The Latest Nineteen From The Netherlands

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There are a few caveats I need to make before I share all these points – I’m an expat. So is my partner. Dutch is not our first language. We don’t have any inside information except that we LIVE HERE.

Some of these points are media based. Some are via via. Some are personal. Take everything with a grain of salt. Or some other idiom.

We have three kids, one school aged and two in full time daycare. I work for an American based company while my partner works for the local university which is considered a government entity.

Big breath in.

Big breath out.

Let’s do this, eh?

1. The government met this afternoon and decided to close schools, daycares, and a ton of other public spaces as of tomorrow until 06 April.

2. Daycares ARE available for EMERGENCY CARE – these are for children who have parents who BOTH work in the “vital sectors”.

3. Vital sectors those professions and sectors defined by The National Coordinator for Terrorism Coordinator (NCTV) as healthcare, public transport, police, fire fighters, and childcare workers.

4. A ton of other public spaces include cafes, restaurants, sex clubs, cannabis cafes (also known as coffee shops), saunas and sports clubs as of today at six p.m. This was announced at three this afternoon – can you imagine the rush on the coffee shops?!?

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This Was Going To Be The Post And Then I Got An Ocular Migraine Instead

Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

A friend in America (hi, J!) asked me, “Are you all worried over there about the virus, or is this the start of the panic? It’s ramping up here.”

Quick context: she asked me this DAYS ago. This was my response. DAYS ago. I was writing this up at a cafe this morning and then I was …distracted.

Until a few days ago, people were mostly joking about it. But policies have changed. People don’t shake hands in public anymore. I’ve been scolded three times.

The Dutch are used to shaking hands with strangers and greet people they know with three kisses.

So….

I keep hugging friends.

Cause I’m an idiot.

It seemed like the Dutch were TOO chill about it for a while.

For example, the Netherlands didn’t have ANY known cases because that’s the cultural norm – if you’re sick in any way, you take paracetamol and wait at least ten days for symptoms to pass. THEN you go to the doctor.

But then a local Groningen frat house went on vacation to a ski resort in Northern Italy.

The reports of active cases came out before their trip and they still went.

While they were gone enough people complained that the government stepped in and… gave them instructions on how to social quarantine when they returned.

Force them to stay in Italy? NO, that’s not the Dutch way.

Force them to quarantine upon return? No, that would invade their personal freedom.

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Tell On Yourself Then Brag About It

Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash

While I didn’t get a single thing done on that list of three things that I told on myself yesterday, I made progress.

Cause its all about the journey, not the destination #AMIRITE

And because I got a lot of ‘are you okay?s’ yesterday, let me answer that one right here and now.

I’m okay.

I could be better.

I’m struggling a bit, if I’m honest.

But I know I’ll be okay.

This, too, shall pass.

Especially if I get these three things done, damnit.

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