Dr. Rainer Englisch (Ph.D., biochemistry), from St. Polten, Austria and Mark have been friends since 2013 when they met through a student foreign exchange program as Rainer’s daughter, Conni, came to the U.S. to live with the Storer family. Rainer was able to come over on business (he’s in the medical technology business working with biochemical reagents for immunology and cell biology) and visit and the rest, as they say….
Since then, Mark and his family have visited Austria and the Englisch family has been back to the U.S. several more times. Despite Dr. Englisch’s career specialty, in this program, the two discuss the idea of what it means to live with fear and with limitations. Rainer grew up in a time when the edge of the world was the eastern border of his country. To the east, “lockdown” was how the Soviet empire exercised its authority and as a teenager, Rainer’s memories run up against that fence. Austria’s experience with the coronavirus has been slightly different from the U.S.’s, and the conversation takes some unexpected and even some fun turns.