In January, the Corona issue in Austria was still a long way off. It was thought to be a problem outside of Europe. The Austrian media reported about the new federal government and other topics were in the foreground.
In mid-January, the Saab Support Konvoi 2020 took place. As reported, it was a very nice meeting where they made common (Saab) plans, gave each other tips, thought about where to go and discussed Saab sales ads.
At the end of January, the Diesel Saab received the mandatory annual service, a new flex pipe and the sticker / TÜV test without any problems.
During the semester break in February I was in the Czech Republic for a few days and also visited Saab friends there.
I have many artists in my environment and therefore I received the first tour cancellations that should have taken place in China relatively early on, and yet many thought the Corona issue was a long way from Austria.
Here, hands were shaken, carnival parades were attended, keeping your distance was only known from driving school lessons and disinfectants were only known to hospitals rather than shopping carts.
At the beginning of March there were the first corona cases in Austria, but still nobody was worried.
On March 12th, the federal government announced the upcoming protective measures at a press conference. I followed them on the laptop and saw how my fellow human beings around me all stared spellbound at their screens. There are events that you can always remember where you were in this situation. Like many others, I will never forget this day and will always be able to remember where I was.
After the announcement that public life was to be shut down completely, there were of course all the cancellations of events, concerts and theater performances were canceled or postponed indefinitely. As some have already written here, the numerous Saab activities had to be postponed or canceled entirely. Be it the joint parking lot meeting to eat pizza, Saab dealer parties or our popular trips. All events were given a large bar.
The most necessary things were quickly done until life came to an almost complete standstill. I live in the immediate vicinity of Vienna Airport, so it was completely normal for all of us here that, depending on the day of the week and the wind situation, the planes flew over our roofs every minute. For most of the people here, the aircraft noise was so normal that nobody really took it anymore.
When, in addition to the ambient noise, the aircraft noise also disappeared, you could feel the silence, there were more bird species to be heard than ever before. And when you did see and hear an airplane, you looked up into the sky and tried to see the line. It was considered whether it is one of the few remaining scheduled aircraft, is it a return flight or is the aircraft bringing the necessary supplies.
The first lockdown moved everything home for me too, I did everything from home.
In addition to home learning, I also use the time for long walks in my living area. Although I've lived here since I was born, I discovered some new things.
It is often the case that you move through your surroundings, but because you always drive with a goal, you don't pay so much attention to your surroundings. If you drive a car, you concentrate on the traffic; if you use the tram, you usually have other things on your mind. But if you are on foot and have time, you can take your time and pay attention to many details. Sections of the street, also read the information boards, why one alley is called what it is called, look at garden designs and details of the houses.
During the numerous walks I was able to make an interesting Saab sighting, as a Saab 9-5 with Swedish license plates was parked here.
The routes that were still necessary, which were covered by car, were also chosen with care. In order to avoid a weak battery or the like, the cars were moved alternately, you drove a little detour or took the supermarket, which is a little further away than the closest one.
When the first minor loosening occurred, excursions into nature could also be undertaken, which are a little further away. Here, too, there was the opportunity to get to know new things.
In May the summer tires were fitted to both cars, the station wagon also got the new turbine rims from the Orio campaign from last year. They make the car look much fresher, fill the wheelhouses nicely and the silver color also goes very well with the silver roof rails.
At the beginning of June, some border openings were announced again. At the same time I saw some friends of mine planning a little trip around Bratislava. I wrote to them that if I can come, I will too. The border bars finally opened and the next day I met in the morning in Bratislava in a supermarket parking lot. It was good to meet familiar faces again after a long time. Sometimes with a mask and a long distance we waved to each other. After the last one arrived, we drove together to the lock system in Gabčíkovo.
It was a nice feeling to drive along country roads along the Danube in the sunshine, with the sunroof open and Saabs in front of the windshield and in the rearview mirror. At the lock parking lot we could see the lock system in work and talked about the past months.
Over the summer months, the warm weather was used for many excursions into nature and new outdoor activities.
In July I then got in touch with Matthias to give him some tips for a Corona safe exit. So we were then able to do another longer trip, get to know new faces and new areas.
In August and September there were other great opportunities to get together with like-minded Saab drivers. It was always nice to meet, after many restrictions, and avoiding large gatherings, everyone was happy to be able to see each other in a large area and to pursue their shared hobby.
In between, the time was also used to make up for some cosmetic improvements for the two cars.
Lockdown number 2 was then comparatively easier over the stage, the measures were already known and accordingly everything could be set up. In terms of time and weather, I stayed at home more, looked out the window at the Saab parked in front of the house and thought about the photo archives and the stickers from past meetings, you could think back to the time when we could still move freely and without worry .
There were no noteworthy incidents between the second and third lockdown and now in lockdown number three and the resulting restrictions, I used the time to write my Saab Corona article 2020.
I wish all blog readers all the best, success, security in every respect and health for the year 2021. I hope that we will then be able to see each other again personally on one or the other occasion.
Text and pictures by Ken-Daniel Sikuta