking constantly and my heartbeat is through the roof, which causes constant migraines. I wish there would be something to help us get our anxiety under control and make us feel better. I feel like I’m a complete wreck right now. But we’re not ill thankfully. No flu symptoms.

      BellaDharma! You are pawsome, averting LadyMew ‘s seizure!

      Sherri-Ellen, you don’t need to ever apologise! I totally understand. I am all over the place as well, and so is my writing.

      Wishing you that your phone will be working again tomorrow!

      The kitties, Ralph and I send you both big hugs, and kind thoughts and praying you both stay safe. We’ll keep in touch sweet furends! I’ll post another update tomorrow. Possibly after getting up in the morning.

      Love to you both ❤ Natascha ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah bless you Natascha!! Canada is infected now…our Province Ontario is now under Emergency. So far only 2 cases in the town I live in…..but the 2 did not report when they came off cruise ship…G-D knows who they came in contact with!!! My friend Melinda & her Sister & Brother-In-Law are driving back form Florida now….they will ALL have to self isolate.
        Sad…
        AS for me I was able to borrow a lady’s cell phone & I called Doctor’s office & left message as to how I can get B12 shot end of month. Called my Specialist & left message; not sure I;ll be able to get Lidocaine shots in April. Called Ortho Surgeon & appointment is postponed til who-knows-when. Called Pharmacy & Mr Jay said he is going to make up 2 moths worth of scripts for me. Then I called TeleHealth Ontario as I have been sick since end of last week with Viral Sinusitis but with fever…After a complete overview it was suggested I GO INTO SELF ISOLATION!!! So Thursday I will go out with Sheila (BellaDharma will be at her place during Fire Alarm testing). Sheila will take me to do banking & to get toiletries I need & a bit more food & my scripts. Once BellaDharma & I return home Thursday I will be isolated. I am going to put a note on my door so everyone ‘gets’ that I am not available to put up with their problems or BS. I have lots of books to read & BellaDharma to be with & PC. Hopefully my phone will be working again. It’s been out of service since Saturday! 4 days in & 2 phone companies are fighting it out as to who needs to fix the line…..I told my company I am Senior with Health issues & threat of Corona Virus & NO phone to call 911 (Emergency)!?!?!? The problem has been figured out but BELL would not send a man to fix problem leaving Wightman’s my company to deal with issue & they do not have the men BELL Does…(Bell owns the phone lines so they should be fixing them). And I really feel like someone threw a curse on me!!!!I have had more trouble with people in building….I am just avoiding everyone. This self isolation will be a good thing. So that’s us here!! Grocery stores FINALLY are imposed limits on amounts of things to be purchased….ridiculous the way people are behaving…so much for Humanity right??
        Give my regards to Ralph. Kiss all the kitties. {{hugs}} to you. ❤ ❤ to all Sherri-Ellen & purrss BellaDharma

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Things in Scotland are pretty much the same. Although, according to the news, there are 153 confirmed cases here. People are panic buying toilet rolls, hand sanitizers and dried pasta. Don’t they understand that queuing for these things might cause more cases of the virus than not? Anyhow, you and Ralph and the fur babies stay safe and well and we will keep in touch through the internet. lots of love. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m in the US, specifically Texas. The panic buying is happening here too. Our governor has ordered the closure of all schools, restaurants, bars and nightclubs for the time being. Most restaurants are still doing delivery and carryout, though. Non-essential employees are working from home. Visitors are banned from nursing homes, rehab centers and hospitals. Apartment complex offices are shutting down – staff wiil be in offices and doing grounds maintenance, but business is only being conducted by phone or online and only emergency work orders, such as no air or plumbing issues, will be done. Seniors, like myself, are asked to shelter in place. No gatherings of more than 10 people are allowed. Stores are limiting their operating hours and grocery stores are setting aside special hours for only senior citizens to shop.

    As of March 19, 2020, in the United States, there have been 10,442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 detected through U.S. public health surveillance systems in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands. Of course, the US is far larger and more populated than Austria. We also have an idiot for a president.

    Liked by 1 person

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