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Austria shuts down anything that is not important and people have to mostly stay home – Corona Pandemic Update March 15

Things continue to move faster than I can keep up with. Measures and restrictions that were planned on Friday, kept changing throughout the weekend, because the infection rate keeps going up faster and faster.

As of 3pm this afternoon, we have 860 confirmed Coronavirus Infections. In our state of Styria, they doubled over the weekend. We have 111 here.

Restaurants and cafés were supposed to stay open until 3pm starting Monday, so that people would be able to get lunch there. But since the number of new Coronavirus Patients is multiplying at increasing speed, with 100s more every day over the weekend, the government decided to have all restaurants, cafés, pubs etc close completely. But not just them, all stores are staying closed, except for supermarkets, pet supply stores, pharmacies and gas stations.

Basically, anything that is not needed for daily life, like food for humans and pets, and medications is being closed down. Government offices, that are not needed, will shut down for the public, but they will continue to work behind closed doors, and things can be worked out through phone, email, fax and letterboxes.

The military reserve is being called up

Although I don’t know what they’re going to be doing yet. But I think they will help to ensure the protection of supermarkets, pharmacies and help to keep the peace in the city.

Only 3 reasons to leave the house (enforced)

The government said that there are now only 3 reasons to leave our homes:

  • To get anything that is needed for life, like groceries, medication, pet food. Of course to go to the doctor for medication and treatment that can’t be postponed.
  • To go to work, but this means jobs that are needed to keep the country running. Doctors, Nurses, Firefighters, Police, Military, people working in jobs that are important for the infrastructure (power, gas, water, public transport, delivery of goods, parcels and mail, jobs in the communications industry like phone and internet etc). Anyone that can work from home, has to work from home.
  • The 3rd reasons to go out is to help others. For example, to help disabled or elderly and supply them with food and medications, so that they don’t have to go out to the store, doctor or pharmacy themselves.

This will be enforced by police. So when I go out to the pharmacy as always, I will have the copy of my current prescription with me, as well as the receipt that shows that I paid for it, just because it proves which pharmacy I’m going to.

There are high fines if groups of people are found to hang out outside and walk about for no good reason. People are supposed to go out by themselves for important things.

No going for runs, no going for walks, no hanging around outside, except to go straight from A to B. People are allowed to walk their dogs though.

Parks and playgrounds are closed, as well as anything else that isn’t necessary.

At first, people were asked to adhere to it on their own. But as I expected, there were still way too many people who are not taking it seriously. Especially in Vienna, people went out to parks in large numbers, sitting together in groups, walking in groups and hanging around in groups. Even parents went to the playgrounds with their kids. Basically these people were doing everything they were begged not to do.

Many of the groups that were hanging around in parks and the city for no reason were the usual troublemakers.

In Graz, the 2nd largest city of Austria (Vienna is Nr. 1), the streets were pretty much empty. But there were people who ignored the pleas from the government to stay home, just not as many as in Vienna. Most groups were hanging around in the bad areas of Graz, like always.

So within just a day, it became clear that the lock-down and the restrictions would have to be enforced.

For now, people walking alone will not be stopped or asked where they are going, only groups. But depending on how people behave, this might change. I’m expecting many more restrictions and the lock-down of cities and areas, to stop the movement of people and stop the spread of the Virus.

Since it can take up to two weeks for people to actually become ill from the Virus, and many will still have become infected before the restrictions, and they’ll also infect their families most likely, the peak of the outbreak will most likely be in about 3 weeks. I’m no expert and have no idea, but maybe that’s about how it will be.

One thing is for sure, the drastic measures are now going to stop more people from becoming infected. So hopefully, after 3 weeks, we will see the effect of it in decreasing numbers of new confirmed cases, while the number of people who recovered will have increased.

More news: Germany is closing it’s borders with Austria

Germany will partially close its borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Denmark as it steps up efforts to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

What Saturday night looked like from the main square webcam

The main square in Graz, which is normally a very busy place on a Saturday evening, was very empty, except for a few people. The main square is usually always busy, especially during the weekend, since it’s right next to an area with a lot of pubs and clubs. But at 7:41pm, only a few people were out that evening. Nothing would have been open anyway.

How we’re doing

Neither Ralph, nor I are surprised by the measures the Austrian government is taking. Seeing how things are going, it was to be expected. I am actually glad that they’re putting these restrictions in place, because then hopefully, the outbreak can be stopped.

I feel very tense and anxious, just like countless others, but I hope we can get through this alright.

Our street was again extremely quiet. The building itself is quiet as well, you hardly hear anything. Only for our sweet cats the world is like always, at least for the most part. I’m certain they can sense how tense I feel.

It’s rather cold, unfortunately, but the sun was shining. So the babies were able to enjoy the sun for a little on the balcony. Samantha enjoyed the sun at the window and Sonic on the bed.

Lisa and Hero
Samantha at the bedroom window

My anxiety treatment

That’s what the bed is like every day and every night. I’m able to cuddle myself between all the cats, and then I feel a whole lot more calm. Ralph usually goes to sleep later than myself, but he is able to get in as well. Sonic, Hero and Lisa usually pile up around me and on me, while Samantha cuddles up to Ralph’s legs. Once everyone is in bed, I feel relaxed enough to sleep well for a few hours.

It’s now 11:40pm, and I’ll go to bed after publishing this post.

I’m sure tomorrow will bring many changes again, as well as sadly another huge increase in confirmed cases. But maybe soon, there will be good news again. Until then, stay safe, stay home if you can and keep in touch. I’m thinking about everyone, and send out lots of love and hugs.

Love, Natascha & the cats 💕

12 thoughts on “Austria shuts down anything that is not important and people have to mostly stay home – Corona Pandemic Update March 15

  1. Looks like cats are fine. Hope you and your family stay well.
    My youngest sister is a 4th grade teacher so with school closed she’s temporarily out of a job and my other sister works at the YMCA so since that’s temporarily shut down she has no job either.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lisa & Hero look wonderful Natascha!! They are thriving in your care!! and I LOVE your Anxiety therapy! BellaDharma is my anxiety reducer. In fact, she stopped me having a seizure yesterday! I am so proud of her.
    Wow those are seriosu restrictions but I can see the necessity for sure.
    WE have our first 2 CONFIRMED CASES here in town. A couple who came off a cruise ship & never bothered to report to Hospital or anyone. Thankfully they were found & taken to be tested. Trouble is no one know who they are so we have NO idea if we have been in contact with them… In my Province there are at least 145 cases. In Canada there are now 341 cases with 69 (including the 2 here) confirmed today. Still not alot of cases for the size of our Country but I suspect you are correct & the next 3-4 weeks will be the worst…..in fact our Canadian Health Rep said what you said…

    I still need some more general items but G-D knows if there will be anything left in the stores.. ..I never thought I;d live to see an epidemic like this Natashca!
    Please give my regards to Ralph. Love to all there. Kiss those adorable kitties for me!!!
    {{{hugs}}} Sherri-Ellen & purrss BellaDharma

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like Austria has same restrictions, as we live with in Spain now. This should be the reason for not spreading this virus to fast, so also the medical can follow and be able to help, when needed.
    Your beauties are enjoying life, so nice to see.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am from Rome and it’s a week now that I have been put on lockdown. How wierd everything seems! Hewever, I prefer these restrictions than experimenting herd immunity like in the U.K. Stay safe ! Stefy.😷🙋

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have never felt happier about living in an isolated area and working from home as I do now. :( … I think we in Canada have about another month at the most before we hit really nasty infection numbers, but it’s coming.
    Hugs to you all. :) … Hi, Ralph, I can just imagine the amazing posts you’d be creating about this mess. Stay well, friend. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad Austria decided to put the whole country on lockdown. The case numbers are frightening It seems the numbers of new infections are increasing at the same speed as they did in Italy.

      Though, at least Austria’s government put restriction measures in place sooner and much more thorough. As soon as it was clear that the infection rate was speeding up like crazy, they shut the whole country down within a weekend. Other countries put their restrictions in place later and a lot more incremental.

      It’s unbelievable how contagious this virus is. It starts out rather slow, with just a few infections here and there, but then suddenly, the infection numbers absolutely explode and increase faster and faster.

      I’m hoping Canada won’t experience the same as we do in Europe. I hope it will help that it’s a much larger country and not as densely populated as Europe.

      I’m glad you’re working from home! Stock up with a bit of shopping here and there, online and in the store, if you need to. I’m glad I did, when everyone was still laughing about people who started preparing. Back when we only had a few cases in all of Austria.

      Because now, you can’t even order food online anymore. The online shops that deliver groceries can’t keep up with the orders and the restocking of goods. Even Amazon is running out of things like milk and other long-lasting groceries. Private sellers on Amazon are increasing prices at the same time. Doubling and tripling it.

      The supermarkets are still being emptied by panic buyers now. And here as well, the toilet paper is gone. Why on earth? Meat, bread, noodles, rice, tinned food, non-spoiling milk.. totally emptied. As soon as the stores open, people are buying everything they can.

      The goods are still coming and flowing through Europe and the countries, but it will start to take longer for them to arrive, due to the closed borders.

      haha, Ralph’s posts would be amazing now! <3 We’re staying well and take care of each other and the cats <3 You stay well too!

      Liked by 2 people

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