Around this time of the year, schools have a week’s holiday. Called Sportlov it’s a traditional time for a winter sport break.
This tradition was introduced in 1940 and was initially a way to save energy. Heating up schools cost money and, due to rationing, councils were instructed to drastically reduce their heating expenses. To give the pupils something meaningful to do while the school was shut, the authorities organised various activities, many focused on being outdoors and exercising. During the 50’s, experts realised that infection spread less widely at this time of the year if schools were closed for a week. So the winter sport break became cemented and an official disease control method.
Nowadays, many families head off to the mountains to go skiing, some head off to the Alps for the same purpose.
For those of us left in town, it’s sheer bliss.
There is hardly anybody on the buses and tube, traffic is significantly thinner and less noisy and it’s easy to get a seat at lunch time.
And the fact that there are hardly any children in town means the rest of us don’t get infected with kid flu bacteria on our way to work.