The eventful year of 2020, what have we done this year? Seems like we’ve been too caught up with ourselves and didn’t realize that 2020 was slowly coming to an end. The day the clock struck midnight, we would pop champagne bottles and laugh happily with our now reunited long-lost friends. Visiting our hometown to celebrate the new year with our lovely family and end the year with fireworks and wishes. But this year, everywhere, including Germany, will celebrate it a little bit differently from our previous years.
One of the reasons is the second lockdown or the Lockdown 2.0 held in Germany. A lockdown will be held from December 16th of 2020 until January 10th, 2021 (16.12.20-10.01.21). Some of the lockdown policies include prohibiting big gatherings like parties and significant events and not allowing us to go out from 9PM – 5AM. Although this is a different case if someone is going to work during the said time. Due to the current situation, people need to have a document to explain their working status. This doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to go out during the day and do our own daily activities, but another policy that is a must to do is to wear a mask. If you are inside, or outside a mask will always have to accompany you wherever you go. To keep yourself and everyone else safe, a mask is strictly a must to wear. But then again, staying home at these times is always the best option. It indeed isn’t essential for us to go out at these times, despite us being bored at home.
Will a mask function the same if we don’t cover our nose and/or mouth? As we all know, most of us in Germany use public transportations. To go to our own desired workspaces, going to school, or even to meet your significant other. This means that public transports are usually packed with people, remember to wear the mask that covers your NOSE and MOUTH to keep yourself and others safe. Not following these said rules will allow people to get fined with quite a large amount of money or be approached by police.
With this current situation, no one knows when this will end. New cases rapidly increasing, percentages higher than our previous lockdown. Government officials are trying their best to keep the cases as low as possible, aiming to have access to the (coronavirus) vaccinations on December 27th, hoping that this will end this living nightmare.
We’d suspected everything would be like it used to at the end of the year during the first lockdown. People still planning where they’re going for a vacation after this no-so brief lockdown ends. Some of us, including me, even made plans for Christmas and upcoming New Year events. Unfortunately, those plans still stayed in our imagination and cannot be down this year. No significant events, with tasty hotpots or a barbeque grill party this year? Or the night would be dark with no fireworks lit up in the sky? What should we do during new year’s eve, instead of acting like nothing happened? Acting as if New Year was just a typical national holiday, and sleeping in?
Just because there aren’t any big parties or bright colored fireworks lit up in the city center, there will always be a way to overcome this feeling of adapting to new changes—things like visiting your neighbor with tiny groups of people. Most of the students live in their university’s apartment, or some of us live in a single apartment, and the others living in tenants shared with other people. Or people like me sharing a flat with other international students. In this situation, having neighbors will be a great advantage to get to know them better.
This is an excellent time for us, especially for people who rarely communicate with their neighbors. Creating a stronger bond with each other and become lifelong best friends. It indeed isn’t a very fancy and special something, but why not? The more, the merrier, and it’s better to have friends instead of eating by yourself in a room. You could talk about so many things, how crazy this year has been and how you have changed during this pandemic. On the bright side, at least you’d save just a little pocket money for next year instead of buying fireworks or flight tickets.
New year’s eve isn’t just all about parties and champagne, but it’s about being close to the people you love. Those are the most important people, your family, and friends. A simple phone call to their parents or friends could bring a smile to their faces; just because this year is slightly a little bit different doesn’t mean the new year’s spirit disappears. Nervertheless, a holiday for some students means reviewing all the subjects again before the finals ( usually around February or March).
Although we have planned what to do during New Year’s eve. To be alone or gather with a small group, or even have a party or a simple study night. No matter what it is, no one knows what will happen in the next few days before the New Year. Who knows, the government might change or even add some new rules. But what I believe, the following year we will become stronger, braver, and a better person. Most importantly, we must keep up our faith and hope because if there’s a will, there’s a way.
- Andy Susanto
- Ariya Nalasetya