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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
Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sometimes, I can’t find a fitting title, so I just use the current date…

You might have heard about the heatwave in Europe? We did have a few really hot days, but it cooled down to normal levels again for this weekend. Though, the temperatures are rising again and according to the forecast, the coming week will be even hotter than the previous one.

With my ongoing quest to spoil the cats as much as possible, I wanted to create more shade for them on the balcony. So I ordered a cover for the railing, which will shade the floor of the balcony. I ordered this blue and white striped one, because I love things to be as colourful as possible.

Balcony - railing cover June 29, 2019

Of course, I could just mount a cover for the whole length of the balcony railing, but then the cats would not be able to see into the garden as easily. Therefore, I folded the cover in half and mounted it so the cats would still be able to look out on both ends easily. I left more uncovered on the right side, where the bird feeder is.

The mats I had previously used for shade were by now almost falling apart from taking them up and down constantly. With this balcony cover, I don’t have to worry about taking it down all the time, since it’s made for being outside. It’s working nicely and creates full shade.

Balcony June 29, 2019 2

The wooden privacy fence and the big blue umbrella together with the new cover make the balcony really comfortable and also more private, while still giving the cats enough unrestricted view to watch everything going on outside of the balcony.

Balcony June 29, 2019 3
The right end of the balcony, where the bird feeder is.

Then, while I was shopping yesterday morning, I discovered a mat that I knew would be great for the cats to lie on outside. It is quite long and makes it much softer and comfortable.

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli and Samantha
Murli and Samantha

I still covered the mat with their blankies and they absolutely love it. They’re out on the balcony even more now!

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli and Samantha 2
Murli and Samantha

Balcony June 29, 2019 Murli
Murli

The reason why we don’t really need an umbrella for the right side of our balcony is this very tall Sycamore tree. In the late afternoon, it will shade the whole balcony. Although there is a span of time where the right side is in full sun for a while, before the sun gets behind the tree, but it’s not too much of a problem.

Balcony - Sycamore tree June 29, 2019

Sweet little boy Sonic prefers to stay inside for the most part. He’s always been that way and usually only stays out on the balcony for a short time, unlike the two girls who stay out there for hours.

Sonic has his favourite spots and also loves to flop down wherever he feels like, even if he is totally blocking the way.

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The nights at the moment

With the hot summer days, people leave their windows open all night, including us. It is normally absolutely quiet in our block, which is really amazing considering how many apartments there are. I can leave the bedroom window wide open all night and there is just no noise and it’s wonderful!

Or it was… The lovely quiet night has been broken up by the screaming and moaning of a woman, every night for the last week.

Edit: I forgot to clarify… It’s not a woman in pain btw… She’s at it with a man and it’s totally obvious, so that there’s no mistaking what’s going on. Seriously, it’s so annoying! We heard a man moaning for a while as well the other night, that’s why I know it’s a woman with a man.

It sounds like it’s coming from the ground floor level of the building next to our building. She is really loud and it will go on ALL NIGHT. She will start at like 1 or 2 am and then keep going until it’s morning. She will stop for maybe 15 minutes in between and then start up again. Of course, it keeps waking us up. I had to close the window last night, because we needed sleep, even though I would really need the fresh air overnight when it’s hot like that. It prevents getting a migraine from stuffy air.

Here is a google maps screenshot of the part of our block where our building is. I concealed the street name with the flowers lol. It’s just safer that way I think since you never know who finds your public images and blog.

Anyway, here it is:

Google Maps screenshot of our block

The blue arrow points to our building and the area of our apartment. The red arrow points to where the moaning comes from. We can’t see the building like that from our point of view, so we can’t be sure which apartment it comes from exactly, but it’s definitely this building.

It’s just crazy! I’m certain it won’t be any different tonight either. I’m currently thinking about what to do if it does not stop. I’ve heard other people calling out to them to keep it down, but she does not seem to care at all.

Some people…

Otherwise, we all have been doing well! I’m currently looking forward to getting all my pain medicine for 18 days, starting the coming Friday. This means I don’t have to pick up my bottles every afternoon from the pharmacy. Maybe we can go up on the mountain near Graz on one of those days and take lots of photos and videos! I love doing things together with Ralph, we always have such a lovely time, no matter what we do.

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday everyone! The cats are sending out purrs and paw hugs!

Everything · Pictures · The Cats

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

It’s still been raining until yesterday, but at least today, the sun seems to try to come through. Another good thing is that the temperature went up a little bit, so it’s not feeling like fall anymore.

Samantha has been watching the street for a while now. Normally, the sun would be shining into this window all morning until midday, but she only got a little bit of sun when the sun was trying to come through for a few minutes. Though, watching the street is interesting either way.

2019 05 22 Samantha on the window
Samantha on the living room window

Thanks to the constant bad weather with it’s sudden changes, I’m having migraines almost every day. Today was no different when I woke up with yet another migraine. Thankfully though, the migraine was not severe. So I got up and took my Triptan medication for the migraine, made myself a cup of strong coffee and sat on the balcony for the fresh air. If I have a severe migraine, I go straight back to bed after taking the medicine, because I can’t bear anything else, but to lie still in the quiet darkness of the bedroom, with the window opened for fresh air.

With the cats on the balcony too, and the birds up and down from their feeder, it’s a great distraction until the medicine kicks in.

2019 05 22 Samantha and Murli
Murli and Samantha watching the birds

Sonic likes to sit just by the door inside when the weather isn’t good enough for his liking.

2019 05 22 Sonic and Samantha
Samantha and Sonic

Samantha jumped straight up on my chair while I took this picture 😉

We were being watched as well, by a pigeon.

2019 05 22 Pigeon on the roof

We have about 3 pairs of pigeons come by every day, it’s always the same ones. And one of them likes to sit on our balcony for a bit, always on the same spot, which is a highlight for Murli, because she is fascinated by pigeons.

2019 05 22 Murli and pigeon
Murli

My migraine is gone thankfully, and I hope it will be a day without rain. It looks good so far!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

February 23, 2018 – News from the registrar, snow and cat pics

Hello dear friends!
First off the good news! Yesterday, the registrar called and informed us that the certificate from the British embassy (German: Ehefähigkeitszeugnis), which verifies that Ralph is legally free to marry me, has been accepted by the Graz registrar office.

What a relief! As I wrote in my previous post, the registrar office told us back then, that the embassy certificate might not be accepted, which came as a total shock to us. The British embassy issues hundreds of these certificates every year in Austria, so we assumed it was a standard thing the Austrian registrar offices deal with often, especially in bigger cities like Graz, which is Austria’s 2nd biggest city.

Anyway, thankfully that worry is now gone, and we’re getting a bit closer to getting married. What remains now, is to get the last batch of bureaucracy sorted out, that they asked of us. We need to get Apostilles for all of Ralph’s English documents, as well as certified translations by a court-approved translator of the same documents. Once this is done, we will send the scans of it all off to the registrar, and then we can finally get married within a few business days.

I don’t really know how long it will take to get this done, but we really hope it won’t be long.

Now it finally seems within our reach. Let’s just hope that the last things can get done easily, without additional bureaucracy, to get the Apostilles that we need. 

In other news… It has been snowing a lot! I haven’t experienced such weather for over a decade or more. We had days with heavy snowfall since the start of the new year. But now, we’ll have snowfall for the next 2 weeks, and the temperatures will drop over the weekend to around -15°C / 5°F according to forecast. 

Here is what it looks like from our balcony, overlooking the backyard and garden.

February 20, 2018 8:23am
Snow in the garden, February 20, 2018

22.02.2018 17-33-57
Snow in the garden, February 22, 2018

22.02.2018 17-31-31
Snow February 22, 2018

Samantha and Sonic watch the snow fall from the windows, but they don’t feel like going out onto the balcony at all. Samantha ran out for a second, curious as to what that “white stuff” on the balcony is, but turned right back around once she realised the “white stuff” is wet and cold. 

Murli, on the other hand, does not care, and still likes to go out onto the balcony with us. Of course, Murli has thick and quite long fur, and Samantha has not got much to keep her warm. Sonic and Samantha are from southern Spain and not used to the cold.

07.02.2018 08-26
Murli does not care about getting snowed on. She wants to watch the birdies!

All three kitties are happy and feel at home. Murli is so much better with the others too and she continues to get better and more relaxed with having other cats around.

17 02 2018 1-38pm
Murli and Samantha

13 02 2018 9-13am
Sonic on the bed, and Murli on the window.

I am so happy to have my Murli girl here with me, in our home, within our little family. We all love our new apartment, our home in Graz. But we can’t wait to finally put just one family name on our door: Whillier. Natascha and Ralph Whillier. It will be such a happy day once we have our long-awaited wedding!

The other thing we can’t wait for is spring and summer! But for now, spring seems a bit far away. The following slideshow shows what it looks like at the moment. It’s the park near our home.

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Thank you all for reading and for your wonderful and supportive comments, it really made us feel better. I will keep you updated a lot more from now on, as to how things are going with our quest to get married.

As I’m about to go to sleep now, I wish you all a good night. Take care and keep warm!

20 02 2018 10-43am
Murli

20 02 2018 11-04pm
Samantha and Sonic

Everything · Pictures · Society and News · The Cats

June 17, 2017 Hey sweeties! Update about what was going on with us.

June 16 and 17, 2017 Important Update

Hey my dear furends! It was a couple of things. First I was just really busy, & then our internet was having problems. Connection would be there, then gone again. Yesterday it was gone completely. And I needed to safe my remaining data for my 2 mobile devices internet. It’s working normally again normally it seems.

The important/serious part of the update comes now
Wednesday night at 8pm, police were suddenly and quietly positioning themselves in my street & neighborhood. No sirens, nothing. Really quiet. No one knew what was up. They told all the people to leave the pubs and restaurants, and leave the area or go into their buildings. The street was eerie & quiet. There were many police cars & the special unit that usually always comes for more serious things was there too. They had the big guns out.

They closed off all the streets around us and put their own police vans and cars into the streets as additional barriers. After they had done all of that, I saw a policeman from the special unit walk with a second one through my street. One was carrying that special bag that gets put over things that are suspected to be explosives. Those bags are able to contain the blast and any shrapnel and things they put into those self made ones to hurt people even more. Then I knew something was wrong. But still, I thought maybe they just found a lone luggage standing around somewhere and people got worried about it and called the police. Things like that happen and of course they always have to assume it might really be dangerous. I really thought it must be something like that.

But the next day (Thursday) I heard that we had an actual terrorist b.mb threat, that was apparently prevented thanks to a person from the middle east, who heard about a plan for this somewhere and called police right away. This might have really prevented something from happening, because police were here so quickly. Maybe the extremists who had planned this thing, where prevented from doing anything thanks to police being here. The attack was apparently planned for around 10pm, but police had already been here at 8pm, after the person had called them about what he heard. It was supposed to be an attack right here in my street. There’s a big church right near me and we had an important Christian holiday. Maybe that’s why.

On Thursday police were there all day too and they were there during the night too apparently. They still had their police vans as a barrier in all streets leading to my neighborhood and my street. Only pedestrians were able to pass. It was also because they didn’t want someone attacking with a car. My church had a lot of people there due to the Christian holiday. Buildings like ours had their entrances protected by a police van right in front of the entrance, and a couple police men. So no suspicious people could get into the buildings & do something in them possibly. There was lots of police all around us. Really a lot! On Friday it seemed it was all back to normal for the most part. They are still patrolling more than they usually do, but life started to be lived again normally. There is an event on the other side of the river (Our building is next to the river) and I saw that they have put their police cars there as barriers again, to prevent anyone from trying to attack with a car again.

Unfortunately I had a migraine on Thursday, and I felt extremely exhausted, because I had to haul stuff with some friends. The last bits of my stuff that a friend had stored for me in their storage room they didn’t need. But they move out and so I had to get my stuff. And I still felt really really exhausted yesterday. So that’s why we weren’t here really.

I am so sorry my dear friends and furends. I really am. I thank you all for your sweet comments. I also thank you all really really so much, for always being so understanding towards my frequent migraines and being offline often because of that.

Murli & I love you all💕 Thanks for being such wonderful pals!

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