A recluse’s guide to self-isolation

I’m great at social distancing. No one does distancing like me.

How are you coping with being jailed at home?

I could do this self-isolation thing for months. It doesn’t bother me at all.

Okay, at this time of year I’m missing the biergarten. There’s nothing like a cold draft on a hot summer day after a weekend bike ride.

I’m not optimistic about our current situation

Tibesti region, northern Chad

I’m not optimistic about our current situation. I think this pandemic marks a historical turning point, one we were already moving towards but which is now accelerating.

We talked about this in previous blogs on the future of the European Union, the future of travel, and other post-pandemic changes.

What happens to travel after COVID-19?

What’s the future of post-pandemic travel?

 

In recent blogs, we’ve talked about the future of the European Union, and other changes we might see in the wake of the Great Pandemic.

In this instalment, I’d like to bring things closer to home and talk about the future of travel.

The skies are strangely empty

A silent power station on the Teltow Canal

It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon in Berlin, but it doesn’t feel like spring is in the air.

The biergarten are shuttered. The parks are roped off. And many of the ice cream parlours are closed.

Loss and change in a post-pandemic world

Abandoned hotel in the Azores

In my last blog, we talked about what the future of the European Union might look like in a post-pandemic world.

I’d like to add a few more random predictions as we pull back the lens to consider the globe.

Will COVID-19 Break the European Union?

(Photo: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau)

In a previous blog, I promised to share my thoughts on the post-pandemic future of Europe, in particular for North American readers who may not be following developments on this side of the Atlantic.

Travel’s off limits for the next several months, so we might as well talk about something.

The hamsters are loose in Berlin

Hamsters on the loose in Berlin (Photo: imago images/7aktuell)

It’s not surprising that the culture which gave us specific words for a brilliant idea you get while drinking but end up regretting later (Schnapsidee — I get a lot of these), and for the perverse sense of satisfaction at taking joy in someone else’s pain (Schadenfreude) should also have a term for hoarding.

Berlin life in the time of COVID-19

Pariser Platz on COVID-19 nights (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

I’m not a disease expert by any stretch — though I have been sick in several third world shitholes.

But it feels like anyone with any sort of public platform is expected to take a position on the COVID-19 pandemic. It certainly had a paralyzing impact on travel.

Travels With Myself And Another

Travels with Myself and Another by Martha Gellhorn

How did I live for 47 years without reading Martha Gellhorn?

She’s best known in some circles for her brief wartime marriage to the writer Ernest Hemingway, much to her chagrin. But she is better known as a brilliant war correspondent and travel writer, though she wanted to be remembered as a novelist.

Picnics and Laughter in a Rhodope Mountain Glade

Plovdiv: Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city

We left the Pirin mountains the next day and entered the vast flat plain of the Maritza River Basin that connects Sofia to Plovdiv and opens out towards the Black Sea. The was the great path from Europe to the Levant. The road to Constantinople and Asia.