Regardless of where we come from and where we live, people across the world have one thing in common: the coronavirus, which has turned everything upside down since March 2020. Our social contacts are restricted, we have to wear a face covering almost everywhere in public, and activities such as going out for dinner, spending a day at the public pool, going to the theatre or a concert or even hugging our friends and family are sorely missed. This is a particularly difficult time for people who haven’t lived in Germany for very long and have not yet had an opportunity to make many friends here and who are also not able to visit their loved ones back home. Do you feel this way? Then this website with international emotional support and counselling hotlines may help: https://www.telefonseelsorge.de/international-helplines/. Here you will find the right telephone number in your native language so that you can talk to someone about any problems and issues you may be experiencing. Emotional support and counselling services by telephone specifically for refugees are provided in numerous languages by the Network for Traumatised Refugees in Lower Saxony (Netzwerk für traumatisierte Flüchtlinge in Niedersachsen).
In early 2020, the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 rapidly engulfed the entire world with the COVID-19 respiratory disease, which can be fatal. It is particularly dangerous for elderly people and people with pre-existing medical conditions. To protect these people, everyone has been required to adhere to severe restrictions and to literally keep a safe distance from each other. AOK Niedersachsen [regional statutory medical insurance fund for Lower Saxony] has compiled an overview of helpful services and information on how to deal with the coronavirus on their website. Here you will find an overview on matters such as symptoms, protective measures and behavioural guidelines for the workplace.
Detailed information about all resolutions and decisions of the Federal Government is available from the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration. In Germany, the measures to contain the spread of the virus can differ from one federal state to the next. For an overview of the measures and regulations applicable in Lower Saxony, the Lower Saxony web portal offers useful information on the coronavirus in English, Turkish, Arabic, Farsi and Russian.
The Ethno-Medical Centre (Ethno-Medizinisches Zentrum e.V.) offers practical advice and useful information on Covid-19 in Germany in 37 languages(!). On the websites, you will find a very useful overview of everything that is important during the pandemic, e.g. the quarantine regulations and protective measures.
Are you concerned that you might have COVID-19? Then contact your local public health authority (Gesundheitsamt), which you can find via the postcode search function of the Robert Koch Institute.