Corona: Home Alone – Protect Your Family and the Globe, Stay Safe

Clean empty hospital operating room and hand holding syringe

Think of the consequences, stay safe.

Italy, among others, and its tragic situation make it quite clear: health care, even around here has limits. Each and everyone of us can be responsible for infecting someone else, without our conscious knowledge, due to the Coronavirus’ infection pattern and ensuing sickness.

The Corona pandemic is one of the largest catastrophes yet to hit the nations around the globe. In some countries, situations resemble those of war, in peaceful times. Almost everywhere, you can find information, some more some less reliable. Here, in the middle of Europe, we are comparatively lucky… health care systems are among the best of the world. Planning and information are usually well prepared and easily accessible. Almost too much so.

Some people therefore tend to underestimate their own contribution, but I’d like to encourage all who read this, again:
Think of the consequences, stay safe.

It’s not always just about being ‘brave’ if you are not part of the medical staff yourself. It’s not about proving to be ‘above panicky people’.

Statistics here teach: since we all could infect at least three other people, before we know it, someone because of our carelessness will catch the infection and then has to be treated in a hospital’s intensive care unit. And those are limited even in the richest of nations.

So, if they ask you from your nation’s official channels, stay home, wear masks to go shopping, where required. Stay safe. Be responsible. And remember, one day, the worst will be past. And the stricter we keep to these rules, the sooner.

Thanks to all my neighbours and all others I know and the millions I don’t, who stay home – and safe, for themselves as much as for others!

Privacy, Cameras, the Smartphone – and the Castle

I have often wondered, if smartphones are so smart after all… And as many others have concluded, I did too: it depends.

I have met with a lot of different people throughout a diverse and long working life. There are some who are so bent on finding out about what people are like or how they live that they don’t mind invading their privacy – no matter how, when or with what.

In some ways it’s rather pitiful to watch them sitting at their computers, mobile phones or even the good old telescope, eagerly and sometimes shamefully craning necks, hacking connections and what not – just to catch a glimpse – of what?

Of people who live a life they believe to be – private.
There are those kinds that like to expose themselves, mildly put, who crave attention – or just want or need to make money.
Some do both.
So, if people for reasons of their own allow watchers ‘in’ – that’s their prerogative.

For me, my privacy is sacred. I need a haven, as it were, my home, my space, where I can be completely relaxed and feel safe, because I am. Undisturbed. No one trying to get in or get close, especially not without my permission!

I sometimes invite very good friends and of course family to spend time with me, cook together, talk, share books or movies, and the like.
But everyone else will come in only after negotiations – or because they have a job to do, like cleaning the drains or painting the window frames. They will be admitted with proper previous notice and an appointment.
A smartphone is like a home, in a literally ‘small way’.

People who do not respect my privacy are basically close to committing a criminal act. Indeed, in law it is considered to be just that: entering someone’s home without permission is called by the nice term ‘Hausfriedensbruch’ in German, which means something like ‘breaking the peace of the home‘. In English it’s trespassing and it is just as punishable as it is in German, laws exist to that effect.
Even more so: dictatorships always have been characterized among other things by this lack of respect for privacy, the ‘peace of the home’ being no right anymore. It is also recognized by the Human Rights declaration: the ‘Right to privacy’!

So, if anyone should be among my readers who felt doubtful about this, try imagining what you would feel about someone coming in the door of your home, just like that, unwanted, uninvited, without further notice, watching you, taking pictures, and perhaps even rifling through your papers.

Otherwise, thanks, will let you know if I am prepared to invite you for dinner!
Because: my home is my castle.