Covid Confessions

I got myself tested again. Daughter fell ill on Friday (with a fever) and I felt my throat turning a bit sore. Therefore I booked an appointment. In contrast to the previous test, the process went smooth. On Saturday afternoon I logged into the site, got offered an appointment for 10:15 the following morning in my home town. When I arrived at the test location (De Rijtuigenloods, a former train warehouse turned into event space) there were about five cars waiting before me. It looked like a busy morning. Within ten minutes it was my turn. The swab in my nose was significantly less pleasant than the previous one. It took about an hour to get rid of the feeling that something invaded my nasal cavity. After returning home I spent the rest of the day doing nothing special. This morning at 7:23 I received an e-mail that the testresults were in. Negative. All cleared to step out the door.

Mentally it’s getting tougher to cope with the absence of change of scenery and little human interaction. The weather seems to have a significant effect on the mood of the day. When it’s grey and rainy, I feel sad inside. When the Sun is shining I feel cheerful. I haven’t experienced these mood swings for a long while and I don’t like it.

As the number of infected people is not really going down, rather going up again, I expect to celebrate the holidays just the three of us. Our annual trip to Switzerland to visit friends will not take place. I knew that in April, but it still sucks. We do intend to visit my parents at the very end of Daughter’s school vacation. As she has two weeks off, it offers an opportunity with limited people interaction on her side. That’s something to look forward to. Fingers crossed we all stay healthy so Daughter can play with Opa and Oma.

Now that Sinterklaas left the country we can perk up the home a little. The Man and I invented a word for that: Swedify. It was when we visited UmeƄ in the Fall many years ago that we noticed how the Swedes use candles and fire baskets in abundance to brighten up the extreme short days. Since that visit we use significantly more candles and decorative lights in our home, especially in December.

So yeah, overall I’m feeling a bit gloomy. Despite the hope vaccines offer for 2021, it doesn’t change the fact that today and tomorrow will look generally the same as will 25 December and 24 January and 6 March. Mass vaccination is expected to start in August, but I don’t mark that down in my calendar. So many things can change between now and then. I do have some hopes for the coming months: that Winter brings snow so I can build a snow (wo)man together with Daughter; perhaps a week or two of skating on the local canals; an early Spring so we can enjoy outdoor activities with friends and family.

This gap year is now nine months on its way. At least four months until 15 March 2021, a year after the day we were ordered to work from home. Our gap year doesn’t end on that date, but at least we’ll have Spring to look forward to by then. And perhaps a jab even. Until then, I’ll just focus on one day after another after another after ano….

Door |2020-12-07T18:17:51+02:007 december 2020|flow|0 Reacties

Stay at home coffee (295)

Daughter and I decided to get some sweets for coffee. Therefore we cycled to the shopping centre, bought our preferred cookies at what we call the coffee bakery and cycled home. Just as much fun as sitting down in a cafe.

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Door |2020-10-21T13:43:08+02:0021 oktober 2020|366, deze dag|0 Reacties

Covid Confessions

Earlier this week Dutch government ordered to close pubs and restaurants, is finally advising to wear a face mask in public indoor spaces including high schools (the legal ground to make it mandatory is pending), group sizes indoors and outdoors are now limited to four and alcohol sales are not allowed after 20:00. That last rule is probably a result of people massively buying alcohol in supermarkets after the previous 10PM closure time of cafes. This limited lock-down was to be expected since the daily count of new infections, nearly 8000 today, still has an upward trend. Luckily there are exceptions to these new rules, mainly for those under eighteen. That means Daughter can still go to dance classes.

It doesn’t really affect my behaviour as I already decided to retreat from public life as much as possible over a week ago.

The thing that bothers me though, is that people who are skeptical about these rules tend to focus on the number of deaths. There is undoubtedly a clear trend towards the elderly dying from covid-19. People who might also die from the common flue, or another viral or bacterial infection their bodies are too fragile to get rid of. However, the number of deaths is only half of the explanation why we need to tread carefully around this new virus. Even in the healthiest of people it can do a lot of damage. Long term fatigue and lasting organ damage are two of the things I’m hoping to avoid. Another long-lasting effect can be change in smell and taste. You may not think of this as a big deal, but when your beloved morning espresso smells like exhaust gas, you probably wish you never were infected with covid-19. And it can be a dangerous thing too, when you can’t properly smell. You might accidentally eat something that is overdue, resulting in food poisoning. Or you miss a gas leak in your home.

I think it’s really important for us all not to focus on death rates, but acknowledge that this virus can do a lot of damage in your body regardless of age. The medical world made huge jumps forward in finding treatments, tempering the progression of the illness. Countless vaccines are being tested on humans already. But hope is for tomorrow, reality is today. Today there is still a big chance to get seriously ill, there is no vaccine, there is no definitive medical treatment. Today (and for the coming weeks and months to come) we just have to dig in and wait until the shittiest part of the storm has passed. C’est la vie.

With covid-19 flaring up all over Europe again, only a month until US elections and Johnson announcing today he is ramping up to a no-deal Brexit, this is a time for me to follow a strict news diet again. I wrote a long piece about this in Dutch. Long story short, the best way to stay mentally healthy during the coming period is to limit your news intake and focus on the reality around you. You are in control. Unplug. Make your own life great again, while staying at home. But I bet that you, reading this, are already happily distancing yourself. Well done!

Door |2020-10-16T17:41:50+02:0016 oktober 2020|flow|0 Reacties

Covid Confessions

I tested negative for covid-19 last Sunday. I didn’t expect to have covid, but still a relieve that I can go outside again. I asked to be called about my test result, but I haven’t been called yet. Tuesday morning I finally managed to log in to coronatest.nl and was pleasantly surprised to see the test results were already in. I’m glad I tried, otherwise I would still be waiting for nothing.

Generally speaking The Netherlands is doing badly in terms of containing viral spread. Since the beginning of August the number of infected people was already rising, but mainly among young people (below thirty). Government didn’t really know how to respond other than blaming young people for not following the basic rules of keeping distance. The number of people in need of hospitalization was still low. That quickly changed in September. Only last week the rules were tightened again (mainly aimed at lowering group sizes) and we have to wait and see whether that is enough to bend the curve. I expect a firm lock-down will be announced next week. For now the virus is happily spreading among all age groups.

Today we got a message from Daughter’s daycare that one of the employees that interacts with kids in after school care will probably test positive, since they had a room mate confirmed with covid-19. It was a pre-warning message. We figured out that Daughter didn’t interact with this person since she last went to daycare, last Thursday (it’s now Wednesday, seven days later)). Chances of infection are minimal. As long as she doesn’t show any signs of illness she is allowed to attend school. It does give me a headache, though, knowing that covid-19 is turning up in Daughter’s circles and that we need to figure out what such a message means in terms of going to school or not. As for work it’s all rather simple. Work from home. As I always do.

So it’s back to small life again. As long as Daughter is able to attend school, I can work. She already stayed in for a week in September. I expect more of similar weeks to come during Autumn and Winter. I will not be going to town other than for necessary shopping. No coffee at Bagels and Beans for a while. Instead I will take Man and Daughter on hikes during the weekend. And bike rides. Fingers crossed it will not rain as much.

Door |2020-10-07T20:05:05+02:007 oktober 2020|flow|2 Reacties

De aanhouder wint een testafspraak (maar heeft er waarschijnlijk niets aan)

Gisteren schreef ik al dat het onmogelijk leek om een afspraak te maken om me te laten testen op covid19. Gisteravond stroomde mijn voorhoofd vol met snot en sinds die tijd ben ik dus echt wat je verkouden kunt noemen. Deze ochtend toch maar weer eens proberen om een testafspraak te maken. Misschien weet ik dan, voor het snot verdwenen is, zeker dat ik geen gevaar voor de volksgezondheid ben als ik een rondje door de wijk wil wandelen.

Nog maar weer een keer inloggen op coronatest.nl. Wederom een foutmelding bij de koppeling met DigID. Dan maar bellen. Zowaar mocht ik aansluiten in de wachtrij. Alweer hele winst ten opzichte van eerder deze week. Uiteraard even op de speaker gezet, wetende dat dit wel even kan duren. Ik denk dat ik na ruim een kwartier een vriendelijke medewerker aan de lijn kreeg. Na controle of ik wel klachten heb, en zo ja welke dan, gaat ze op zoek naar een testlocatie. Amersfoort vol, Barneveld vol, Utrecht vol. Alles bij u in de buurt zit vol mevrouw, ik ga even verder kijken. Ze kwam met de suggestie van Purmerend. Dat is wel een beetje ver (want Amsterdam voorbij), sputterde ik tegen. Wat voor mij dan nog een logischere plek was om naar toe te gaan. Ik noemde Apeldoorn (lekker lui de A1 afkachelen). Vol. Almere dan? Ja, daar is nog plek. Op zondagochtend om 9:45. Wacht even. Het is nu donderdag. Waarschijnlijk ben ik dan alweer klachtenvrij. Heeft testen dan nog zin? Bovendien, zondagochtend vrijwillig naar Almere op en neer rijden? De medewerker snapte mijn dilemma, maar antwoordde dat ze het best wilde inplannen. Dan staat die afspraak maar alvast, mochten de klachten verergeren. Nou vooruit. Plan maar in dan. O wacht, hoor ik aan de andere kant van de lijn, ik ben er nu even uitgegooid door het systeem. Even opnieuw. De afspraak lukt niet meer om 9:45. Het blijft even stil. Drie minuten later wel. Ik ga de afspraak nu bevestigen. Phew.

Ze vertelt me waar de testlocatie is, dat ik een e-mail ga ontvangen en wat de spelregels zijn tot ik getest ben: thuisblijven (dat deed ik al), geen bezoek ontvangen (had ik ook al bedacht), afstand houden tot huisgenoten (onmogelijk, hoe denk je dat ik aan deze snotneus kom, wilde ik nog zeggen, maar deed het toch maar niet) en bij koorts blijven alle huisgenoten thuis (helder, als ik maar geen koorts krijg).

Nu weet je dus waar ik zondagochtend om 9:48 ben. Mocht je me willen spreken, om 9:51 ben ik weer bereikbaar. Maar misschien loopt m’n afspraak ietsje uit.

Ik denk dat het snot eerder is verdwenen dan dat ik de uitslag weet. Tot die tijd loop ik mini-rondjes op eigen terrein. Het is wat het is.

Door |2020-10-01T11:05:52+02:001 oktober 2020|flow|0 Reacties
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