Covid confessions

Last night the Dutch prime minister announced new restrictive measurements for the coming three weeks. Since my last confessions, the number of infectious people kept rising at an alarmingly rate. Young adults were the main group to get infected. Not surprising as universities were starting again and students were fed up with not partying like it’s 2019. At first that didn’t have much effect on hospitalizations, but those numbers are going up as well as the virus is now spreading among older age groups as well. Not surprising when you read in the newspaper about young people living in a house with twelve others who flee to their parents as soon as a room mate turns out to be covid positive. I would kindly but surely tell my kid not to visit home and just deal with the consequences.

The restrictions are relatively mild. Apparently a lot of people were back at the office so working from home is the norm again, don’t invite more than three guest in your home (kids younger than twelve not counting), group sizes are considerably lower, cafe’s and restaurants close at ten in the evening, no more audience at sport events and in some cities people are advised to wear face masks in shops.

I knew new restrictions were coming. I therefore thoroughly enjoyed spending the last warm days of September with Man and Daughter walking the hills in Limburg. Mentally I’m preparing myself for six months of going through the motions without a lot of external stimulation. My plan is to spend weekends outdoors as much as we can. Daughter now owns proper walking shoes, so as long as it’s not raining cats and dogs we can go for a hike somewhere in the woods. I also ordered a bigger (and lighter!) bike for her, so we can practice longer distance biking as well.

Daughter caught a cold last week and now it’s my turn. Nothing serious, a sore throat is pretty much the only complaint I have. Therefore I stay at home these days and Man gets Daughter to and from school. I tried to book a test online, but the only option the system gave me was next Wednesday 13:40 in Amsterdam. Test capacity is indeed scarce. Apparently health care organisations and government expected the next wave to come a little later, so contracts were signed this month and next month for scaling up. A little too late. A rather typical pattern for this government. Constantly running behind.

That said, I’m not in the midst of decision making and not in the know of all the complexities that come with it. We all need to improvise based on what is in front of us. The only power I have is to look at my own behaviour. Therefore I’m focusing on preparing my house for the dark months and planning weekend hikes. I guess I’ll dust of some cook books as well and prepare restaurant like dinners every now and then. A great way to involve Daughter with cooking and tasting stuff beyond her somewhat limited taste.

So it’s back to slow life for now and that’s fine.

Door |2020-09-29T10:39:35+02:0029 september 2020|flow|0 Reacties

Influencing influencers

A very interesting thing happened in NL this week. Several people with a lot of followers, mostly in the younger adult age group, started posting stuff under a Dutch hashtag which roughly translates to ‘I’m out’. They expressed their discontent with government rules to keep covid-19 at bay. They seemed to want to say, I don’t believe it anymore. I’m done with keeping my distance. Sure, the number of infections are rising, but numbers in hospitals are still low. I’m young. Covid-19 is not life threatening for me. I’m done with all the rules.

The story goes that these people were first brought together in a chat group (using whatsapp) by someone who is the founder of a small but vocal group of anti-government rules. He gathered people in his chat group that have a serious amount of followers and started to convince them of his arguments against government covid-19 rules. These influencers clearly were influenced and in an orchestrated manner started influencing their followers by posting messages of doubt.

After publishing a storm of critique followed. From average Jane to the Minister, people warned them of their influence on their audience. Right at a time when the number of infectious people is rising rapidly and hospitalizations doubling every week, these messages of doubt are not helpful to prevent further restrictions in the (very) near future. Several of the influencers doubled down and retracted their message from whatever social platform they’re active on. Ironically, they started to downplay their role as influencers. I hope their clients heard this message. They’re worth less than advertisers think.

Door |2020-09-25T16:22:42+02:0025 september 2020|datadieet, flow|0 Reacties

Covid confessions

The end of Summer is here. This is my last week of Summer holiday. I kept working these weeks, but only three days a week. The rest of the week we spent as a family doing fun stuff. This week will end with a few days at a campground with extended family. We do this every year, but this year will be a little bit different. Some family members stay at home, the traditional Saturday meal will not be a collective effort and we will keep our physical distance. The weather will be cold and wet. I don’t particularly look forward to being outside in the cold, but we rented a comfortable tent this time (instead of pitching our own) so it will be less of a hassle. I do look forward to seeing my family again. I can’t wait to hear their stories on how they coped with covid lifestyle, and meet the new baby that was born in the midst of it all. It’s also a perfect environment to celebrate my birthday on Sunday, amidst those I love most.

In the previous confessions I wrote about my increased fear for infections. All over Europe the number of infected people is increasing. The Netherlands is no exception. In February infections were mostly in the (rural) south (carnival probably played a big part), now big cities are mostly worrying about rising numbers. Amsterdam is even contemplating closing the city for tourists. I wasn’t wrong in worrying about countries opening up too soon on too big a scale.

While it is raining outside at the moment and storm Francis will visit us tonight and tomorrow, I realize how lucky we have been the past few months to spend so much time outside. The coming months, which will become colder and wetter will be a new challenge for everyone. Visiting friends and family is a different game when not being able to sit in the garden. Going out requires more planning than ever. While many restaurants had plenty of space outside, seating indoors is very limited.

Next week Daughter will return to school. A new class, new teachers, new rhythm. I long for a steady rhythm during the week. Ever since mid-March I had to readjust my rhythm constantly. From not being able to work to take care of Daughter, back to regular daycare rhythm, then daycare plus school, then back to daycare only for the Summer holiday and next week a new rhythm with five days school and two afternoons daycare for Daughter. Every adjustment takes time for me to get used to. I hope the next change will be a long lasting one, that it will not be interrupted buy school closures and lots of stay-at-home coughs (though testing is now an option).

The past few weeks have been fun mini-breaks, but they were not a great substitute for the three week break from regular life I’m used to during the Summer. My background stress is still there and it’s taking its toll on my neck and mood. I realize I have to prioritize reducing my stress level. I still have a Headspace subscription to help me meditate. I also need to move my body more. Even when it’s raining. That requires a bit more self-encouragement. Hopefully the rain will stay away in September. That would help me find a new rhythm for work, physical activity and motherhood. But that’s for the future, when I’m fourty-two.

Door |2020-08-25T14:56:25+02:0025 augustus 2020|flow|0 Reacties

New story kit (218)

A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine reminded me to write more. Write more stories. As my mind was occupied with ‘how the heck do I survive this covid19 thing’ there was too little room for stories in my head. I tried. But there was just too little headspace. Until now.

Yesterday, I decided it’s time to get back into a story mode again. As my story moleskine is nearly full, I bought a new notebook. And to make it even more friction-less to start writing I bought an accompanying fountain pen that I can attach to the notebook.

May the stories flow.

Door |2020-08-05T15:57:55+02:005 augustus 2020|366, flow|1 Reactie

Use it or lose it (216)

I’m under the impression my brain is functioning less due to a lack of social and physical activities. Not that I was that socially and physically active pre-covid19, but at least I got out the door more than I’ve done in the past few months. It’s as if the lack of moving in different (unknown) surroundings diminishes my capabilities for thinking clearly. Neuroscientists keep telling me that physical exercise is key for a well functioning brain, so I challenge myself to walk more in the coming weeks. And keep doing that until it becomes routine.

Door |2020-08-03T14:15:23+02:003 augustus 2020|366|0 Reacties
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