Pandemic semi-dry


I.There’s a special bottle of sparkling wine in my fridge. It’s made of green glass and has a beige label. A shiny red foil capsule encloses the cork. The bottle wasn’t filled on my birthday or any other special day. It was neither expensive nor does it come from a particularly good year. On the contrary, the most valuable bottle I own is a bottle of Rotkäppchen Sekt semi-dry for 3.99 euros.

The story of this bottle begins on March 20, 2020 in a supermarket. Schools in Germany have been closed for a week, Italy reports more Covid deaths than China for the first time, and I read on the signs in the supermarket: “The following quantity restrictions apply to your purchases with immediate effect: 1 × toilet paper, 1 × rusks, 2 × Sugar, flour, pasta, rice, canned food, soap. Please be fair and avoid unnecessary stockpiling. ”Despite the signs, the shelves are empty. A few unwanted spelled noodles are still there and gluten-free baked rolls, yeast and toilet paper have not been around for days. I have 19 roles left. I know because I’ve counted. But I want something else anyway: a champagne.

A little too touched by the collective clapping on the balcony, I thought to myself: I need something to end the pandemic. Something that will round off the time that lies ahead of me. Like everyone else, I’m still inexperienced with pandemics and how long they last, so I expect an end to it in the next six to twelve weeks. Rotkäppchen champagne with plastic corks seems appropriate to me. At home I wash my hands with a silent happy birthday chant, then I hide the champagne bottle behind the vacuum cleaner and bucket in the cleaning cupboard. Here she should wait.

So when the pandemic is over I imagine I’ll call all of my friends. We’ll meet in the street, hug each other and pop the corks. We’ll take turns pouring the frothy effervescence in our mouths, from the bottle, of course, and nobody will think of viruses anymore. I imagine this day as New Years Eve.

The purchase was a promise

Now the real New Year’s Eve is approaching, the second already in the pandemic. I had expected that the Corona New Year’s Eve would come first and then the right one, instead the bottle has been tightly closed in my possession for exactly 92 weeks. The purchase was a promise to myself. The promise that it will be over. Confidence for 3.99 euros. In retrospect, I could have bought at least one Crémant.

In the meantime, the bottle is no longer in the cleaning cupboard, but is now in my refrigerator. Every time I open it, the red foil shimmers next to sriracha sauce and caper apples. And even though I had every reason to see a reproach in this – why, damn it, does it take so long? – I think of everything that was good in the pandemic. The bottle and the question of whether I should open it always came into my head when something was done.



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