Dear Members,

In these uncertain times with the pandemic Corona Virus, which has turned everyone’s world upside down, I and the EC (Executive Committee) hope you and your families are keeping safe and healthy, whether you are in Berlin or elsewhere in the world. You are in our thoughts.

It’s been just over a week since the EC notified you that all of our scheduled activities and events were cancelled until 20 April. Depending on the developments of this virus, we may have to extend that. We will wait and see what developments take place until then.

I’d like to say a huge Thank You to Karen Axelrad who has been keeping all the members of the BIWC Facebook private page informed, almost daily, not only on how the statistics of the virus are affecting the Berlin population, she also has been translating news from the Chancellor about developments within the government; thereby, keeping our members as up to date as possible on new infringements issued.

Should you have a Facebook account but haven’t as yet become a member of our BIWC private group, I would encourage you to send an email to Veronica Riffle at webfb.biwc@gmx.de to become a member. This is a great page to help keep you in touch with your fellow members in these difficult times of social distancing.

Another Thank You goes to the husband of our Vice President, Zeenat Habib. He has organised a group of volunteers to assist people in this difficult time. It is a free service. His volunteers have been collecting medicine, groceries and running other errands for people who are not able to go out. In case anyone needs any kind of assistance please feel free to contact Zeenat and she can pass any requests to her husband. You can reach Zeenat at +49 176 56 59 37 08 or send her an email: Zeenathabib@gmail.com.

Many of you have the support of family here; others may be on their own but have good friends and neighbours for support. Social distancing is a big challenge for all of us; especially those women who live alone. It’s so easy to call a BIWC friend and suggest going for a walk or maybe suggest playing Mahjong together; but because of the social gathering restrictions imposed by the government, this is not possible to do, and I would advise you all to heed these restrictions.

If any of you wish to call me for any reason whatsoever, please do not hesitate to do so. Like the majority of you, I will be home and not going any place. My holiday was cancelled and I am sure a lot of you have had to cancel planned trips too. Make the best of being home. Check out the new BIWC website, I’m sure you will like what you’ll find.

As your President, I am thinking of you all, as are the rest of the EC.

Stay Healthy!

Carol Marquardt