It starts again just in time for Pentecost.

By the end of next week at the latest, many federal states will lift important corona restrictions, especially those that put a heavy strain on everyday life.

Cafes and restaurants are allowed to reopen in many places, provided the incidence is below 100, which is the case in more and more cities and counties.

Shopping is also becoming easier, and - the most important thing in this country - the holiday seems to be secure: For most of the popular holiday destinations, the quarantine requirement, which is almost never checked, is no longer required; tests or vaccinations should be sufficient in the future.

Anyone who stays at home will soon be able to plunge into the outdoor pool.

Ralph Bollmann

Correspondent for economic policy and deputy head of economics and “Money & More” for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in Berlin.

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    If you believe the polls, people can't wait.

    When the Institute asked YouGov in February what the Germans would do first after the lockdown had ended, most of them longed to go to a restaurant: 57 percent wanted pizza, pasta or schnitzel to be enjoyed on site.

    This was followed by meetings with friends and relatives, trips abroad, domestic trips and attending concerts and events.

    Shopping came pretty far back on the list.

    “The desire to indulge in something is great,” summed up the management consultants from McKinsey, whose own survey in March came to similar results.

    The authors of the study spoke of a longing for “pampering activities”.

    In an Allensbach survey for the FAS in December, people also asked about professional activities. Here, the longing was much less pronounced: “To work normally”, only around 30 percent of those surveyed named that as a worthwhile goal - which, however, is also related to the fact that the job continued to run normally for the vast majority of employees.

    "Explosion of joie de vivre"

    So for the next few weeks there are finally signs of what Franco Ferrarotti, with his 95 years the doyen of Italian sociology, predicted at the end of the first lockdown a year ago: an "explosion of joie de vivre" - almost a bit like in the decades after the war, when Western European societies discovered mass consumption, from the notorious “food wave” to holidays by the sea.

    Ferrarotti applies this not only to leisure time, but also to the world of work.

    “This explosion will be huge, especially in terms of economic recovery,” he says.

    "There is an extraordinary need for physical presence, for human relationships in the work environment, for gossip."

    The mood has changed compared to the previous year. Paradoxically, many people today are more skeptical than they were then as to whether the worst of the pandemic is really over - even though most scientists assess the situation much more optimistically than in spring 2020. On the other hand, the need to make up for missed consumption has grown much greater. While researchers like the Jena sociologist Hartmut Rosa wrote essays a year ago about the fact that the long-awaited deceleration will finally take hold, after the seven gloomy months of this year's winter lockdown, the desire for more color in life is unmistakable. At least when it comes to fun and variety - it's not as if people were really bored with homeschooling or working from home.