Wandering through The Hague (Or: Noticing the little things)

Here are more photos from the last time I went outside – you can see how deserted the Binnenhof is:

Although there was a small press conference going on further ahead, it wasn’t in this part of the area. The only people I saw outside of that were a few cyclists traveling through.

One of the other places that I visited was the Haagse Bluf, where I took a few pictures:

And a picture of a metal sculpture that looked odd enough that I just knew I had to photograph it:

Otherwise people seemed to be following the rules of staying home if possible, and not flocking to the beaches or parks like they did last week. Perhaps they realized doing so would probably mean yet more rules imposed next week…

Check out the webcam of the Scheveningen boulevard, which is as good as empty. Usually I only see one or two people walking past, with the occasional car.

Good news of the day: the Dutch company Philips delivered 100 respirators to the Dutch government yesterday (article in Dutch) to increase the overall amount of ICU beds in the country. One thing I hadn’t realized before this crisis was how few ICU beds The Netherlands had. Normally there are about 1150 beds in the entire country, with half designated for corona patients and half for non-corona patients. The minister of Health, Welfare and Sport expects there to be just over 1,000 beds on 1 April for corona patients – but keep in mind we are close to that capacity already. Currently the goal is to increase the number to 1,500.

Whether or not Philips could deliver anything on The Netherlands was in doubt – while they are a Dutch company, the factory is in the United States. Recently president Trump was considering invoking the Defense Production Act from 1950, which would jeopardize Phillips exporting to the Netherlands (or any country for that matter). Part of the issue is that a lot of the components for the ventilators are sourced globally, so it is not as if everything could be created in the U.S. alone. But it hasn’t come to that yet.

In similar news, I read this morning that Germany has 28,000 beds and 25,000 respirators… that is a crazy difference compared to the Netherlands, and not just because of the differences in populations (17 million versus 82 million). That explains why two Dutch ICU patients were moved to Münster, Germany today (article in Dutch). Germany has also been taking patients from Italy and France.

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