I filmed these little videos while lying on the bed, to be able to film the fireworks from the surrounding apartments. You can see Lisa’s silhouette, when she sat on the window sill, watching the fireworks. Hero was to the right, on a lower level of the kitty tree, because he was worried. Sonic was right next to me, to my left. He absolutely LOVES colourful lights, especially flashing or blinking lights. The fireworks were an amazing sight for him and he was mesmerized by them, not looking away the whole time. He’s deaf, so he isn’t scared or worried about the noise. Little boy absolutely loved it. Samantha is never worried about the fireworks, and she simply continued to sleep on the rocking chair next to the radiator.
Part 2 – You can hear little Lisa talking to Ralph in the 2nd video
There was no official firework by the city. Also, we’re under lockdown Nr 3 with general stay at home order and most of everything closed. In addition, there is a strict curfew from 8pm to 6am, including on New Years Eve. So people launched their fireworks from windows, balconies and patios, even more so than the other years, since everyone had to stay at home.
Thanks for all your wonderful and kind comments and wishes in the last post! You are the sweetest! So glad to have you all. I’ll start replying to you tomorrow.
Even if we’re locked down and stay at home for who knows how long, I will always be happy and content with my lovely little family!
There’s no getting bored in our home anyway. Not with the 4 cats and each other, and the internet, which lets us connect to our friends and lots of entertainment.
Every day is a lovely day with our cats
As soon as I open my eyes in the morning, this is usually what I see…
Hero, Lisa and Sonic usually sleep on top of me, or cuddled up on my tummy, my legs, arms, or my side, depending on the way I’m lying. It’s usually these 3 in any order that are all over and around me. Samantha loves to either be curled up next to Ralph’s legs, or she watches the birds from the bedroom window (that’s where Samantha was when I took these photos).
It’s impossible not to smile first thing when I wake up with my little family of Ralph and the cats all around me. No matter how anxious I feel, or how bad my migraine is when I wake up, I still wake up feeling happy thanks to them.
Spring is definitely here with flowers everywhere and birds who are building their nests again. The temperatures before the weekend were amazing! Almost like summer. Unfortunately, it got really cold again over the weekend.
Especially today, the wind was awfully strong and ice cold. I really hope it will warm up again soon, the cats and us really missed the warm sun.
Despite the cold, Lisa and Hero always enjoy some fresh air and love to watch the birds for a few minutes. Also, Lisa and I have a little game where I throw one of the toy balls out onto the balcony and she will run out to bring it back in every single time! She usually carries her ball to the same spot, there she’ll wait for me to get it and throw it again.
But at long as it’s sunny, the cats are getting their fill of sunshine inside as well. With every day we’re getting closer to summer, the sun will shine into our apartment longer.
A small earthquake with the epicentre in Croatia
Yesterday, there was even an earthquake we slept through (at 5:24 UTC). Well, I’m sure the cats noticed, but Ralph and I didn’t. Here in Graz it wasn’t anything serious. The epicentre was in Croatia, a little less than 200km from us, where earthquakes aren’t anything unusual. I’ve experienced a couple of them when I was in Croatia myself as a child.
Small earthquakes with the epicentre within Austria are not unusual either, as the African plate meets with the Eurasian plate in the Alps. Especially our region is rather active for these little earthquakes.
Since it’s almost midnight again, I will go to bed in a bit. I’ll hopefully feel more rested soon, as the day seems way to short when I need more sleep than normal.
I keep thinking of everyone, hoping that you’re all safe and well, and have everything you need.
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.
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 activated the new electronic prescription system a lot sooner than planned. With this system, people are able to call their doctors and order their prescription over the phone. The doctors office then adds / uploads the prescription into your file on the national health data system. Now people can go to any pharmacy they want, tell the pharmacist that a prescription has been put on their file, which the pharmacist can look up and access through your social security number. Then they simply print out the prescription and give you your medicines.
Narcotic long term prescriptions are not being sent through this electronic system though. They are added to your file and everything, but you still have to get the physical paper prescription from your doctor. At the moment, doctors offices are bringing these special prescriptions to the health department office themselves, as an original paper document. The health department then stamps the prescription, scans them into their computer system, and has them brought to the various pharmacies that the patient is receiving their medicine. Because with this prescription, you have to stay at the same pharmacy for the duration of that prescription, usually 28 days. Of course, most people will stay and not change every month.
So basically, I don’t have to go to my doctors office for the prescriptions for as long as this lockdown is going on. Also, depending on the medication, people are able to fill up to 3 months worth of medications at once. Except narcotics. Also, I am almost sure that not every doctors office will give their patients the 3 months worth of medicine at once, as they generally don’t like to do that. I know, because I have trouble every time my doctor goes on holiday and I need my migraine medication for the duration.
Thankfully, I got 4 weeks worth of pain medication at once. Which is a relief, as I was really worried they would just lock everything down, including pharmacies and the health department, and not care one bit if people get their pain medicine. That worry exists due to my horrible experiences throughout my life, with being in terrible pain, but not being helped. With specialist doctors just shrugging their shoulders, literally, and simply not caring one bit.
4097 Coronavirus Infections, March 23 at 5pm
Staying home, toilet paper craziness and panic buying
So for whatever reason, toilet paper is still being bought like crazy. All over the western world. Maybe even all over the world. 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? Why on earth toilet paper? Some even managed to buy massive amounts of toilet paper, thinking people will be desperate for toilet paper and that they can sell it to them at a high price.
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.
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.
I know there are hardly any hand sanitizers available anymore, and the few that are sold are sold with massively hiked up prices. But before you buy insanely expensive sanitisers, 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’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:
Things continue to move faster than I can keep up with. Measures and restrictions that were planned on Friday, kept changing throughout the weekend.
Restaurants and cafés were supposed to stay open until 3pm starting Monday, so that people would be able to get lunch there. But the government decided to have all restaurants, cafés, pubs etc shut down completely. But not just them, all stores are staying being closed, except for supermarkets, pet supply stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations.
Government offices that are not that important at the moment, will shut down for the public, but they will continue to work behind closed doors. Everything will be handled over phone, online forms, 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.
Stay at home order
The government announced that there are now only 3 reasons to leave our homes and it goes as follows:
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.
People are allowed to walk their dogs though.
Parks and playgrounds are closed.
At first, people were asked to adhere to it on their own. But the government said that this didn’t work, therefore they said, they have to enforce it this way.
In Graz, the 2nd largest city of Austria (Vienna is Nr. 1), the streets were pretty much empty.
So within a very short time, the government decided that the lock-down and the restrictions would have to be enforced.
From what they announced, people walking alone will not be stopped or asked where they are going, only groups. But they said in their press conference, depending on how people behave, this might change. I’m expecting many more restrictions and the lock-down of cities and areas.
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
How we’re doing
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.
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.
That’s what the bed is like every day and every night. I’m able to cuddle myself between all the cats which makes for the best sleep. I can’t sleep without cats. 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.
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 probably almost every day in the near future.