Munich observations during the pandemic

Ginger Kuenzel returned to Germany recently for family matters. Her observations of Germany during the pandemic reveal the vast differences between Americans and Germans in political views, social thinking and attitudes about living.


Munich was my home for more than 20 years, and I have so many friends here. They don’t all know each other, so I’m trying to divide my time between meeting up with various friends at various times and helping Toby with the house. Toby has to work during the week, so that gives me time to meet friends then. Today some friends picked me up and we drove out to a beer garden in a cloister near the Alps.

Yesterday I stopped in the Old St. Peter Church to visit St. Munditia, whom I always visit whenever I am in Munich. She is the patron saint of single women, is stretched out with a chalice in one hand and what I always think is a cigarette holder in the other. Obviously, that is not what it is, but it sure looks to me like she’s smoking and drinking. And that’s how you get to be a saint? She is totally bejewelled, even in her eye sockets. You can see some pictures of her here:


There is so much to learn about everything involved with cleaning out a house, figuring out the best way to put it on the market, dealing with probate, finding all the financial accounts, dealing with getting an Armenian guy out of the house who my husband let live there, figuring out how to ship items to the U.S., and, and, and. So, we are doing all this in a very limited timeframe, with the mass transit striking sometimes (one day so far), crappy weather, the COVID pandemic and German bureaucracy. Aren’t you exhausted just hearing this?

The Germans are incredibly well-informed from a news perspective. They know far more about what’s going on in other countries than Americans do. We tend to only be focused on our own country. Their take on the recent presidential debate is basically the same as what I’ve been reading in the NY Times, New Yorker, CNN, etc. The president is unhinged and is doing everything he can to make sure he stays in office. They get their news from newspapers, weekly news magazines and TV news. A friend told me today that the right-wing extremists here are actually losing a bit of their power at the moment, though it turns out that is just the party that’s losing power. The number of right-wing individuals is actually increasing.

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