Curfew: To you, to me, to you or to us?

Curfew: To you, to me, to you or to us?


Because of the corona virus, you should only be together with the nuclear family. But who is that? The question arises even more when the curfew should come.

Living with the corona virus

When I was a teenager I wanted to find out who of the cute boys I really had a crush on, and I always asked myself a question: If I had to go to a desert island for two weeks, who would I take with me? After some tinkering and various well-thought-out scenarios, there was usually only one name left. My heart was certain: it is.

This weekend, long after my insular mind games from back then and maybe just before a nationwide one Curfew, a similar question arises. Granted, with less pathos and drama, but similar in their emotional power: If I have to stay at home for several weeks – who do I want around me? My friends? My partner? My parents? Siblings?

On Friday, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder imposed the Federal Republic’s first curfew. On Sunday, the federal and state governments will discuss whether there should now be nationwide curfews. Chancellor-in-chief Helge Braun (CDU) called for all measures to be taken to heart and “as far as possible to avoid all social contacts apart from the nuclear family”. So who is this “core family” for me?

The previous limitations of social life show that a crisis is not interested in the fact that man is a social being. This is how it feels when you are not allowed to use your entire social network, but have to limit yourself. We have to decide who we want to be close to, who we can be close to, who we can be close to. Now it’s about who each other Safe space, smallest unit, narrowest circle.

And it’s not that easy. The question of the nuclear family is as complicated as human relationships are.

This core family thing

The conservative definition is that a family has at least two generations. The term “nuclear family” is used for so-called parent-child units. She is the little sister of the extended family and has only been really trendy since the 1950s.

After all, we are so far today that marriage, living together and also biological ties are no longer decisive criteria for family. Families are also considered single-parent families, step families, same-sex families, adoptive families and foster families. So much for the classic definition.

But, at least that’s an advantage of this pandemic, some social rules have a break for now. And so you can have a look at this core family thing in reality.

“I thought: Only when you get married do you start a family”

Sociologist Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim says: The nuclear family is a community of feelings. That sounds good. Even if nuclear text is to be found in this text in the future, emotional community is meant.

As a child, growing up with two sisters with a father and a mother, I thought: only when you get married do you start your own family. Just like from my bright yellow rubber boots from back then, I grew out of this idea.

Today I live in Berlin, my parents and sisters live in Stuttgart. I live with my boyfriend and we are a team. I have a long-distance relationship with my family. I haven’t had to think about the core family thing for a long time.
But that changed in the times of Corona.

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