Alone Like a Rolling Stone

The Discovery of Slowness

In his novel of the same name, Sten Nadolny describes the story of John Franklin and that you can often achieve a lot with slowness. Obviously Giuseppe Conte read the novel when it heralded the second phase of the lockdown, or perhaps it is because there is no longer any need to risk a quick opening, after all the billions from the EU are now secured.

Conte alone forgets that his official apparatus for distributing the money is much slower than he himself. Many  voucher, which here in Italy you only get instead of cash when a booked trip is cancelled, will no longer be redeemable, because by the time the support flows, the company will have disappeared from the market. Also the one-way-tactic of so many countries makes it difficult for some willing returnees, because in case of emergency there are no ports of safety available. Not that we want to go home, here in Italy we do not yet belong to the risk group. In Germany, we are already in the 50+ age group, although the average age of corona victims in Germany is over 70. Probably the risk group was also diced by the Robert Koch Institute, just like the reproduction number. I can't help but think of the Muppets Show every time Mr. Wieler performs. In order to make the comedy of the two old gentlemen in the box more realistic, one should perhaps add Mr. Altmaier as the perfect cast. This week Mr. Wieler's latest discovery was again a big one. "The virus is in our country, it will stay in our country for months. It will not be possible to eradicate the virus from the human population. Damn, I was gonna dismiss that as "fake news," but he actually said that. This discovery also took a long time, furthermore it is said that the crisis will only be overcome when the population has been infected at 60 - 70% (a figure which is probably scientifically proven). At the moment the percentage in Germany is in the single-digit range, Wieler continued. Since Mr. Wieler obviously has a dyscalculia, I am happy to help him out here, it is currently exactly 0.2%. Even if the dark figure is even darker than previously assumed, i.e. black, it will be difficult to get a 1 before the decimal point. The question I am asking myself here, when do you want to reach 60%? Mr. Altmaier's response would then be, "In any case, very slow." Or is that to say that we will continue to leave the path of the rule of law for a long time to come? After all, even the greatest advocate of the measures must have realised by now, through the statistics, that proportionality has long since ceased to exist. At this very moment, the President of our Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, appears and waves the sword of constitutional law and is almost killed by it, because he obviously does not want to be heard or because in the heat of the moment he is simply overlooked due to his height. It remains to be seen whether Knight Kubicki, who can protect Schäuble with everything he has from the approaching crowd. Now Mr. Altmaier's intervention comes again: "Now let's take it easy". Not that I don't love comedies, from this point of view the crisis could last quite a while and not only the gentlemen mentioned are a source of my inspiration, but if the virus doesn't succeed in ridding society of me, politics always does. Because as far as the mortality rate is concerned, I am statistically at 2.8% for Corona, without pre-existing conditions probably even lower, but the risk of surviving the crisis economically is 50:50 and since ladies and gentlemen from politics and science, the term risk should then be much more appropriate to its meaning. As the saying goes, "Operation succeeded patient dead" and now Mr Altmaier again, "but nice and slow." 

Here in Italy it goes then again a step slower. The announced loosening is very meagre. Although the economy is expected to pick up again on 4th May, the larger companies will benefit first, especially in the export sector. Italy, however, consists mainly of medium-sized companies and for the most part, directly or indirectly linked to tourism. Nothing is happening here for the time being. The ports and marinas remain closed. After all, in the Lazio region people are allowed to get back to their boats to carry out maintenance work. But they have already done so with the tightened restrictions. In finding ways and means the Italians are simply superior to us Germans. That helps the companies, with sometimes wafer-thin capital cover, but not much. Here in Italy, too, after the crisis, when tourists are let back in, they will find a completely different Italy. While entrepreneurial misjudgements have so far only been noticed in the second or third row of houses, once the politicians have let off steam and the virologists have been caught up again, one or two gaps will probably be found in the first row. Despite the restrictions in our freedom of movement, which have been in place for six weeks now, the marina has a distance of 800 meters, we try to keep fit. Even Gaby runs the distance back and forth several times, but probably only because she can't hear my exercises on the guitar anymore. In the meantime we have become very frugal, so we are looking forward to doing sports outside the marina again next week. After the Italians outbid us Germans in slowness, we don't expect to see an opening in the sailing area before June, most likely not until July, and that will then only be limited to the region in which we are currently located. In the meantime we clean and polish the boat from bow to stern and from the top to the bilge and when we are finished we start all over again. In this respect we are far superior to the Italians, after all!

To remain in the parlance of Mr. Wieler, "The whole crisis is a marathon and we are only at the beginning," we try to divide our strength. By the way, Mr. Wieler the idea of getting through a marathon is not to run it as slowly as possible, but to run it quickly. The best ones manage it in about two hours, if we could do it together in 4.5 hours, we would all be very much helped. With this in mind, I wish everyone, as always, faie winds and keep your ears stiff.