A supermarket in the time of Corona: the enemy is invisible

    How long is that going to take? Soran Ahmed, owner of a supermarket in Schöneberg, wonders after a month of buying hamsters. A protocol.

    Has never experienced anything like this: Soran Ahmed in his supermarket
    Has never experienced anything like this: Soran Ahmed in his supermarket | Photo: Amelie Losier

    “We all underestimated that. However, consciousness must first establish how dangerous this virus is. And then these hamster purchases. I’ve been a retail salesman for 18 years. I’ve never seen a rush like in March. Toilet paper, pasta, hygiene items – all shelves are empty.

    Toilet paper! I can no longer hear this word. Why do people hear this? In the meantime, the supplies have got a bit better, but we have learned that we no longer put everything on the shelves at once. One pallet in the morning, one in the afternoon. Customers who can only go shopping later should also find something. Not everyone is in the home office. Nevertheless, there can be no question of normalization. Now the pallet is no longer sold after five minutes but after 30 minutes.


    The question is: how long is this going to take? A week or two would be fine, but then? The enemy is invisible, it is impossible to believe. Of course, maybe 80 percent of people only get a cold, but what about the others? I have a father who is over 80.

    It is very bad for the elderly. They don’t have that many contacts anymore anyway, and now they’re sitting at home all day listening to this terrible news.

    There are big fears

    I’m also worried about the shops and pubs that had to close. For my neighbors or my buddy who has a cocktail bar. The state is now pumping in large sums. But who gets what in the end? Many go bankrupt anyway? There are big fears.

    I hired five new employees last week. They all come from the catering trade. An employee’s husband, a cook, has now also been given notice of termination. I had ten more applications, but I can’t post them all. I don’t get that much goods at the moment.

    Financially, of course, I profit from the turnover. On the other hand, we are exposed to a significantly higher risk, with over 2,000 customers a day. Nothing has happened yet, but let one of my employees get sick or not think that someone will die.

    We now have plexiglass panes in front of the cash registers. We were among the first to do that. There are still supermarkets that do this makeshift. You don’t get plexiglass on the market that quickly either.

    Restricted in his freedom

    There are now distance markings on the floor. A customer recently complained that it was like in the Hitler state. He felt restricted in his freedom. Our customers turn on each other because someone is said to have come too close to them. One of them even called the police.

    People are becoming more sensitive, sometimes even more aggressive. Or four young men come in together. Groups of four are no longer allowed on the street. When I went after them, they quickly spread out in the shop. You could hardly have said that you are four brothers.

    These are many new requirements. My brother and I have a second supermarket. On Wednesday we paid our employees € 25,000 in the form of vouchers. As a thank you and out of respect that they are doing all this. ” Minutes: Plutonia Plarre.

    Gabriele Halder works as a gynecologist in Berlin | Photo: Plutonia Plarre
    “Potential for social upheaval”

    Gabriele Halder is committed to a self-determined termination of pregnancy. The gynecologist on the emergency service in her practice and an unusually high number of early pregnancies in times of the corona crisis. A protocol.

    “In Corona times, love has never shown any dips. On the contrary. In our gynecological practice, we have an unusual number of early pregnancies, all of which originated in the early days of the corona. When people panic, they tend to distance themselves from each other, which doesn’t seem to be the case yet.

    I always listen to Christian Drosten – the daily podcast of the Charite virologist from NDR-Info. At first, people accused him of instilling panic. The numbers prove him right; they went up even faster than expected.

    We have to take countermeasures. In my opinion, people are still far too relaxed with each other. There is no idea of ​​exponential growth at all. When I speak to her, the answer I get is: Don’t be like this! This affects employees of our gynecological practice as well as people in my flatshare. There is clearly the prevailing thinking: Nothing happens to me.

    My own quarantine

    In my shared apartment, I have now withdrawn to my room. I only go out when I have to work. I go to my own quarantine, so to speak.

    In practice, we continue to offer an emergency service: to take care of our pregnant women and to lay spirals for contraception. That is part of the provision of general interest.

    If we get a proper curfew in Berlin, it can be assumed that domestic violence will increase threefold. China has shown that. The home proximity that we have through the residency restrictions will also result in more women becoming unwanted pregnant now. The pregnancy conflict advice centers have partially closed. This could be a big problem for women.

    As in other areas in the time of Corona, it would be important to come to a simplified procedure for abortion. This means that the women concerned receive the legally required certificate for termination without a personal introduction to a counseling interview. As studies have shown, the obligation to provide advice is unnecessary anyway. France and Belgium have therefore abolished them without replacement.

    Only experienced once in my life

    Disinfectants and toilet paper were stolen from the center for sexual health, where I also work. Corona appears to have the potential for social upheaval. So far, I’ve only seen social rules of the law be overridden once in my life: after the wall opened.

    At the first news and pictures from China I thought, unbelievable, but far away. And now close relatives like the Italians have to deal with the triage. Having to distinguish between rewarding and no longer rewarding lives is the worst thing that can happen to a doctor.

    So my concern is to just remain functional in case I am needed in one of the hospitals. I like to sacrifice my social contacts and keep my distance. ” Protocol: Plutonia Plarre

    Personal information: Gabriele Halder has been working as a gynecologist since 1981. She is committed to a self-determined, hurdle-free and health insurance paid abortion. Her practice is in Wilmersdorf. She has three children.

    The two minutes appeared in the print edition of taz.berlin on the weekend of 28/29. March 2020.