Amsterdam, the 15th of May 2020.
It has been a while since the last time I wrote a page and now we are in the middle of a pandemic. The moment I am writing this ( the 15th of May) things look dire the world all over. According to the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland (USA) there are now 4,5 million confirmed cases of people that are infected with the Corona virus and more than 300.000 people have died!
Over here in the Netherlands things are starting to get better, after a period that looked rather grim.
The death toll in the Netherlands is 5.590 people and 43.481 is the number for confirmed cases. Offcourse these are only numbers. You don’t see and feel the drama behind these numbers. Occasionally when you watch television you can see the impact that the virus has on people. Right now the numbers are going down and the government is opening up the Dutch society, but very slowly. To my opinion rightly so because the danger of a second wave of infections is still present as you can see in China and South Korea.
Right now the elementary schools have opened up partially, it is possible for ‘contact jobs’ like barbers, people working in nail studio’s , etcetera to open up their businesses and visits to nursing homes are made a little bit easier. There is an organisation called ‘ endcoronavirus.org’ which is even pleading for very strict limitations to try to erase the Corona virus completely. They are not saying that you have to maintain the most strict limitatations all the time but that you have to be very careful to open up society. You can find more on their website: https://www.endcoronavirus.org/ .
We have to see what the effect will be after things have loosened a bit here in the Netherlands. There are already a lot of people who want to see a relaxation of measures against the virus. An argument you hear a lot is that mostly elderly people are getting hit by Covid-19, the disease that can be the result of being infected by Corona. It is true that the majority of people that die because of Covid-19 are elderly people but also young people get seriously ill and even die of Covid-19. Another argument you hear is that the flu is responsible for a high number of deaths but according to my opinion the difference is that we have have build up some form of immunity against the flu and not against Corona and because of that the Corona virus is spreading a lot faster. As a result you can see the devastation the Corona-virus is creating in for example the US, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. I wonder if people really know what the effect of the virus is. The fact is that nobody really knows right now. New insights come everyday, but according to young people who dealt with the consequences of Covid-19 and appeared on television they are still struggling with things like being very tired, having anxieties, and pains in lungs, shoulders and other places. A Professor at Cambridge University, who appeared on Aljazeera Television, explained that the virus can not only cause damage in the lungs but in other organs, like for instance the kidneys, as well. This may even end up for some people to be on a dialysies machine for the rest of their lives.
The strange thing offcourse is that if you look outside everything looks quite peaceful. The streets are more empty, children are playing outside or going on a walk with their parents and the stations and trains are more empty, all ‘n all it looks a bit like the situation in the fifties. I worked as a postman for half a year until I got fired because of this new Corona-situation and I witnessed the streets suddenly being almost empty while beforehand the streets were flooded with visitors.
But on the other hand you know that a lot of people are working like crazy in the hospitals and other people are stressed because they don’t know if they will still have a job in the future.
Let’s hope that commom sense will get into the heads of government leaders and that their will be more cooperation between different countries to get a grip on the pandemic. We don’t know if we are in the beginning or a little bit further in the development of this new situation but I am sure that in the near future I will have to write some more about this dreadful topic.
Be careful and stay healthy!
-infected people in Amsterdam: 2223 patients, deceased: 243 people
-letter of the mayor of Amsterdam (Femke Halsema) : https://www.amsterdam.nl/en/press-releases/letter-from-mayor-3-may/