To say this isn’t what we expected from our working abroad experience is a bit of an understatement, but COVID-19 has changed the lives of everyone around the world in less than a month so we’re rolling with it in Germany too. He (re’s a look into the initial times of COVID-19 in Hamburg, interspersed with pictures from my solo mama walk I took on Sunday with my camera! (Already stay at home mama’s gotta keep sane too!)
Less or Delayed Hysteria in Europe?
We honestly feel pretty lucky in our situation of living abroad during COVID-19. It’s not that Germany is handling it better than other countries, in fact I think they’re following the pace of most countries and could act even heavier faster. But we’re in a very rule abiding country that wants the best for their citizens.
The stores weren’t emptied as quickly as the USA’s, so perhaps the hysteria is lower or just delayed. Since our last grocery visit on Friday I’ve heard stores are emptying and lines are long. The online food delivery services are backed up, some canceling orders all together, so we’ll probably just have to wait it out for another grocery run.
Adventures and Travels Canceled
Borders have closed to most surrounding countries. We had to cancel a trip to Denmark last weekend, losing money on a ferry, but getting a full refund for the Airbnb. We’ll sadly have to cancel our awaited trip to the Netherlands in April too. My parents had tickets for the first two weeks of May and have canceled that trip as well. With self isolation in effect, we won’t be travelling to any German towns either. We might go down to the beach or in the forests, but only if we can keep the kids from wanting to go to the park too!
Working abroad during COVID-19
Airbus is finally sending non-essential personnel home to work, and good timing too I hope, as the city shuts down to fight the spread of COVID-19. Aerospace is going to take a hit from the virus, which is said to be even more detrimental than post 911 attacks. We don’t have any plans of leaving yet and will hopefully ride it out here without problem.
We’re also still applying for our Visa to stay in Germany for more than 3 months. Since we’re already here and our three months technically ends April 30th, we won’t be allowed to leave Germany from April 30th- July sometime/whenever we get our visas! So even if this virus isolation ends, we STILL can’t leave Germany and travel anywhere. Oh my oh my. Oh well, there are much worse things to worry about so we’re still not complaining!
COVID-19 Self Isolation in Germany
I think the hardest thing to wrap my millennial mind around is being told “I can’t go places.” I think it’s hard for anyone honestly! But our generation has never been told they can’t go and do something. Even with the “normal flu/cold” people do what they often thought best for them, not for others. We think we’re indestructible and that we can do anything we set our minds to.
SO I’m trying to use the strengths of that mentality to stay home, keep my family healthy, AND protect others. Knowing that it takes people legitimately setting an example to enact change. I’ll treat this like any of my other creative personal or business challenges! Stay at home, meal plan with the food I have, and only venture out when I absolutely have to get more food. (Whiiich looking at the lunch food quantities might need to be sooner than later…)
Our landlords are back from a vacation in Austria for which they have to self isolate for two weeks. Their dad is giving them all a scare by being in the hospital with chest pain. The hospitals are already packed and “too busy” says his wife which is frightening. I’m praying daily that my kids don’t do something dumb and get hurt JUST in the backyard, because there’s no way I want to go to a hospital.
Since our landlord’s kids school is canceled and they can’t leave anyways, we’ve decided to form an “isolation cell” with just them and let the kids play out back, share meals, and share comfort during this crazy time. We’re so grateful to have them here while we’re away from family. Also our kids are obsessed with their kids. The 10 year age gap gives them both the opportunity to get some energy out running around the yard!
Our Normal Schedule needs some work during our COVID-19 Self Isolation in Germany
Even though I haven’t had a real intensive schedule with my kids –EVER, I love learning all these great opportunities and schedules for learning with little kids! Something helpful pops up daily on Instagram.
We usually follow this schedule organically and just writing it out I can see where I can make some learning time enhancements (written in purple!)
545-645 am wakeup (seriously… not good, but happens every day for Reuben SOOO): TV shows until we can be up and moving without harassing the landlords
8-9: Self Play inside
9-1000: Mama workout, kids play outside.
10-1030: Snack while mom showers
1030-11: Inside play/read books
11-1: Lunch and play. Good weather means outside play! I try to keep them outside as much as possible!
1-3: Nap for Ava, Reading Epic App for Reuben’s quiet time.
3-4: wakeup, play outside.
4-430: art project
430-530: Depending on pace of day and weather. Play time or show time while mom cooks dinner.
6:15-7pm: Slow bedtime routine. Bath, lots of books, bed.
Here are some great resources and apps for mom’s with Preschoolers!
Scratch Jr. App *unsure of cost
Amazon Free Time Unlimited *Subscriptions starting at $2.99 for a single user; free trial available (and unfortunately this one is only available for US residents!
Epic App for reading books *Subscription $10/month; free trial available
PBS Kids Games App *free
Homer Learning App *Subscription $10/month or $60/year; free trial available
Wearing my adventurous, LOVING smile.
I’m the one that loves turbulence on the airplane. The one that doesn’t get emotional when things get crazy. I have my A-team here by my side, our good health, and we pray that we can help the family physically above us, community around, and whole world get through this scary event. We pray of course for the health and safety of our friends and family since we’re so far away, but trust that this too is in God’s hands. We’ll stay smart and alert, but we’ll seek peace and share love through it all. That’s all WE CAN DO. So let’s do it well and with a smile.