Holland 7-12-2020

Quarantine Life according to this resident of Holland:

“The Corona virus hit the Netherlands hard at the beginning of March, exacerbated by the Carnival celebrations at the end of February. My province was the hardest hit, and by March 15th they implemented lockdown restrictions. Schools, restaurants, hairdressers, etc were closed and people who could work from home were asked to do so. At the peak of the virus, around the end of March/ beginning of April, we were getting about 10,000 new infections a week.

Luckily the social safety net is pretty strong here and the government compensated anyone who couldn’t work, so it was financially not a stressful time for most Dutch people. There were plenty of people who found it difficult to not go to the beach or crowd the hardware stores, but overall the Dutch people have acted like adults in their response to this virus.

And it worked. By mid-May infection rates were dropping dramatically and the government allowed children under 12 to go back to school part-time and businesses like hairdressers were opened as long as they abided by mask-wearing and hygiene rules. A few weeks later they allowed restaurants to re-open, as long as they kept their customers 1.5 meters apart from each other (which has proven to be quite difficult to enforce, but you will get a huge fine if you get caught ignoring the rules).

This week (on July 1st), more restrictions have been lifted. Basically everything is back open except for night clubs/bars, everyone still need to stay 1.5 meters away from each other and wear a mask when distancing is not possible (like on public transport). The borders with Germany and Belgium are open and vacation season has started, so we’ll see how this goes from here. The government is asking businesses to continue allowing their employees to work from home until at least September. At this point we are getting about 50 new infections per day, so we aren’t in the clear yet, but it’s going well.

The photo I’d like to share here is not one I took myself, but is from the first Black Lives Matter protest that was held in a nearby city (Eindhoven) after the murder of George Floyd. I really applaud their efforts in showing solidarity with the black community while also trying to adhere to Corona virus restrictions.

Stay safe out there, everyone. It’s a crazy time to be alive.”