Back in February I boldly posted an update on Kickstarter stating that Corona could not affect M1K production. Back then I thought that Corona was limited to China. And because at Zaunkoenig we do not produce in China, but in Germany, Corona could not affect M1K production. Right?
Then more and more Corona cases outside of China were reported. As of today more than 800,000 people are infected. The World Health Organization declared Corona a pandemic. About one third of the worlds population is under some form of lockdown. Germany has been hit relatively hard with over 60,000 cases.
Measures in Germany are drastic and unprecedented. For example: being in public with more than one person that is not family is forbidden and can be fined with 100 to 1,000 Euros. Fines for repeat offenders go up to 25,000 Euros. According to the German Infektionsschutzgesetz (laws about infectious diseases) you can even go to jail for some offenses. A nationwide curfew is being discussed, but not yet implemented. Many businesses have temporarily shut down.
Many are afraid, as we noticed firsthand: Through a bit of bad luck a parcel containing a component for the M1K got delivered not to us but to someone else. We tried tracking down the person in question by slipping notes under peoples doors. Not a single person got back to us. Which makes sense when you look at it through the Corona lense: the less contact you have to other people, the lower your chances of infection are. We had no choice but to reorder the component.
Corona has a huge effect on worldwide shipping. DHL has stopped delivering parcels to 113 countries. Among them are Australia, Canada and Japan. Shipping to the US still is possible, but DHL charges a temporary crisis surcharge of 16 Euros on top of the previous shipping costs. Shipping to many European countries is still possible as well, though not for all zip codes and not for all package sizes. Also delivery times have increased across the board. See the official Corona overview by DHL for more information on this.
There is not much we can do about the shipping situation other than waiting. We hope that many of the shipping bans will be lifted in April. We hope we can deliver every single M1K in April, but no one knows how long shipping bans will stay in place so it is impossible for us to give exact shipping estimates.