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Update about the Coronavirus Pandemic – Austria, March 23

It still took me until now to finish this post. Sigh… sorry about that. The weird tiredness still wasn’t letting up at all and it was impossible to think clearly enough to write in such a state. This post is simply an update about the pandemic and the current situation in Austria.

Like I’ve said, I publish these updates to document the historic circumstances we all are finding ourselves in, to have a record of it for myself and for whoever else is interested in reading about it again later on.

Here is the link to my 2nd post, about us and the cats: https://catladynatascha.com/2020/03/23/we-are-staying-at-home-for-another-month-march-23/

One of my huge worries is now gone! I will not lose access to my pain medication at any point. Everything has been sorted out wonderfully, for everyone.

It would be a long boring description of how everything works and was worked out right now, but basically: The health department and the national health care made sure everyone would be able to get their medications in the most uncomplicated way. People are able to call their doctors and order their script over the phone. The doctors office then sends the prescription electronically to the pharmacy. Narcotic long term prescriptions are sent to the health department office, as an original paper document. That office then approves and scans them into their computer system, and afterwards, they are sent to the pharmacy.

So basically, people don’t have to go anywhere, except to their pharmacy, to pick up their medications. Also, depending on the medication, people are able to fill up to 3 months worth of medications at once.

That electronic system was not even ready to be fully rolled out, but since the technology and computer systems for it had already been installed in doctors offices and pharmacies, they simply activated it, due to the circumstances. It was due to be slowly implemented all over, but they’ve now done it within a few days. It’s working too! No problems at all.

The goverment is doing whatever they can to reduce the number of people that have to leave their homes.

For patients like me, this meant that I was able to pick up 4 weeks worth of medication at once, instead of going to the pharmacy numerous times every week.

Coronavirus infections are still increasing faster and faster

With the Coronavirus infections still rising unbelievably fast, it is now a huge relief that I won’t have to leave our home for the next 4 weeks. Any risk of catching the Virus and passing on to Ralph is too high of a risk to take.

As had been expected, the cases of Coronavirus infections are still increasing unbelievably fast. People were still getting infected at a high rate before the lock-downs took effect on March 16. By the time two weeks will have passed after that date, 1000s more will have fallen ill with Covid-19.

The restrictions I talked about in my other post (LINK) are still in place and will stay in place at least until April 12. Of course, there could be additional measures put in place, or existing ones adapted, depending on the situation.

4097 Coronavirus Infections, March 23 at 5pm

The governments update from today at 5pm. Of the 4097 patients with COVID-19, 132 have to be treated in the hospital and 15 very severe cases are currently in the ICU

The increase over the last few days has been enormous. Two weeks ago, we went from over 100 on Monday, March 9, to over a 1000 by last Sunday, March 15. Then within this week, the increase was to over 3000. I’m sure we will have another huge increase in infections over the coming week. After that, it will hopefully flatten out and then decrease.

I used the public government data to create a slideshow, showing the increase of infections in Austria over time. The screenshots are from the data graphs published by the Austrian government at: https://info.gesundheitsministerium.at/

Because a further large increase in COVID-19 patients is expected, temporary hospitals are being prepared in huge halls which are normally used for large conferences, concerts, exhibitions and other events. One of these large halls that are being prepared, is just a few blocks away from our home. It will have beds for up to 1000 people. Additionally, hospitals which had been closed not too long ago, are being prepared for COVID-19 patients as well.

Staying home, toilet paper craziness and panic buying

We are staying at home! As does about 95% of the Austrian population. 5% don’t really care though and do whatever they want and behave as if it’s all just a big holiday season everyone. The problem is that these 5% tend to crowd the same places, (partying, large groups in parks and at other typical hangout spots throughout the city). There is hardly any distance between these people and anyone who has to walk past and through these crowds. But that happens in many other countries, despite curfews and lockdowns. They’re getting fined big time though.

Toilet paper is still being bought like crazy. Shop keepers say it’s gone within a short time right after they open in the morning. I wonder if we will ever find out what that is all about?

Despite the fact that grocery stores are still being stocked up normally, people are still panic buying long-lasting food and the stores can’t keep up with it. It would be more than enough for everyone if it wouldn’t be for panic buyers. The panic buying seems to happen right when the stores open. For the rest of the day, there are only very few customers in the stores.

Break-ins

The emptiness in the streets during the night is now increasingly used by criminals to break into stores and to rob the few people that are out. Thankfully it’s not rampant here, but it definitely happens a lot more now.

Even my old pharmacy has been broken into and robbed on the first night of the lockdown last week. I am glad my current pharmacy is in a really public place with police CCTV. My old one was in an area that is always quiet and empty overnight, but especially now.

The best and the worst in people

People are helping each other. In many apartment buildings, young and healthy people are offering to go out and buy groceries, or pick up medications for older people and people who are especially vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.

I have a lot of respect and gratitude for everyone who is now working right now. The pharmacists and people at the cash registers in grocery stores have no face masks, due to a massive shortage of protective gear. They have to deal with some awful customers during the best of times, but I’ve heard stories from all over the world, about how absolutely rotten some people are behaving at the moment. It’s true that emergencies bring out the best and the worst in people.

I’m thankful for every single one who keeps our country and all the other countries running and functioning. Every single one of them, from the people who keep picking up the rubbish bins from our apartment buildings, to the people who deliver our mail and parcels, to the doctors, nurses, and police and to the people who keep the infrastructure running, so we all have power, gas, water, phone and internet. I’m also grateful that our government is simply doing what’s necessary without worrying about bureaucracy.

Stay safe

The official number of people infected by the Coronavirus is most likely not everyone. The number of people who are asymptomatic, or who are not even seeking help and dealing with it themselves, is thought to be very high as well.

So please stay safe by keeping your distance. Stay home as much as you possibly can, be mindful not to touch your face while outside and before you were able to wash your hands properly.

I know there are hardly any hand sanitizers available anymore, but you can use alcohol like Vodka and Schnapps to disinfect your hands while you’re out, if you fill it into a small bottle to carry with you. I know it smells, but at least it works to kill the Virus.

I’ll keep updating as much as I can, about life and the cats and everything else going on. Should anyone ever feel worried about us, or simply just feel the need to contact us, you can always email me directly at:

catlady-natascha@protonmail.com

17 thoughts on “Update about the Coronavirus Pandemic – Austria, March 23

    1. Yes, this Virus seems to be absolutely relentless. I am shocked at the unbelievable speed at which this Virus has spread in Spain. It’s a nightmare. I really feel for everyone who lives in the midst of a large outbreak like that.

      Most countries are in lockdown now. It’s weird how we’re all in the same situation, no matter how far apart we live.

      It’s not slowing down here in Austria either. The number of cases are still increasing awfully fast.

      Big hugs my friend, stay safe.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Glad to hear you are well. We are good too and staying home. We have thought about taking a drive in our new car,yeah maybe not the best time to buy a car,but we will probably just hang out here. I got my pain meds for my back as well a month of regular pills and they deliver.The most exciting thing is figuring out what to have for dinner! We have a good bunch of food and toilet paper. With my IBS I go through a lot. Take care!! I talk to Patricia every day.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So glad you are fine too and that you’ve got everything you need and you’re able to stay home. I’m especially glad you’ve got your meds! It’s such a worry during times like this.

      LOL! It’s true! Figuring out what to have for dinner is the highlight of our day too!

      I’ll try to stay in touch with everyone more, because I absolutely love to be able to chat with you all.

      My big problem is that I have very little energy and it’s gone very quickly. So all the normal things I do, usually leave me too tired to even try to chat and write, because I can’t keep my eyes open lol.

      Stay safe and well! We will get through this <3
      Thinking of you all!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. People talk about what to do to fill your spare time. I feel like I get less done than I ever did. Stress? Two hour government press conferences? Other people wanting my time? Trying to keep up with the latest ever-changing information? I don’t know, but I do know I am exhausted at the end of the day.
    Natascha, I couldn’t agree with you more on two topics: this pandemic is bringing out the best and worst in people, and those whose jobs potentially expose them daily if not minute by minute to the virus are heroes and deserve our thanks.
    I am so happy that the government has facilitated your pain meds so you don’t have to go out during this time, perhaps exposing yourself and Ralph to the virus. Take care and stay well!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe take some time each day to disconnect from everything. I find that I’m OK checking in with the news a couple of times a day, after that I overload and can’t function for the rest of the day.
      Give yourself time to mourn the loss of ‘normal’.
      You’re not alone. :)
      Stay safe.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s a great idea! I only read up on everything regarding the Pandemic in the morning now. Before, I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest news about the Pandemic and involved myself with it all day. My anxiety got a lot worse because of it.
        Now I keep our days as normal as possible. We watch what we like, and read about the things we are interested in, that have nothing to do with the Pandemic.

        We are all in this together! Stay safe :-)

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you for always leaving your wonderful and kind comments 💕

      The lockdowns affect people in all kinds of weird ways. Ralph and I are forgetting which day of the week it is, and I often feel like I forgot to go somewhere, even though I know that I don’t have to go anywhere. We are very lucky though, because we never feel bored and we just love being together all the time anyway.

      I agree, these people are true heroes. I feel so thankful to absolutely everyone.

      Stay safe and healthy!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There are foolish peeps here in Canada, too. Foolish peeps ignoring the government’s pleas to stay home except for the absolute necessities. Bottom line is, some peeps are stupid. MY peeps and I watched our Premier address the public ’bout this on Sunday. He was obviously frustrated by the actions of these foolish few. Frustrated and disappointed, that some peeps don’t give a rat’s patootie ’bout anyone or anything but themselves. Peeps are now gonna be fined big bucks if they congregate in groups. I say, fine ’em with tuna! And give that tuna to me. MOUSES!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Many thanks for your update Natascha!! Your country sounds very much like Canada!! Or maybe we are like your country!? I was able to request 2 months of all meds. I am still in self isolation until April 2nd
    After that date I will have to go out to get more groceries; toiletries & BellaDharma’s foods & treats. I am hoping I will be able to access the stores. I am not good at shopping online at all. WE shall see.
    Even as we self isolate there is that 5-10% who do not care about physical distancing or stay away from each other! It is ridiculous.
    In the past 2 weeks we had 1,000,000 (million) Canadians return to Canada. All told to go into self isolation. My friend upstairs is doing that….however we are hearing some are not,,,,going to grocery stores & Liquor stores & they could be carrying the Virus….
    Like Austria our numbers keep climbing & that scares me alot.
    My Doctor will NOT give me B12 shot & that is a necessity for me…so with people running about unprotected & possibly positive when I go back out I will be risking my own health.
    Our world sure has changed in the blink of an eye!!
    Give regards to Ralph & kisses to all the kitties.
    (((hugs))) & <3 Sherri-Ellen x0

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mee-yow wow what guud mewss Miss Natascha ’bout yore meddycinss…LadyMew gotted 2 monthss supply on most of her meddycinss. Wee are inn self isolation; have bin for 8 dayss….6 more to go. LadyMew iss not doin well beein cooped up. Wee have bin sittin out on patio most mornin’ss butt shee iss furry angree an sad.
    Mee doin mee best to keep her spiritss up! Wee hope you an Mistur Ralph are doin well. Give mee ree-gardss to Lisa an Hero an Sonic an Samantha too….
    purrss an <3 BellaDharma an {{{huggiess}}} LadyMew

    Liked by 1 person

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