How crises change the lives of people in the Allgäu

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from: Lajos Fisher

Many people feel that their normal routine has been disrupted. © Lajos Fischer

Allgäu – The crises of the past few years have also changed the daily life of the Allgäu residents. Four of them told the district messenger what deep traces they left on their life’s path.

Since 2007, the great optimism of the 1990s has gradually been replaced by a sense that the world is in disarray. Whether it is the financial economy, the climate, the refugee movement, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, the democratic system, European cohesion or energy supply, one crisis follows another. The old certainties that gave you security in your daily life are disappearing. In his latest book, sociologist Stephan Lessenich even suggests that society is “on the brink of a nervous breakdown.”

Kreisbote asked people from the Allgäu what normalities they feel are secure in their lives, which have been broken in recent years, what new ones have emerged and how they view change.

Corona and consequences

The corona crisis has left the deepest traces in human relations. “People are still cautious: physical contact is avoided when greeting people. Also in the family, if you know that the opposite person has had the disease before,” reports Miriam Duran from Sonthofen.

“I was the first one to stop reaching out, I’d rather wait and see,” says Sonthofer’s teacher, Vanessa Schurz. “Weddings and other family celebrations are held on a smaller scale. When I’m invited to a birthday party at the barn, I think twice about going,” says Hindelanger photographer Stefan Högler. This is also the reason why it receives fewer orders.

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digital communication

“My boyfriend only works from home now. It’s great for him, it saves a lot of time,” says Vanessa Schurz. However, it is difficult for him to switch off. He is always contactable as he always has his work cell phone and laptop with him. She would think it would be better if he had a normal routine again like she did.

Miriam Duran attended a specialist conference the day before the interview – digitally: “I used to go to Berlin for this, now I don’t have to be on the road all day. That’s a good thing, especially with today’s gas prices.” You get by without human contact during your breaks, but you get the information one way or another: “It’s a question of what’s going on.” Now she can change her mind at work, too. choose which meeting will be digital and which will be in person.

school and closing

The combination of home office and child care due to school closures has left many parents desperate. It was even more difficult for people integrating themselves in Germany. Ildikó Titkó, an art teacher living in Wengen, recalls: “It was very difficult to work at home and at the same time take over the lessons of my daughters, both of primary school age. Mainly because I’m not a native speaker and I wasn’t familiar enough with the German school system.

Ildikó Titkó Portraitbild
Ildikó Titkó, art teacher: “It was difficult to take over my daughters’ lessons.” © György Hosszú

With the start of online classes, children would be presented with an incredible amount of tasks. Schools also had to experience the situation themselves. The whole family was busy with household chores from morning till night. Then she mustered up the courage to speak to the teacher. Then it worked: “We were tired and emotionally upset. We really didn’t want the children to fall behind the Germans.”

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family, friends, clubs

Relations with her relatives in Hungary have also decreased, reports Ildikó Titkó. Family visits were a daily occurrence. This former normality will not return anytime soon. Even two Christmases at my parents’ house were cancelled: “We played the piano together on Christmas Eve – via Skype.” We showed each other a beautifully decorated table with pet puppies and talked a lot.”

Stefan Högler emphasizes that he has become more reserved when it comes to social events: “I went to the cinema or parties more often.” Only sports activities are returning to what they were before Corona.

Portrait of Miriam Duran
Miriam Duran…

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