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The light at the end of the tunnel?

Text: Joanne Edwards

Fotos: MasterSergeant - stock.adobe.com, Porträt: www.kaindl-hoenig.com

Some good news at last.. Could life be slowly getting back to normal?
For well over a year, we have all been forced to live our lives full of restrictions and sacrifices. Who could have imagined that just over one year ago the first case of Covid19 would arrive in Austria, and that we would still be wearing our masks today, constantly washing our hands and having to accept that another lockdown could be introduced at any moment. However, there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel, when people can start doing things that they have been longing to do. When we can get some sort of normality back into our lives.
Thanks to the success of the different vaccines and constant testing, children could soon be going back to school and we could be getting together with friends again. We could go to our favourite restaurants or bars and sit in one of the many beer gardens. I say could because nothing is certain, but we can hope. Imagine being able to walk into a shop again, without wearing a mask or having to disinfect your hands at the door. I would love to be able to visit a friend of mine, who is in a care home, and give her the huge hug she has been longing for and talk to her normally, without the fear that I could give her more than a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I want to feel free to go to a concert again or the cinema. But most of all, I want to be able to travel again - not just to go on holiday to faraway places, but to visit my family, in England, whom I haven’t seen for over a year.
Obviously, the freedom to book a holiday is what people have been longing for. As soon as the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that he would probably be lifting the travel ban in May, holiday bookings went up 500%. Especially holidays to Greece and Turkey, which were booked out very quickly, with the guarantee that a full refund will be given in case the flights are cancelled. I think that we are all craving for some sort of change and a chance to get away from this terrible virus and think about something else.
I feel that we have been very lucky, here in Salzburg. The weather has been amazing and I have never walked, hiked and cycled as much in my life. Hiking on Gaisberg or walking around Fuschlsee lake is not only good for the body, but also the soul. The spring flowers were blossoming in Hellbrunn Park and I noticed that people seemed much more friendly than usual. Both out in the nature, where everyone seems to greet each other, and in the shops. We have the feeling that we are all in the same boat and we want to cheer each other up.
Many people have fallen into a sort of depression over the last few months, believing that we are never going to get rid of this awful virus and that could be true. We may have to learn to live with it for a few years yet. But this shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our lives now and looking forward to the future. Spring has arrived … a time to appreciate and be grateful for what we have right now …

to be forced – gezwungen sein
restrictions – Einschränkungen
sacrifices – Opfer
to imagine – sich vorstellen
to wear – tragen
to introduce – einsetzen, einführen
however – wie auch immer
to long to – Sehnsucht haben
success – Erfolg
vaccine – Impfstoff
certain – sicher
care home – Pflegeheim
a huge hug – eine Riesenumarmung
bouquet of flowers – Blumenstrauß
most of all – vor allem
to travel – reisen
faraway places – ferne Orte
obviously – offensichtlich

to lift the travel ban – die Reisebeschränkungen aufheben
especially – besonders
a full refund – volle Rückerstattung
in case – falls
to crave for sth. – nach etw. gieren
to be very lucky – sehr viel Glück haben
to hike – wandern
the body and the soul – Körper und Seele
to blossom – blühen
to notice – bemerken
to greet each other – einander grüßen
to cheer each other up – einander aufmuntern
to fall into – hinein fallen
to get rid of sth. – etw. loswerden
to enjoy – genießen
to look forward to – sich freuen auf
to appreciate – schätzen
to be grateful – dankbar sein