Corona weltweit: „We will realize the worth of a handshake.“

Kaum jemand hätte sich vorstellen können, dass sich das Leben innerhalb so kurzer Zeit vollständig ändern kann: Das Corona-Virus hat unzweifelhaft zu großen Veränderungen geführt – und zwar weltweit wie auch der Bericht von Fatih Birinci zeigt. Birinci ist Lehrer in Izmir, der lebhaften Metropole an der Küste der türkischen Ägäis. Seit 2016 kooperiert das Max mit einer dortigen Schule, der Konak Mimar Sinan Orta Okulu, im Rahmen von ERASMUS+-Projekten (zur Erinnerung hier ein Video: SIRS 2016-2019).

In seinem Bericht vom 21. März schildert Birinci die aktuelle Situation in Izmir:

„We knew that Turkey was going to get the new corona virus, Covid-19, eventually. And it happened on March 11. First death was on March 18th. Both the number of cases and deaths approximately double each other day.

People die from many different cases, including thousands of deaths from accidents, smoking, hearth failures, etc. Considering those huge numbers, these virus related number of deaths still don’t mean much. However, it’s much more threatening for the country. Because the future of this pandemi is unknown, and there is not a vaccine or certain treatment for that.

Authorities say that we shouldn’t get closer to other people for more than 1,5 meter. And by not handshaking at all. And self quarantining, if possible.

This confused us. We have a communal culture, a mixture of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern heritage. When we see people we know, we hug. Personal space is quite low, intimacy is rather high. We often touch to other person we are communicating with, many times including the ones we don’t know. We live in crowded families, often including grandparents. It’s very common for neighbors and friends to knock our door and come in, even without informing first.

Our schools were closed last week. Almost all of the communal events have been canceled. Many people have started to work from their homes.

So, this struck our life habits. Now we try to stay at our homes.  We’ve lacked the social support systems, which was at the core of our lives. Now we watch TV, get news on Internet and try to figure out how to behave.

We know that we shouldn’t get panicked. Actually our problem here is not panic at all. We see that some people from different countries fight over pasta, toilet paper, etc. We have never experienced those kinds of events here. Our problem is laxity. There are still many people strolling around, shockingly these are mostly elder people, who are more vulnerable.

I am a 46 years old school teacher, living with my wife, without children. These are very strange times for us.  This is the first time I’ve seen that mosques have been shut down, along with many other facilities. We have nothing to fight with this virus, but keep us clean and isolated. Yet managing this is a hard work.

Medical personnel is doing the hardest part of the work. They work for the longest possible hours; they work in crowd and among all kind of dangerous pathogens. To honor them, we go out to our balconies or open our windows and applaud and cheer for them at 21.00 every day. This activity is to respect them, and to feel that we are a part of our community.

We’ve also learned that the problems of the world, or even of any country is our concern as well. World is huge, nonetheless it’s quite interconnected by technological means. We shouldn’t and cannot separate ourselves from other cultures by any means. We are a global family, so we must act like a family.

Listening to authorities and doing our best to follow their advice  is our first and foremost duty for us, for our society and for the world. We want to go back to our work and our schools again and to be close to the ones we love. We want to go back to our usual daily lives. We know that we will get over this, and we try to do our responsibilities as much as possible.

When humanity’s collaboration and science prevails over this situation, we will go back to normal, and appreciate our lives more.

We will realize the importance of science and scientists’ efforts.  We will understand that the world is a large community, who experience the beauties of the earth together, and struggle and overcome its issues together.

And we will realize the worth of the handshake, both with friends and other earthlings.“

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