Schengen, Schmengen

Europeans have rediscovered borders within the Schengen Area. Austrian authorities temporarily stopped trains on the Italian side of the Brenner Pass to check passengers for COVID19 infection. It may all be one big happy Europe but they’re all still suspicious of one another. Brexit is looking better every day.

The spread of disease serves to remind people that borders exist for a reason and might be useful after all. Coupled with the continuing migrant crisis, the virus will persuade the public to reconsider their open-borders inclinations.

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Author: drlorentz

photon whisperer & quantum mechanic

25 thoughts on “Schengen, Schmengen”

  1. Here is a nationality joke.

    On a luxury cruise ship, the Titanic of Noah’s Arks if you will, every nationality in the world is represented on board. But suddenly the ship springs a leak and begins to sink. Sadly, there aren’t enough boats for everyone. The women and children have filled up all the boats, and the ship’s captain needs to persuade the men to jump into the sea. What does the captain say to each guy to make him jump?

    To the American… “If you jump, you’ll be a hero!” (cue superman pose, and big splash)

    To the Russian… “All the vodka was washed overboard, I can see the bottles floating past… if you’re quick you can grab it.” (glug glug glug)

    To the Italian… “See that beautiful woman with the luxuriant underarm hair swimming past? You can really make a splash and impress her.”

    To the French… “Please do NOT jump into the water.” Yep. Nice reverse psychology.

    To the English… “At a time like this, a true gentleman would jump.”

    To the German… “According to the regulations, all the men must jump into the sea.”

    To the South African… “Before the braai we’re going for a swim.” Braai = ultimate barbeque.

    To the Australian… “Don’t be a wuss, all your mates are down there in the drink.”

    To the New Zealander… “Strap on this bungee cord- she’ll be right!”

    To the Chinese… “Check out that juicy, delicious-looking fish over there. And the yummy fins on that shark.”

    To the Japanese… “Everyone else has already jumped.”

    To the South Korean… “The Japanese guy has already jumped.”

    To the North Korean… “This is your chance to defect!”

     

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  2. drlorentz:
    Coupled with the continuing migrant crisis, the virus will persuade the public to reconsider their open-borders inclinations.

    The public is already convinced.  It’s the unaccountable politicians that need persuading.  I suspect many will have to be replaced  by public outrage before the rest will get the message.

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  3. Phil Turmel:

    drlorentz:
    Coupled with the continuing migrant crisis, the virus will persuade the public to reconsider their open-borders inclinations.

    The public is already convinced.  It’s the unaccountable politicians that need persuading.  I suspect many will have to be replaced  by public outrage before the rest will get the message.

    If that were true, AfD would have more than a few seats in the Bundestag and Geert Wilders would be PM of the Netherlands. That’s just for starters. So, no, the public is not sufficiently convinced.

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  4. This joke captures the European ethos:

    Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian and it’s all organised by the Swiss.
    Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, the police German and it’s all organised by the Italians.

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  5. drlorentz:
    This joke captures the European ethos:

    Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian and it’s all organised by the Swiss.
    Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, the police German and it’s all organised by the Italians.

    Just a minor adaptation:

    Heaven is where the cooks are Italian or Hungarian, fresh salads are Polish and Czech, the French are mechanics- see STEM schools and nuclear power success- and its all organized by both the Swiss and the Austrians.

    Hell is Austrian cuisine, French police who are disturbingly reminiscent of Inspector Clouseau and terrified of the banlieues, and UK climate.

    Least friendly but I love their country anyway because of the music and Klimt: Austrians

    Most arrogant: Need I state the obvious?

    Most melancholy: Hungary

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  6. John, what do you think? Is the Swiss government being too careful or not careful enough? Is it true the spread should abate as the weather gets warmer? Could it just pick up in the southern hemisphere then?

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  7. Pencilvania:
    Is the Swiss government being too careful or not careful enough? Is it true the spread should abate as the weather gets warmer? Could it just pick up in the southern hemisphere then?

    Abundance of caution is the Swiss way of doing things.  As of the latest I’ve heard, there has only been one confirmed case in Switzerland.  As of today, four people who returned from hot spot areas to the canton of Neuchâtel and had apparent symptoms were tested and all came up negative—presumably they simply had colds or the regular winter influenza.  On the other hand, Switzerland shares an open border with northern Italy, which is the largest hot spot outside Asia.

    The last I’ve heard there was no hard evidence that warm weather reduces spread of the virus.  People have suggested such an effect, but the numbers are so spotty (and in the case of China, unreliable) that there aren’t data in hand to decide either way.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control publishes a COVID-19 Situation Summary, updated daily, which is a “just the facts” compilation of what is known and recommended.

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  8. John Walker:
    Abundance of caution is the Swiss way of doing things.

    It is also the most expensive country in Europe to visit so that remains an effective way to cull infected tourists.

    Again, I am working hard to afford to live there.

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  9. John Walker:
    Here is the announcement from the Swiss Federal Council earlier today, 2020-02-28, banning events involving more than 1000 persons until at least 2020-03-15.

    Isn’t it hard to get more than 1000 people in one place in Switzerland? If you’re talking 1000 cows then okay, I get it. 😉

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  10. drlorentz:
    Isn’t it hard to get more than 1000 people in one place in Switzerland?

    Heh.  Palexpo in Geneva, which hosts the (now cancelled) Geneva International Motor Show, has an exhibit surface area of 102,000 m² in seven halls.  When it hosted the Davis Cup, it sat 18,000.  Conferences and exhibitions are a big business in Geneva and, situated within five minutes’ walk of the airport and train station and with parking for 2,800 cars, Palexpo hosts a wide variety of shows.

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  11. drlorentz:

    John Walker:
    Here is the announcement from the Swiss Federal Council earlier today, 2020-02-28, banning events involving more than 1000 persons until at least 2020-03-15.

    Isn’t it hard to get more than 1000 people in one place in Switzerland? If you’re talking 1000 cows then okay, I get it. 😉

    I don’t know about “talking … cows” but I think there is a brand of cheese called “Laughing Cow”.

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  12. 10 Cents:
    I don’t know about “talking … cows” but I think there is a brand of cheese called “Laughing Cow”.

    La vache qui rit (fromage)

    La vache qui rit is a brand of semi-soft cheese originally from France and now produced world-wide.  Its name is typically localised in each market, hence “The Laughing Cow” in anglophone countries.

    During the “mad cow” scare, I joked that somebody ought to come up with a cheese called “La vache qui bave”.

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  13. John Walker:
    La vache qui rit is a brand of semi-soft cheese originally from France and now produced world-wide.  Its name is typically localised in each market, hence “The Laughing Cow” in anglophone countries.

    My mom used to buy that stuff when I was a kid, probably the source of my fondness for soft cheeses. I used to buy it for mine. It’s child-food in my mind.

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  14. John Walker:
    La vache qui rit is a brand of semi-soft cheese originally from France and now produced world-wide.  Its name is typically localised in each market, hence “The Laughing Cow” in anglophone countries.

    I love to use it for a dip when entertaining. It’s tasty.

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  15. drlorentz:
    It’s child-food in my mind.

    Another favourite from the same company is Babybel, which now comes in a bewildering variety of flavours (only a few of which are shown here).

    Mini-babybel assortiment

    One of my favourites is the original Babybel with a dab of Dijon mustard on the top.  I’d eat a lot more of these if I had more than 1800 Calories a day to work with.

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