In Austria it is not yet digested that there is another closure. Or at least repressive. It’s enough to look at what’s going on in one of the malls in the center of the capital Vienna: near a supermarket of a large chain in the mall, people come to buy groceries knowing that this is the chain that is also open on Sundays. But one after the other they are surprised to find that the network has changed its operating hours and is no longer open on Sundays and return as they came. Indeed on the sign on the door they deleted and changed the activity days accordingly. A passerby who also arrived and was disappointed told me he did not know about it. He added that even on weekdays the activity of the branch was reduced. In fact the branch was open until 11 at night and now (when it is open) only until 6 in the evening. In a nearby building at a Mexican fast food store I asked if there was an open supermarket in the area. The employee was probably not updated on what was happening in the nearby mall and straight away referred me to a supermarket, which as mentioned is closed.
The closure has led to the closure of everything that is not necessary but cafes and restaurants are open for deliveries. Writers are open but as mentioned have changed activity. The Stephensplatz entertainment area still has a Christmas atmosphere and also a fir tree next to a huge menorah lying next to the cathedral. But the crowds that get there come to hear the organ in the cathedral or drink beer while standing next to the pubs that serve them alcohol in disposable glasses.
Although masks are worn everywhere – and it is mandatory to use only the N95 or a parallel model – but no store asks for a vaccination permit (there is no longer an exemption for those who are tested – only the vaccine is acceptable) because it is forbidden to stay there anyway. Not in public transport either. But surprisingly even supermarkets do not ask for the presentation of a vaccination certificate despite the law requiring business owners and complexes, probably out of fatigue and attrition (even the attempt to make a partial closure only on the unvaccinated failed very quickly). Also do not pay attention to the distance between the people. Not even on public transport.
The various government testing and vaccination complexes in the city are deployed in containers that anyone, even foreigners, can access and be tested at no cost, including the glorious Vienna Convention Center which is bustling with life precisely because of the corona. Everyone comes to be tested (the physician tests are through a gargle of water). Either way there are many casualties from the quarantine. It is enough to have a regular conversation with a taxi driver who explains how there is no work because there is no need for taxis like before. The closure has returned but in Austria, it seems, they are denying it and are mainly eyeing the big prize: Christmas. Hopefully by then rage will pass and meanwhile living a routine routine.
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