What we will keep after the pandemic

As much as we are troubled by the restrictions caused by the pandemic, we have discovered some things that we think are good and want to continue later

The pandemic now seems endless. Inevitably we have established ourselves as best we can in the new reality of life. Our editors came up with a few things that they no longer want to be without. Here they report what will continue to play a role for them even after their longed-for return to a time without a pandemic:

Aglaja Adam on simultaneous cooking with distant friends

I am passionate about leafing through cooking sheets and looking at food blogs on the internet. Unfortunately, before the pandemic, this theoretical exercise often remained. After work I was exhausted and the children were hungry. So there was quick cooking.

Corona triggered a desire to cook in me, which I would like to keep. After working from home, conjuring up something delicious is now a regular routine. And at least in culinary terms, we bring the big wide world home.

The grandparents live in South Tyrol, currently out of reach for us. But with dumplings or Kaiserschmarrn we can at least taste the sunny side of the Alps. The subscription to a cooking box has provided even more variety. Mexican tortillas, Thai curries or a spicy Indian butter chicken: Honestly, it tastes at least as good as in our favorite restaurants that have just closed.

Another pandemic invention that I would never want to be without: virtual cooking evenings with friends. To chop and sizzle synchronously in kitchens all over Germany, I think that's wonderful. We have already dared to try exotic dishes together.

For example, an old school friend whose mother is from Korea showed us step by step how to prepare the national dish bibimbap. Then we dined together, each at our nicely laid tables in Munich, Berlin and Vienna.

I hope that even after the pandemic we will take the time for such cooking evenings. Personally, I will definitely continue to swing the wooden spoon, that's my plan.

Andrea Grill on active lunch breaks

In the office, one daily appointment was downright sacred to me and my colleagues: the lunch break together. I swapped my chair at the desk for the chair at the canteen table and enjoyed the food. Exercise during your lunch break? Nothing!

That changed with the move to the home office.Instead of sitting down, action is now the order of the day. My kids want to eat after homeschooling. Who does it Mama, of course.

So I hurry to the kitchen and conjure up quick dishes on the table. Smaller housework is also done on the side, almost in passing. When the sun is tempting outside, I sometimes say goodbye to the break earlier and get some fresh air and new energy while jogging through the forest. So I start the office afternoon motivated and in a good mood.

Our fifth family member, horse "Flocke", is also happy about the new lively lunch times and spontaneous visits to the stables. The lockdown is annoying and stressful - but luckily it didn't turn me into a couch potato.

Michael Schmidt on a new work-life balance

Corona has turned my life and that of my whole family upside down. Yet there are a few things I can see positively about this strange time. What I definitely want to keep for the time after that are conscious breaks during work - for example in the form of a walk or lunch without a smartphone or laptop.

In the home office in particular, it became clear to me how important short breaks are in order to be able to work productively with a clear head. Another goal for me after the pandemic is a mix of home and office. Even if home schooling and the constant sitting around each other were challenging, spending time with the family was often a great asset.

My children now know what I do all day and I know what teachers and students do every day. I find it somehow reassuring that we can now be sure that “remote” work and learning will work - if we have to.

In a nutshell, you could say: I want to maintain a certain flexibility in order to get family and job under one roof - in such a way that both benefit from it.

Clarissa Leitner on sport in the great outdoors

“Good”, I thought to myself, “if the sport is no longer possible inside, then I'll just move it outside”. That's how I got my new hobby: jogging.

What was initially only intended to serve as an alternative to my other dance training, quickly turned out to be a routine program that has now become an indispensable part of my everyday life. A routine that is not only useful in everyday pandemics.

Because what could be nicer than being outside, letting the sun shine on your face and listening to good music? Even the cold wind on uncomfortable days is incredibly good once you have overcome your weaker self.

It helps me to wander my thoughts and let my soul dangle. Apart from that, after a jogging round I am much more motivated to devote myself to my other tasks at the desk - and motivation can always be used, even after the pandemic!

Sylvie Rüdinger on the green oasis on the balcony

The lockdown is annoying. This strange state of suspension is annoying. I'm looking forward to the day when normality will largely return and you don't have to keep thinking “is that allowed right now?”. But there is something that I would like to keep “after Corona”.

For the past few years, I've always enjoyed my balcony and the right spring / summer plants. My balcony is relatively large and has plenty of space for flowers & Co. At some point, tomatoes were added and I discovered my green thumb little by little. Last year everything changed due to Corona - and suddenly my balcony became my second living room.

Working from home made it more than just a place for the weekend; the exit restrictions made it a green oasis that I expanded bit by bit - suddenly I no longer had just flowers and a few tomato bushes. There were also various herbs and plants that I didn't even know before, for example spiced tagetes.

I often spent my lunch break on a deck chair in the sun, and after work anyway. And one or the other professional call was also more pleasant in the sun than at the desk. I would like to keep that - and this year I will add one more thing: I have got myself various tomato and herb seeds, mini greenhouses and potting soil, will expand my “balcony range” and, above all, start at the base.

No longer the little tomato plant from the garden center, now I try to grow it. Nobody knows exactly when Corona will take a back seat and home office and restrictions will end again. Perhaps in the coming weeks and months it won't be so different from last year. But my enthusiasm for gardening on the balcony will continue to accompany me and will stay with me as a hobby.

Roland Mühlbauer on good conversations on walks

It is true that I was an avid flaneur some time before the pandemic. A few years ago, it was triggered by a 10,000 steps per day challenge during Lent. I've stuck with it ever since. Studies strengthen my hobby.

Their results show that regular walking can improve memory, reduce the risk of depression, keep the waist circumference in check, lower blood pressure and, in general, are great for the body. The pandemic has now resulted in friends becoming diligent followers. What else should you do together if you want to avoid the risk of infection indoors and it is too cold outside to stand in one place for longer?

You can go for a walk in almost any weather. It also seems to me that our conversations are stimulated by the movement. Be it that you discover something inspiring on the way, or that you meet interesting people.

On a vacation in Italy before the pandemic, I was once in a village in Tuscany, where everyone was on their feet towards evening, walking up and down the promenade and talking to the neighbors I met there. At the time I thought that was strange, in retrospect I can understand it better. I hope that even after the pandemic, friends will still want to take me for a walk.

Christine Leitner on new pen pals

The digital world is exciting, but not fascinating in the long run. WhatsApp and Co. have lost their appeal for me in the last six months at the latest. However, communication has long been too fast-paced and impersonal for me.

That is why I have been writing letters with my best pen friend who lives in a neighboring town for the last three years. I have now added another hobby to this hobby: In December I discovered the postcrossing platform and with it my passion for beautiful postcards and stamps. The principle is simple: you send postcards to people from all over the world and the other way around, you get mail back.

The recipient is randomly assigned to you through the platform. So that you know that a card has actually arrived, you receive a registration code along with the address, which you write on the card. Sometimes it takes until the card arrives, but the surprise is all the greater.

I have sent 15 postcards so far, including to Taiwan, Belarus and Finland. The special thing about this type of communication is that you can take your time. Postcard, stamps and words are chosen deliberately. After a hard day at work, writing cards is very meditative and the thought that someone on the other end of the world is happy about the post makes me happy.

Of course, I'm even more happy when my mailbox has a postcard with pretty motifs and friendly words ready for me. I was most happy with cards on which the senders describe their everyday lives. There are currently three postcards waiting to be sent by me - to Switzerland, Austria and the USA - and I hope that there will be many more, even after the pandemic.

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