Switzerland becomes “normal” with the snow

Photo from: blick.ch

This week Switzerland has been crossed by snow storms for days. Some mountain cantons have many villages isolated…

And even Zurich city is blocked: trams and public transportation are stopped.

The snow, with its silent white cover, makes everything the same. Even Switzerland, the organised country, where everything is planned, is shut down by the snow like every other “normal” country…

Switzerland and COVID-19: is everything really right?

From the English version of the official website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health FOPH

It is not fair to criticise government decisions during an emergency, but if these decisions directly contributed to spread the Coronavirus infections, causing a lot of deaths, then I think they should be denounced. Hopefully that everything can work as a lesson learned.

The Swiss government, the Swiss perfect application of the federal state which gives full powers to the Cantons regarding the public health, the slowness of the Swiss politicians, and the absence of humility to learn from other countries are dramatically and very quickly dragging Switzerland into a new severe COVID-19 emergency, putting this small Country very low in the ranking of the efficiency of the implemented measures to combat COVID-19!

Here some macroscopic evidences and unforgivable Swiss mistakes since the start of the pandemic.

1) During the “first wave” of the contagion, started also in Switzerland at the very end of February 2020, the main consultant of the federal government and communicator on COVID-19 matters was a certain Dr Daniel Koch, so-called “Mr Corona”, head of the department of infectious diseases of the Federal Office for Public Health. In some interviews, he started minimising the pandemic, “showing off” his very past experiences in Africa during the Ebola outbreak, and adopting the still disgusting comparison between COVID-19 and the “usual” flue. He never warned about the use of protective masks; on the contrary he always said that the social distancing would have been enough, even on the public transportation, to avoid any contagion! According to Dr Koch, masks would have given the people a fake feeling of safety. When Dr Koch was calmly spitting his “truths”, all the world, including (even if late) WHO, already recognised the importance of adopting protective masks to control the diffusion of possible infections.

Dr Koch retired in April and stopped brainwashing the Swiss population, who was never really taking into account the possibility of using masks indoor, only relying on hygiene and the 1.5 meter distance. Distance which, by the way, very few were really keeping, misunderstanding the “common” maximum 50 cm with the minimum 1.5 meter! However Dr Koch left no real successor as single point of communication and expertise, leaving the health minister quite alone.

2) Switzerland introduced the mask obligation, on the public transportation only, on the 6th July 2020, i.e. more than 4 months after the start of the emergency! A scandalous delay!

3) Even if some cantons obliged the use of masks indoor, some others never imposed this measure, despite the exponentially increasing number of infections. Unacceptable!

4) Finally, with a guilty and unforgivable delay, the Swiss federal government obliged the use of masks indoor (public places, stations, bus stops, airports, …) only on the 19th October 2020, 7 months after the start of the COVID-19 “hell”! Unbelievable!

5) After having reported increasing new infections every day for the last two weeks, last Friday, 23rd October, Switzerland hit 6’634 new infections in one day. Considering that Switzerland has a population of slightly more than 8’500’000 inhabitants, you can calculate what this number would mean in your own country…

6) Although the infection numbers are increasing exponentially in the last weeks, after obliging the use of protective masks, the health minister, Alain Berset, and the government are hesitating to define new more severe rules to try to contain and reduce the number of infections. The health minister promised new measures but not before next Wednesday, 28th October. Why? Because he has to agree these measures with the cantons (and probably with his government mates…).

When the emergency can put the health of the population at risk, the actions shall be severe and quick and not just politically aimed at not changing the daily routine of the population! Why not “motivating” the respect of the rules by introducing significant fines for not following them, to eventually finance the most penalised working categories in this emergency?

Masked trams in Zurich

Photos taken from 20min.ch

The trams in Zurich wear protective masks, protective masks with the motto “with good example forward”!
This is a wonderful signal and a good message to restart after the lockdown due to the Covid-19.
Public transportation shall be used by the passengers using protective masks, which is the only way to reduce the danger of contageon, being impossible to keep the distances on a bus, a tram or a train!

Great example from Zurich city! Especially because surprisingly the Swiss ministers and the Federal Office of Public Health are continuing to sermonise on the importance of keeping distances and washing hands, neglecting the decisive importance of protective masks!

Maybe big cities like Zurich have more acquaintance with risk mitigation measures than the lovely federal countrysides?

“Surgically” sized garbage collectors – 2

The extremely organised and scientifically sized garbage collectors on the streets or at the bus stops have the main aim to prevent anyone from disposing big bags in these bins.
Good! Perfect! Smart!
But the practical life was not considered at all in these calculations!
For example, after the Saturdays’ nightlife and leisure, on a sleepy Sunday morning, I found the garbage collector at the bus stop under my house in this condition (see photos).
Pizza, plastic bottles, cans: what else? It would be nice if they could fit INTO the garbage bin, not just lying ON it…
These garbage objects probably look exactly the same as their last “owners” after a long night: snoring, burping and with a terrible headache!

See also my previous post on this matter: https://geoch1.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/surgically-sized-garbage-collectors/

The power of Swiss nature

Last Wednesday I just arrived home when the fury of the sky fell on the Earth.
In Ehrendingen and surroundings a violent hailstorm started and went on for half an hour, followed by violent rain!
The main road crossing the village became an impetuous river with half metre water, and all the fields and streets became white as in winter!
The force of nature was impressive!
The buses and cars still on the road became like insects into the sea.
In some neighbouring villages they even remained without drinkable water for some days, because everything was contaminated with mud.
A lot of basements, houses, shops where flooded and invaded by water and mud.
A real scary scenery.
But thanks to the assiduous work of the fire brigade, in a couple of days all the main damages where fixed and the mud and water sent away and dried.

Unfortunately, as in this case, even the quiet Switzerland can sometimes become very… angry and upset!

“Surgically” sized garbage collectors

In Switzerland it’s quite complicate to eliminate your garbage, or, better to say, this operation is… extremely organised.
Every black bag with house garbage needs a special sticker to be collected and disposed, which is actually representing the tax on the garbage.
Therefore any “illegal” garbage disposal is fought by any means!

For this reason, any dust collector you find on the street makes your life hard, in case you think to “abandon” your domestic rubbish there.
The garbage container on the picture, which I noticed at my usual bus stop, is precisely (surgically, I would say!) sized to avoid any violation…

The hole through which the rubbish should be collected is so small, that you would need to be an ant to be able to eliminate your waste in a comfortable way!

Snowy day… snowy way

Today the day started in a very white way!
All the roads were full of snow and ice, the traffic totally congested.
That’s why I took a bus (not the usual one) up to a certain point and then I proceeded on foot to the office.

No window shopping, no city walk, no quick coffee to go on the way…
Just white: behind me, in front of me, on the right, on the left, above me.

So I went on walking, dreaming of a magic blue warm sky…

Punctuality? Welcome to Switzerland

Last Friday we had the first snow here!
Some centimetres of course, no storm, no avalanches, no walls of ice…
The temperature outside was quite cold, as you can imagine.

Nevertheless, surprisingly and irritatingly, the usual bus to go to work arrived with a “planned” delay of 19 minutes! (See the red numbers on the photo)
19 minutes? Is this a delay or a new schedule?
When I did not see the bus arriving, I thought either that it might have been Sunday and I did not realise it, or that they cancelled the bus.
Then I checked the punctual App with the bus schedule and I discovered the 19 minutes!

Punctuality in Switzerland: mythology or reality?

Where the hell is my bus going?


Last Tuesday, as usual, I took the bus 354 to go to work: just 7 minutes and 4 stops from home to the office.
So, why this post? Just to tell you about my morning bus ride to the office? It is not necessarily so amazing, isn’t it?

OK, let’s make it a little more exciting.
After the third stop, in Tiefenwaag, the bus should turn right and drive a 80 km/h road up to my office stop: Murzlen.

Guess what! The woman driver, after Tiefenwaag, turned left instead! And she was driving towards another totally unexpected direction.
I immediately thought: am I in some kind of movie like “Speed” or “The taking of Pelham 1 2 3”?
Of course in Switzerland not! I stood up and on the unstable catwalk of the bus floor, I run to the driver and asked her what was going on.
She just candidly replied: “Sorry, I was used to take this way, because normally I drive this route with another bus line! I will U-turn at the next roundabout and go back”.

Then I could just astonishingly go back to my seat, waiting for the driver’s blow of fate to go back to my…office bus stop.
This Confederation is very strange: the only country where the bus schedules are precise like chemical formulas, but the drivers are sometimes reliable like… you choose what!


A990.CLOCK.16SBB_C Picture from www.mondaine.com

In Switzerland I always have the impression to be overwhelmed by the time! Or at least more than anywhere else.

There is a timetable for everything, and everyone knows by heart the useful schedule: trains, buses, shops being among the most common. In the village where I live with my family you need to rely on these schedules…

How nice it would be living in a big city (again), where you just know that there will be a tram soon! And not just the 7:24 or 7:54 buses and then “the nothing”!!

How nice it would be living in a big city (again), where you would have shops opening at normal times and until quite late in the night! And not shops opening half an hour earlier than usual on Saturdays (yes, earlier!), when you should be supposed to sleep at least half an hour more than on the weekdays!!