I Have Lockdown Stockholm Syndrome

Let’s rethink this “normal” everybody wants to go back to.

Kati Krause
6 min readMay 11, 2020

When my husband’s restaurant was forced to close, when we lost childcare and life around us ground to a halt, I raged and I cried. Then I planted some seeds.

For weeks, I scrupulously watered my cardbord planters and watched as tiny green leaves sprouted from the dark soil, turning into small tomato plants and flowers that bent towards the morning sun. Some days I would just sit there and stare at them for minutes, as if I could actually watch them grow. I might have sat there for hours, had there not been two infants demanding attention.

Now, there are dozens of plants sitting in small pots on my balcony, many more than I can possibly keep. I’ve already given a few away to friends and am planning to put another 20 or so outside our building’s front door with a sign saying, “Please take one”.

It would fit well with our neighbourhood’s spirit of the past two months. After a week or so of eerie silence, which descended just before Berlin implemented a lockdown on March 17, there was an outpouring of warmth. People put up signs offering to do others’ shopping or run errands. Several residents of a building across the street convened on their balconies every evening at 7 to play music together. For Easter, people…