Hey folks, I hope you are all well!
After 1.5 months of quarantine lockdown mostly staying at home, classes once again started to take place at the end of April, one day after the mask obligations were introduced; so time to go back to Marburg.
When I arrived by train in the afternoon, it sounded like Marburg central station in the middle of the night. There was almost nobody on the platform, nor in the main hall and except for a small kiosk, everything was closed.
Another, probably unforgettable moment was when they welcomed us back at school. After a speech about the current situation held by our headmaster and our teacher, we were guided into the classroom one after the other and only when the guided person found its space and was seated, they called for the next student to enter the building and follow them. Additionally, we filled in a form in order to confirm that none of us has recently been in a COVID-19 hotspot and/or got infected.
As some of our colleagues and teachers were belonging to the risk-group, we had video conferences with them and shared the files via our school network, Email or other suitable platforms.
Although we were not obliged to do so in first place, it was highly recommended to wear a mask at any time when we were on the move on the campus. Some weeks later when the situation calmed down a bit, we could take off our masks outside the buildings.
As for lunch, they also use the gym-hall in addition to the dining-hall to serve lunch. When I first heard about this, the first thought that came to my mind was „Great, add a buffet and some live-music and the BLISTA Summer-festival feeling is complete!“ However, every class got a fixed slot and location to grab lunch, and someone guided us to a suitable space to sit.
Last, but not least, classes were reduced to the minimum.
Weeks have passed, and since the day when more shops and restaurants could open up again, it’s great to see that things – slowly but surely – get back to normal (at least in Marburg, which never seemed to be known as one of the „Corona hotspots“).
If I needed help during lockdown, people mostly tried to help me from a distance rather than offering me an arm to guide me. However, the more weeks have passed, the more often people once again offer their arm in order to get me back on track safely.
Talking about track: Traveling by train and requesting assistance is almost business as usual.
Most of the assistants so far offered me an arm and guided me properly. However, one lady insisted that we were not allowed to touch each other at all. As a result, she grabbed the other end of my cane which was super irritating.
Firstly, it is not really the best approach if you are dealing with a blind person with slight hearing issues (as am I) walking a few paces in front of me, trying to talk to me in a noisy area with your back turned against me. Especially when I cannot use my cane to identify stairs or gaps, understanding possible instructions is absolutely essential. I already fell down a staircase a few months ago because some idiot grabbed my cane and tried to drag me down the stairs way too fast.
Secondly, although I do clean my cane from time to time for a smoother use, I don’t think that the other end of my cane with the tip at the bottom is the cleanest part of my cane.
Anyway, as she was the only assistant so far who guided me that way, I just think her reaction was a bit over the top, and she might have misunderstood the rules given by the higher athorities of DB.
Oh, and one more thing: During the course of May (I wish I found them earlier), some of my colleagues informed me about a drink-market which also offers to deliver the crates you ordered straight to your doorstep, and they additionally pick up empty crates from previous orders.
Also, I finally got the hang of Rewe’s pickup service where you place your order online and pick it up from the supermarket later.
What I particularly like at both services is that I can browse their product lists easily on my computer or smartphone instead of running through the supermarket with a sighted person, trying to find the right products.
All right, that’ll be all for now; I’ll keep you posted about my progress when I find the time…