Today our government decided to go a little viral. At the moment Public Enemy No. 1 is so small it cannot be seen with the human eye but it attaches itself to people. It goes by the name of Corona virus. The first command is wash your hands. The government did not exactly say when you should wash your hands and up to now I have not seen people with their hands permanently in the sink. It has been left to our own common sense.
The next command is if you have to sneeze and you don’t have a handkerchief, then sneeze in the crook of the arm. Do not ask how that is supposed to be done. Of course the handkerchief is better, but it should be a paper one and afterwards immediately be thrown in the bin. Apparently sneezing into the hand is not very good as hands tend to get wiped in strange places and you cannot throw them into the bin. These are the first rules.
Now it goes further. Alain Berset, our government head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, is not the most popular person in Switzerland, especially in the area of Basel. Basel is a Swiss town on the borders of France and Germany and is they have the biggest carnival in Switzerland. It is a way of life at this time of the year, or was. Mr. Berset has now decreed that there will be no public events with more than 1000 people until mid March, when he is hoping that the Corona virus will then have disappeared. There will be no football matches or pop concerts held. Sport meetings may be held but with no spectators. Government sessions will be held but without the public attending and a reduced amount of newspaper reporters. Up to now no-one has died in Switzerland and the first patient has now been released from hospital as being fully recovered. As he is a golden oldie like me, there is still hope.
Someone asked Mr. Berset if church goers are also affected by the ban on large congregations. There is not danger, he added. The only church where he has seen a congregation of more than 1,000 was in St. Peters in the Vatican city in Rome. Up to now the village church in Feldbrunnen has only had large congregations at weddings or funerals and if there are more than 100 people they have to wait outside.
Mr. Swiss was worried about my son having a chance of getting the virus when in town. I managed to calm the whole family, when I told them that if anyone would get the virus, it would be me, as I am the only person that daily has contacts with people in the supermarket.
Even Mr. Swiss was more settled when he realised that. Now I am wondering if I should wear a mask when I go shopping, although I would probably be the only person in the supermarket with one.