Of course Speyer has also been hit by the Corona crisis. At the end of March most shops were closed and all events have been cancelled until the end of August. For a while there has been an eerie silence in town.
Meanwhile there is more life again in town. If there wouldn't be the queues in front of the shops with safety distance and people with masks you would not see much of a difference to before. What is different is that there are no events taking place at all - yet.
So far Speyer has got away lightly. As in the whole of the federal country of Rhineland-Palatinate the number of infections is not that high. On May 23rd there have been 84 cases reportet with one new infection in the week before. Unfortunately there are two fatalities now, but compared to other towns this is rather low.
But this exactly seems to be the problem, since people are easying the restrictions themselves without direct danger. On Ascension Day, which is Father's Day here, groups of people were going aroung on foot and on bicycles, and everywhere there have been family gatherings. Since Monday May 18th it is allowed again to receive visitors, but only from one other household. It is questionable if this has been followed all the time. So far I have not see any kind of enforcement.
During shopping you can also see a decline in discipline, some vendors don't wear masks anymore, other people start chatting and take their masks of because it is easier without. The fact that is is the talking that enhances the spread of the virus is just ignored.
The other problem is that the constant flow of new Corona regulations per federal country makes it difficult to know what is allowed at the moment and what is not. In Rhineland-Palatinate we are on regulation No. 7, if you extrapolate to the other 15 countries you get quite a lot. A lot of news sites have now a display on what is regulated where at the moment. In this case the federal system is not helpful at all, it is plain stupid.
So you can only hope that the dreaded second wave of infections is not coming and everything turns out fine.
In the recent years Speyer has depended a lot on tourism, and in the actual crisis this is the sector that is hit the hardest. Hotels and Restaurants have significant drops in income and are fighting for their very existence. It may take years bevor this sector regains the strength it had before the crisis. But it is very hard to predict at the moment.
The same problem is hitting the event managers, the people running the fairground attractions and the stall owners. Whereas the latter can still sell from home or over the internet, the others are currently out of their jobs. And it does not look like the usual frequency of events will restart soon.
Speyer is hit by the event cancellations a lot because these are a part of what makes Speyer what it is.
The Spring Fair
The Wine Tasting "Wein am Dom"
The Erection of the Guild's Pole
Open Sunday and Spring festival
The Kult(o)urnacht (Culture Night)
The Brezelfest - this one hurts the most
Whether the Altstadtfest will take place in September is questionable, it depends how the Corona infection wave develops.
In summary it can be stated that this year is, like everywhere else in this world, is the most unusual year since the end of the second world war. Let's see what else it will bring. In any case I wish everybody good health, and that the Corona wave will end soon.
In the meantime the Altstadtfest has been cancelled, as well as the Farmer's Market.
The number of cases has gone up at the beginning of June, with 6 new infections within a week. The reasons for that I don't know. I can only hope that this has nothing to do with the loosening hygiene measurements.