When COVID arrived in Austria and a countrywide lockdown was announced by the government, I decided to leave my hometown Vienna. I knew I wouldn’t want to experience the curfew in my single bedroom apartment and moved back in with my parents. Into a two story house with a garden in the upper styrian countryside.
During the lockdown, space became a precious possession. Public parks and gardens in Vienna were closed and the population was constrained to stay as home as much as possible. People in city apartments who were desperate to get fresh air and a daily glimpse of sunlight outside soon became a threat to the nationwide health. Realty owners especially in the countryside became the ones who wagged with a finger. Never before have I experienced such a deep moat between urban and rural population.
People – including myself – fled from constriction of the city towards the seemingly safe countryside. Not far away from the Virus but from its impacts. Where life seems to happen slower. Where everything is ok and people feel safe. The fragility of urban lifestyle was undeniable.