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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 💕

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

March 5, 2018 Snow, Ice and once more waiting for good news

Hey lovely readers! Here’s the latest of us trying to get married in Graz:

At the moment, we’re waiting and hoping for the best again. Since the registrar requires a certified translation by a court translator for each of Ralph’s documents, and Apostilles (Legalisation) for each of the same documents, we had to try and get that sorted out.

The translations are underway now, and hopefully, we’ll get them back by the end of this week.

For the Apostilles (Legalisation), we had to send Ralph’s original documents off to the UK via courier. We had to fill out an application form online for it and pay. The next morning (Friday), I had the documents shipped to the UK by courier. Now we can only wait and hope that the documents get legalised and that there won’t be any bureaucratic hurdles. If everything goes as it should, they will send the documents with each Apostille back to us by the end of this week.

And if all of that worked out, the last thing to hope for is that the registrar won’t come up with yet another requirement for certified certificates and/or translations.

This is, or should be the last hurdle now and according to the registrar, we can get married as soon as we have the translations and Apostilles. Which would be, or could be next week even! I’m not counting on that though. Until we have everything back and the registrar accepts it all without another request for certificates, I won’t get my hopes up too much.

Ralph and I will finally be able to relax and just enjoy everything after all of that. I will have my mind in the right place again to blog normally, be more cheerful and communicate more with all of you lovely readers.

As for everything else: It’s March, and like almost everywhere in Europe it doesn’t look or feel like it at all. Here in Graz, Austria, the last couple of weeks have been bitterly cold with nights and mornings temperatures between -18°C (-0.4°F) and -15°C (5°F). During the day, the temperatures didn’t go above -5°C (23°F), often it was even colder. We had lots of snow as well.

March 1, 2018 09-58-58
Icicles everywhere.

March 1, 2018 10-02-27
More icicles!

The temperatures increased to around freezing point over the weekend, but it’s been very foggy and overcast.

This was Sunday, the view over the city from the Schlossberg webcam. Today, it looked exactly the same…

It’s mostly for Ralph and the cats that I wish for more warmth. Although it’s lovely and warm in our apartment, and the snow looks beautiful, it’s no fun going outside like that. Ralph is cold a lot more easily than I am.

But even if it’s -100° and raining icicles, Ralph and I will go out to get married if we get our appointment soon! 😂

For now, we’re staying in most of the time. We enjoy being together all the time, every second of it.

Murli is happy, and so are Sonic and Samantha. I’m really looking forward to making our balcony pretty and cat safe, and the windows too. Will be lovely, for the summer breeze to come through the open windows and the open balcony door. All of us will love it!

Everyone in the kitchen
Our kitchen

There will be nice walks in the nearby park, where we can see a bit of the sunset.

March 1, 2018 4:38pm
This is the park near our home.

March 1, 2018 4:38pm
The sunsets will be nice from here

I will do my best to reply to all your sweet comments. Shame on me… It’s normally the first thing I do in the day as soon as I have time. Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon, once we can relax and all the worrying about bureaucrats is over.

Thank you so much, for always being so kind and leaving such wonderful comments on my blog.

The cats, Ralph and I love you all!

 

 

Everything · Murli the cat · Pictures · Places

April 6, 2017 This mornings view from Castle Hill and our Mountains

Just thought I’d post todays view from the castle hill webcam to show you today’s weather and view. It cooled down a bit, and a cold wind is blowing, because the mountains got a little bit of snow again. It snowed down to 800m (2624 ft) and our city lies in a valley, at a height ranging from 350m (1148 ft) to 380m (1247 ft).

It’s overcast with a little bit of sun here and there. Right now it’s 10°C (50°F), but it feels much cooler due to the chilly wind. We might still get some rain later.

Here’s the view from 10am:

2017-04-06 10am 001

2017-04-06 10am 002

2017-04-06 10am 003

2017-04-06 10am 005

2017-04-06 10am 006

Since the webcam can’t look behind itself, due to the castle hill rising up higher behind it, here are some photos I took from up there in April of 2013. The mountains you can see in the back are just the lower ones, but they have snow on them, just like they do now. The mountains are all part of the alps, which rise up higher and higher behind the mountains that are visible. But the mountains are not visible from that position, because there’s another valley in between the snowy ones and the next ones.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

There’s still more city to the right, but I don’t have pictures of it yet.

MountainsStyria
Source of this map: Von NordNordWest – Eigenes Werk, usingOpenStreetMap dataSRTM30 v.2 data, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30094311

The map above shows my state of Styria. The purple arrow to the bottom right just shows where north is exactly. The other smaller arrow points into the direction of the snowy mountains you see in the photos above the map. If you click on the map, it will be larger. Like I said, there’s another smaller valley behind the snowy mountains. After that small valley, there are the higher mountains. As it shows, the mountains just get higher and higher. All of the mountainous region you can see are the alps. All of it. It’s VAST. And beautiful ☺️ The highest mountain in my state is at 2995m (9826ft) and it’s called the “Dachstein” which literally translated means “Roofstone”.

Here’s an english Wikipedia article about the “Dachstein” (LINK) and a list of the highest mountains in Austria (LINK).

Just thought I’d post about it, because I was talking about mountains with some furends 😺

Murli wants her pic in the post too, just because she’s cute 😂😸

April 4 2017 10:34am

Everything · Murli the cat · Pictures

January 22, 2017 Sunday

January 22 2017 7:56am 04

January 22 2017 7:56am 03

January 22 2017 7:56am 02

January 22 2017 7:56am 01

Another chilly morning, after a clear and cold night. It was shortly before 8am when I took these Ice Flower photos from the kitchen window. It was -13°C / 8.6°F at that time. Murli always sleeps under my blanket all night when it’s that cold lol. The heat is on at all times, but I understand she likes it snuggly warm during her sleep.

From the webcam on castlehill, the view over the city shortly before and during sunrise was really beautiful again.

January 22 2017 7:30am 02

January 22 2017 7:30am 01

The first picture is the view to the East at 7:30am. If East would be the 15 minute point on a clock, the sun comes up at the 20 minute point. The second picture is the view to the West.

January 22 2017 8:30am 02

January 22 2017 8:30am 01

These two pictures were from 8:30am.

Murli and I are both feeling really well! The migraine free phase is still going due to the continuous cold weather. According to the forecsat, the temperatures might go down to -18°C / -0.5°F over night❄❄❄ Depends if it stays clear, or if there will be fog towards the morning. With fog it doesn’t cool out that much.

Murli has continued having her boxpawties all week lol. This one is from yesterday, Caturday. We now have another version, which is the sidebox… She loves running through the “tunnel” that’s created in that way, and she’s had a nap in there this morning as well.

January 21 2017 10pm 01

January 21 2017 10pm 02

So I’ll leave you with that short update, and hope everyone is doing well. Purrs & Pawhugs furends!🐾 Have a lovely Sunday!