Staying at home with the kids during COVID-19

It has been now three weeks since school, kindergartens and all public facilities have closed here in Germany. The streets are more or less empty here in my area but supermarkets are still very busy. So far barely anyone wears any “masks” so I still get sometimes those weird looks when I go out to get groceries wearing a mask and gloves. Well I don’t really care about those looks by the others as long as I am able to protect myself a bit with these methods. After all I am the one going out for my family and my parents to get everything necessary and I don’t want anyone to catch COVID-19 here. In my hometown there are over 30 cases by now and the refugee center is on quarantine as there are multiples cases there with over 400 refugees in that center.

This is how it feels for me now with too many people spending time at the local parks

Life at home is pretty wild. The kids haven’t been outside for the past two weeks except for running around the big balcony. We don’t want them to go out as there are still tons of kids playing together outside and we want to keep the risk as low as possible. Nathan has now twice a week Mandarin classes online to kill some time and we try to let him study on his own each day for 30 – 45 minutes. Nathalie on the other hand is still too young for studies so well there is only madness with her right now. Sure Disney+ is available here as well now but no way we would let her watch TV several hours a day.

And this is how I would prefer it to be!

To make things even worse is the weather. Since January we had only rain until the 13th of March, the very same day everything closed and people are not “allowed” to meet up anymore with others. We had the past three weeks so good weather and no way to use it with the kids. Today was the warmest day of the year with wonderful sunshine and the kids had to stay home, just wonderful. Of course we could take them to the nearby parks and forest but they are so full of people right now. I have not seen so many people there ever in my life and I am there every day due to taking Haruki out for his daily walks.

Let’s see how the situation will develop in the next weeks. So far Germany is still managing it rather well but it could be much better if people really took better care and not disobey the regulations all the time such as having big meetings in public etc.

How are people following the local guidelines during this crisis?

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Current situation in Germany and for us

The corona virus madness has now reached Germany entirely. On Friday the 13th it was announced that all kindergartens, schools and universities will be closed at least until the end of the Easter holidays (19.04.2020). Of course this is the right decision and it took way too long to reach this point. However now there is this slight problem that the kids are at home and most of the parents are working, so what to do? It won’t be easy for many families, some will have to take their paid holidays for this now, and some have to take unpaid holidays or take sick leave. Depending on the company they might also work from home (home office) or can stay home with less payment. Now we come to the problematic people such as us who are self-employed. Business has to go on for us but how to work with the kids at home? We do not get paid holidays; we do not get any paid sick leave or any other kind of support. The monthly bills still have to be paid, especially the health insurance which cost a ridiculous amount for self-employed people.

For now we will just try our best and see how we can handle it. Public life is more or less on a standstill right now, all kind of events are cancelled, gyms and other sport facilities are also closed. For some unknown reason there are some crazy people out there buying all the supermarkets empty each day so when “normal” people go to buy groceries after work they are confronted with empty shelves. Even from the government came a statement to stop these “hamster purchases” as there is no shortage of food or any other things needed for daily life and that it only causes problems for other people. It is very doubtful that those people listen to reason. My friend’s better half works at a supermarket and she is really angry with the people buying several shopping carts full at once and some of them even get violent when they are stopped by the staff.

For the next five weeks we have to see how everything develops. Thankfully both my wife and I are anyways introverts and only go out in order to buy groceries or for our business. We also have to “take care” of my parent’s groceries from now on as they are both in the critical age group with both being way in their 70s (actually closer to 80). On a side note I turned 33 yesterday but well we didn’t do anything special except that my mother had made cherry cake and the rest of the day I was busy with work as usual.

How is the Coronavirus situation in your country?

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Nathan’s 6th Birthday

Just wow, our tiny little Churchill is now six years old already! That little man will start with elementary school in August, something I have never really thought much about. All the time he was just our little one who goes to kindergarten and now he is so old already. His birthday we celebrated only with the family, taking him earlier out of kindergarten so he could enjoy his special day more. We had some cake, went out for dinner with the kids and of course he got his presents. The “party” with his friends will be next Sunday as another girl in his group has her birthday on the very same day as Nathan so we wanted to split up the parties as some kids are invited to both celebrations. As you can see from the Instagram picture Nathan got a crown at kindergarten full with Minecraft characters. He really loves the game, even though he hasn’t played it untill yesterday (was a present from us for his Nintendo Switch)

So what will be ahead for him and us now? In kindergarten he has his pre-school lessons in preparation for the school time, we send him every Sunday to Mandarin lessons in another city (on hold right now as the Chinese teachers are afraid of the coronavirus) and of course his standard Taekwondo practice twice a week. Right now it is not so different for us but once he starts with school our entire schedule has to be set anew. Kindergarten and school have different starting hours (so one of us has to bring Nathan to school and afterwards Nathalie to kindergarten). However bringing little Nathan to school (by walk) will be only for the first few weeks till he feels safe and sure enough to do it on his own. Back when I went to the very same elementary school we were allowed to go by bicycle starting grade 2 however regulations changed here in Germany and they have to walk until the reach the fourth grade. Oh well, but at least he will have enough fresh air by walking each day as we won’t be those helicopter parents driving their kids to the front gate of the school. What I have to witness every day at kindergarten is already insane with all the cars blocking the streets. Seems that many parents think that their children can’t manage anything on their own anymore these days!

Why the kids grow up so fast?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.


My crazy Chinese Family I married into…