I am sitting here at the kitchen table looking over the lake pondering if spring will ever get here. Last year at this time, I could walk around in shorts and a T-shirt. This morning, I am looking at the white on the hillside. It has snowed on and off all day. The temperature is about 3 degrees (mid 30’s) it is not supposed to get any warmer than this for the next week.
I think I had written earlier that Julie and I will be going to the Italian part of Switzerland next week. Looking at the weather app the ALPS certainly play a big role in the weather. The temperatures in Locarno are up in the low 60’s right now, and next week it is supposed to also be sunny! One thing I am really looking forward to is driving through the Gotthard Tunnel. This tunnel is almost 17 kilometers long. It was opened over a 100 years ago! To me that is an amazing feat of engineering.
On some more rambling notes. I just signed up for the St Judes Marathon weekend again. I will be participating virtually. I signed up for the 10k and half marathon. The following video will be my nemesis this summer. 2 kilometers all up hill. My goal is to be able to jog up the whole thing without walking by the end of the year. Of course I am not having that much luck starting to train. I took January off from running, and basically that turned into also taking February off. I got out last week with the good weather, and then this week the weather turned to crap again. I have really got to embrace running in the rain or snow.
I was very excited to see that Indiana is going to be getting a new basketball coach. I really liked Archie Miller when he was hired, but that turned out to be a match made in hell not heaven. IU seemed to get worse every year. I have to admit I have become very apathetic in regards to IU basketball over the last decade. The team has not been fun to watch. I would almost rather go back to Tom Crean’s first two years at IU. You knew the team was going to lose, but those young men played their hearts out every game. They gave all their effort every single game. They just were not very good. This year, I have watched more of the women’s team than I have the men’s team. In fact with the men’s team, I think I have only watched two games from start to finish. I do not think IU will be able snag their dream coach (Brad Stevens). but with the exception of Beilein and Pitino every person I have seen mentioned as a replacement would be an upgrade. Oh well, IU is a football school now anyway, and once Coach Allen can figure out how to win a Bowl Game IU football will rule the roost!
I think it has been a week since my last COVID update. Things are very schizophrenic here. So many different things are being reported that no one has a clue as to what may be happening. One news report says the Government is going to continue opening things up. The next report says the measured criteria are not improving, so if anything the government will keep the status quo in place. Julie and I were really hoping that restaurants would be open for trip next week, but we planned for this eventuality and rented an apartment instead of a hotel room. This way we do not have to worry about being around crowds of people where none of them are wearing masks.
Switzerland is supposedly doing better than the rest of Europe in regards to the vaccination, but we suck at that as well. I was reading an article last night, that said based on the current rates for vaccination Switzerland will not be at 100% until the fall of 2022! Which is even more concerning than it looks, because by that time, the vaccinated population will have to receive three rounds of vaccine. That is not going to happen! Even more concerning to me was that everything I have seen is that the general population in Switzerland is more wary of taking the vaccine than people in the US. I was really excited that Mom and Dad were planning a trip to Europe, with some of their favorite travel companions. We were going to meet up in Italy, and then they were thinking about coming to spend a week with us in Zürich. I have zero confidence that the trip is going to happen. Italy is going back under lockdown this week, and overall Europe just does not seem capable of getting the vaccine in enough people to be able to open the borders. Now, economics could win out, and maybe they will allow travel for people that can prove their vaccination, but the idea of a vaccine passport is not very popular over here either.
Our overall COVID numbers are going back up slightly, but they never dropped very low. Comparing our numbers to the closest US state in population. Connecticut has a 7 day average of new cases of 830. Switzerland’s is approaching 1400 cases.
At this point, my gut tells me that Switzerland will open a little by allowing Restaurants to begin serving inside. The work from home requirement is going to remain in place. These are just guesses on my part, but because of the haphazard way Switzerland is trying to combat the virus this time, it is the only thing makes any sense to me.
I took this picture at the Lindt Factory. I really the picture, because it gives you a glimpse about how mountainous the country is. You can also really see the passes and routes through the alps. To get an idea where we are located look for the Sprüngli icon. Germany is located above the picture. France is on the left side of the map. Italy is below the map. Liechtenstein and Austria are on the right side. Another interesting Swiss fact. Switzerland makes up only .4% of the European land mass, yet it contains over 6% of the fresh water in Europe.