Whew. We thought that 2019 was terrible but nothing prepared us for 2020. It’s only mid-March and it sounds like the world is spiraling out of control. Sander and I live in a small town in North Holland so we’ve been safe so far. But all our big plans for the spring crumbled due to COVID-19 and advised social distancing. Here’s an update on what’s going on with us and our situation here in The Netherlands.
Remember that Amsterdam trip I was so excited about? Yea, that’s cancelled… I was going to write about Dutch Comic Con 2020 but that’s moved to July. We’re unsure about our trip to Liverpool but it looks like that might be cancelled too… I’m frustrated because we’ve been waiting for fun things to do and now it’s all cancelled! But I understand that these measures are important. The less people infected, the less people get sick. And with a vaccine in the works, some personal restraint can help keep the death toll low.
The important thing is to keep the virus out of our bodies. The virus needs a place to reproduce so it can spread. By keeping it out of our bodies, we’re one less factory for it to work in. We don’t have a full hardcore lock down in The Netherlands. But we do have some restrictions since social distancing keeps the infection rate low. Schools, restaurants, large venue events, and some smaller stores are closed. A few restaurants still do delivery but no one can sit in. People have the option to work from home or go to work too.
I’ve stocked up on things we usually don’t buy. Orange juice was at the top of the list. Sander hates orange juice. I’ve always worried about germs so we have hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes. Our local store had nothing. All breads, cleaning supplies, eggs and many grains are sold out though. Lucky for us, we were able to buy our usual meals without issue. Sander’s sister said that her store was store had been ravaged the first lockdown evening.
We’re lucky though. The Netherlands is a small country and that means it doesn’t take long for new shipments to come in. We’ll head back to the store in a few days to see if those items have returned. The best time for us to go is dinner time, less people are in the store and it’s less people to come in contact with.
Since the main push to prevent infection has been social distancing, Sander and I have to keep ourselves busy at home. On one hand, it’s been easy. We have tons of things to do at home… But it can get boring fast. We can’t head out for a quick bite. We’re unable to visit Sander’s family for our weekly dinner. And for someone like me, who is home all day… I can get a little stir crazy. I still have Twitch streamers who are more than willing to put on a good show. I’ve been binging game streams so that I don’t have to stay at my PC all day. It’s been fun to be on the couch and still get fresh, unpredictable entertainment from people who are in a similar lock down.
It’s been tough to hear about my friends and family back home during this time. I got a text this morning from my mom that my aunt might be at risk. One of her ER doctors came in for testing and they are awaiting results. If he tested positive, my aunt needs testing too. There are no flights available from Europe to America. My mom also has a history of getting bronchitis and her job is a social one. I can’t help but worry about her. During these times, I keep reminding myself that this is 2020 and not the 1800s. We can stay strong and be strong during these hard times.