At the crossroads (Or: Less rules? More rules?)

After the Dutch government reported that primary schools would re-open from 8 February, there are now rumors that shops will be able to open for pickup (only) from 10 February (article from nltimes.nl in English). At the same time the “British variant” now counts for half of all infections in the Netherlands as opposed to one-third of the infections last week (article from nos.nl in Dutch).

But, the number of corona cases is dropping in the Netherlands (graph from rivm.nl):

The red line is the 7 day average of the cases. Today we had 3,280 cases, the lowest count since 1 October. However, we are coming out of the weekend and hospital intakes haven’t been falling that fast in comparison.

There is also an article on nos.nl in Dutch: Oproep uit IC-hoek: ‘Versoepel aantal maatregelen, accepteer meer overlijdens’, or Call from [some] workers in the ICU: ‘Relax some measures, accept more deaths’. It’s an interesting take on a very, very sensitive topic – how much damage to society do you accept in exchange for keeping people alive? I am still on the side of ‘keep the measures’, but I do think that care of coronavirus patients cannot always take precedence over other patients (for example cancer patients who might themselves die while waiting for care). But the article is also talking about the social, emotional and financial cost of a continued lockdown.

Heck, I don’t live alone so I always have someone to talk to. I don’t have children who I need to help with homework or entertain on a regular basis. But even I go stir crazy sometimes and I have noticed work has gotten under my skin more often in the last month. I’ve mentioned a few times that what I miss the most is spending a few hours at a café in the weekend just playing around on my computer or tablet while watching the world go by. I want to get back to that, at some point.

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