Due to the COVID-19 in Berlin, from the 18th of March I have indefinitely closed my beloved tattoo studio Good Old Times Tattoo. This was not an easy decision for me to take . On one hand, it was morally unacceptable to continue tattooing our customers, exposing them and my team to the possibility of being infected while on the other hand it’s a huge financial challenge.
Support by the Government
There are official statements from the government on how and when financial support can be expected. The reality of things is that it will take weeks till all requests for financial help of all selfemployed are processed. Even longer till everybody will concretely get money.
Another thing we need to think about is that we don’t know how long the quarantine will last and how long it will take till we will be able to work on a regular basis again. Plus, financial help is going to cover business costs only, but business owners also need to cover up their personal living expenses and this adds up to a lot without a monthly income.
I want to be sure that I’m not personally responsible of being the linchpin of an infection chain because of keeping the shop open and therefore jeopardizing the lives of elderly people and other groups at risk. Anyone who has ever been to our tattoo studio knows how many international customers get tattooed by us. They all had one thing in common: a lack of awareness about the Coronavirus. Honestly, I have to admit that in the beginning I was one of them. Thanks to international scientific information I am now correctly informed regards this topic.
Corona is not only a beer
Only then I understood that the real problem is not the COVID-19 in Berlin itself, but rather its contagiousness. Because of its rapid transmission, the health system cannot keep up and slowly starts collapsing. This is exactly what is currently happening in Italy. People from the risk group cannot be treated because there are not enough places and ventilators in the hospitals. Nurses and doctors are infected because there is not enough protective gear available.
Coffee Gossip in Prenzlauer Berg
What does the current Corona situation look like in Berlin?
Young people celebrate in the parks, in Prenzlauer Berg “Time for Bread” bursts at the seams and the kids give themselves high five. In Friedrichshain the tennis table is besieged and Lieschen Müller is happy that she can finally really shop for plants in the DIY store. I also caught myself taking advantage of the beautiful weather and jogging in the zoo. What I have experienced is that there is kind of a folk festival out there. I had to meander through crossfit workouts, yoga sessions, family reunions and many other random strolling Berliners.
Up till now weekends were spent between ipads and clubs; now suddenly all the potato couches and party people feel the urge to go jogging 5 times a day and clog the city streets all day long. Because of course, the standard German cannot be limited in its fundamental rights and continues crowding the streets in a red-simmering manner.
Sense of responsibility
Tattoo studios and COVID-19 in Berlin do not fit together, that´s why Good Old Times Tattoo remains temporarily closed.
It is time to take responsibility and abandon our selfish wealth. If possible, just stay at home and engage with yourself. It is also clear to me that not everyone has the luxury of staying at home. If you’re on the road, just keep your distance from others. Be aware that maybe not everyone is as young and fit as you are. Be correctly informed before giving incorrect and therefore dangerous informations to others or condemning them for their behavior.
During the upcoming weeks, just think of your beloved bakery around the corner, the bike store that has always had your back covered, your favorite hairdresser and all the other small activities that keep Berlin alive. They’re going to have a damn hard time. Instead of ordering from Amazon, they will be happy about any donation or online order.
In the next few weeks, have a look at our website and online shop. There are going to be constant updates and new great original paintings, prints and other items to buy.
This is also the perfect time to talk to your tattoo artist about your next project.
I myself will use this time to write a few articles about interesting topics belonging to the Japanese and traditional tattoo history, work on new amazing paintings for you and plan new tattoo projects.
For anything you might need or want to know simply write an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and see you soon.