This afternoon i went out to get some groceries. I needed salt, which i got from the Gimsel. I also bought there peanut soup for a lost day, a seitan sandwich and a raisin small bread. I met someone i knew there. We had a short talk. I walked on to Harolds, the shop for painting and drawing and all that stuff, close to art school. It was open, but you could only pay with your debit card. Which i had forgotten. So further on to the HEMA.
I wanted to buy some new pens. Just before i walked out i had found out a close friend has become a father over the weekend. I felt so happy with that news! So i checked the toys in the HEMA and finally decided on a small thing to give him one day. Elin is the name of our new world citizen. Lovely!
Going on. I saw the news on the big board at the Beursgebouw, Stay healthy, stay safe! At that moment i felt i was in some kind of dystopian movie. Next two keepers of the peace walked by. Another sign.
It felt so strange. The silent city all around me. Hardly any people on the streets. Everything so bright and sunny. But empty.
And i know, i understand. I do! I get this disease. I get it it is very contagious. But so far – as of today, Monday 20 April, in the Netherlands, the official death number today is 3.751. Two years ago in 2017/2018 there was a surplus of 9.400 influenza deaths in the Netherlands. That is a risk we are used to. That is a risk we take in life. We take it we can die when we step down a stairs, when we drive a car, when we enter a train, when we drink alcohol. Whatever! We know this and we accept this. An accident sits in a small corner. We accept this. We know our environment is not that healthy for us, but we take it.
But this, this corona, this COVID-19, this is too much. It endangers our most vulnerable people. The old, the sick. It is dangerous. We need to close everything down. We need to stay away from each other. The one and a half meter society is upon us. We are scared. Scared to death!
I’m not saying that we should accept this risk as it is. I’m still half convinced that we are doing the right thing. But i do realize there is a limit to this. There is an end date. Definitely.
I have read the post written by Karel Beckman called Nu stoppen met de lockdown – anders raken we onze vrijheid voorgoed kwijt (Stop with the lockdown – else we will loose our freedom indefinitely). It states clearly that a society without risk is a totalitarian society. Risk is a part of our free society. This is a statement i wholeheartedly agree with.
I follow the current situation with utmost interest. And a healthy dose of distrust. And many many questions.