Visiting Vienna during a panedemic

Last weekend we made a little trip to Vienna just to get away from Graz for a day or two. As usual, we went by train. I don’t remember the exact numbers but I’m pretty sure that only about half of the wagon as occupied. At least that’s what the noise-level indicated. Counting while going to the bathroom made it look more like most seats were taken but people were just quieter. This was also the first time that I didn’t regret taking the family section! There were only two families in the whole wagon and the kids were quiet all the way to Vienna 😂

Right after getting to Vienna, I had to go to Kärntner Straße to pick up my new iPad Air. For this I took the D-tram which, thankfully, was also more or less empty. That luck ended when getting of the tram, though. Kärntner Straße was full of people as if we weren’t just in a global pandemic. I don’t think there were fewer people there than last year at the same time. Perhaps fewer tourists from outside of Europe but still tons of people not even remotely trying to keep their distance from one another.

The Apple Store was a welcome refuge from that. Access was strictly controlled with one queue for people who had a reserved time slot and one on the other side of the entrance for those without. Inside of the store I was led right to a sales person who checked my order and picked up everything for me. I have to say, this worked extremely well! I was in and out in less than 10 minutes!

About 700m of crowds and chaos later I was safely back inside the D tram and away from too many people again.

For the evening we had planned to go to a little theatre (Theater am Alsergrund) to see the pre-pre-pre-premiere of the new program by Flüsterzweig, a local comedy duo. Due to hunger requiring us to take a little detour we arrived a little later but still managed to get in and some drinks. I was pleasantly surprised by how the seating was managed their! Everyone had an assigned and named seat and around each group were two seats left unoccupied. As for the program, I will most likely write about that in a separate blog post.

The last topic I want to put in here, though, is how the Galerie Westlicht implemented the COVID-19 countermeasures: Entry was managed through a door-human with everyone being asked to use the hand-sanitizer on entry. Inside, everyone wore masks but keeping a distance didn’t work that well. IMO the organizers should restrict how many people can be inside at the same time. Perhaps they already had such a threshold but it was definitely too high. I really don’t want to know what the situation looked like at larger museums like the Albertina… At Westlicht it was ok but less people would have been better.

So… if you don’t plan to go to Kärntner Straße during the day, it should be pretty safe going to Vienna even during the pandemic! At least I felt pretty safe.

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