The coronavirus outbreak has brought about changes for cities around the world, and Berlin is no exception. Here are some of the statistics, reported by the capital Tagesspiegel newspaper, on how the pandemic is reshaping life in the German capital.
Half the traffic
Car traffic in Berlin was down 54% at the height of coronavirus restrictions, according to anonymized data collected and analyzed by Apple’s Maps app. This reduction has led people to build 15 kilometers (9 miles) of “pop-up cycle paths” using temporary traffic barriers in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district. The installation of cycle paths took years in the past. The volume of passengers on public transport has also fallen by 70% in the city.
Wine consumption rose 20% in Berlin and surrounding Brandenburg state in March, the month the restriction measures went into effect, according to German beverage company Getränke Hoffman. The consumption of beer and alcohol also increased by 15%. But the capital is behind the national average: Germans bought 34% more wine, 31% more alcohol and 11.5% more beer in March.
Tagesspiegel reported that the increase can be attributed to the fact that restaurants and bars, where people normally consume alcoholic beverages, have been closed, resulting in more people buying alcohol for their private consumption at home .
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Criminals out of work
Berlin police also noted fewer thefts, break-ins and sex-related or violent crimes. Overall, crime is down 5.4%, authorities said.
With bars closed and fewer people outside, emergency response resources also had a lot less work. However, domestic violence, which often targets women and children, has increased.
Exchange money for plastic
Before the coronavirus outbreak, the idea that Berliners would one day embrace cashless transactions was almost laughable.
Today, a German central bank study shows that 25% of Germans think twice about the way they pay for goods in stores, with 90% of that group saying they are now forgoing cash payments. At the same time, credit card companies are coming up with exciting offers to encourage stores and consumers to make the switch, including increasing the limit for contactless payments from € 25 ($ 27) to € 50, facts that are likely to change the future of payment in Berlin. landscape.
Houses for the homeless
In the past, Berlin has struggled to find a solution for its large homeless population, with many officials saying it was impossible to know how many people needed housing, let alone housing them. The arrival of the coronavirus in the city provided enough momentum to push for a partial solution. Today, 200 homeless people are accommodated in a youth hostel in the Tiergarten district.
Read more: Berlin opens first hostel for homeless people amid coronavirus pandemic
Social workers also distributed cell phones to make it easier for homeless people to provide updates on their health. While these solutions are only temporary, they have shown the city what is possible.
Delivery services deliver
The city has also become particularly dependent on delivery, with grocery stores and other delivery services reporting a significant increase in demand, sometimes resulting in delays of one to two weeks. Many restaurants and stores have also started offering their own delivery services. The small Get Now delivery service has seen 330% more customers in Berlin since early March, compared to a 230% increase nationwide.
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Safe sex during the coronavirus era
The recommendation from German health authorities to stand at least 1.5 meters from others has not been good for Berlin’s sex life. But the city is taking safety measures in the wake of it using coronavirus safety tips from Deutsche Aidshilfe, an organization that has traditionally provided AIDS and drug treatment services.
According to the group, sexting does not present a health risk “even in times of coronavirus”. This could explain why the dating portal Tinder has seen a 20% increase in the use of its messaging services.
The group also said: “The risk of catching coronavirus is at its lowest if you only have sex with yourself.”
Berliners seem to take the advice to heart: Berlin-based sex toy company Amorelie has seen a 50% increase in sales of vibrators that can be controlled remotely via an app since the restriction measures began. Information magazine on start-ups Gründerszene also reported a 65% increase in demand for the “14 Days Sex Life Challenge” box set, presumably to help couples spend their time in quarantine.