The whole world is talking about it: COVID-19, corona, the new plague, flu deluxe. It doesn’t matter how you call it, it’s there. It’s effecting everyday life for pretty much everyone. Wether they’re locked into their houses or just reading the news about thousands of deaths worldwide. Up till this week The Dutchies weren’t that worried, I’m not even sure if they are now. But we are slowly waking up, things are changing and most of us are at home. Life is different in 2020 and I’m sharing my personal experiences in this series of blogs called The Corona Chronicles. Today we kick off with week 1.
Yesterday our prime minister made a new announcement regarding new measures concerning the Corona crisis. Last week everything was fine: wash your hands often, don’t shake hands, cough into your elbow and everything is okay. COVID-19 is just like a flu. This caused somewhat of an uproar in society, calling the prime minister a joker who cannot take anything seriously. It seems like he was pressured enough by the education union to take serious steps: All schools, universities and daycares are closed till at least april 6th. I was “lucky” that I was coughing and having somewhat of a fever therefor sent home from the office, because suddenly I had a huge problem. No daycare and no means to work at home..shit. I quickly texted my manager to reschedule my scheduled time off from June to now, and luckily it wasn’t a problem. Early “vacation” it is.
Kerim is working from home in is own office upstairs, so T. and I had the full day to ourselves. I must say I don’t really grasp the whole corona situation. It hasn’t landed yet. Sure, I see the news, I hear the horrorstories from Italy, but it’s still has a major NIMBY feeling to it. Basically today we were chilling, watching some Netflix, getting some cleaning done and go outside for a bit because T. is way more hyper than usual. Not a surprise, as his structure is completely gone. We did avoid other people taking social distancing in consideration, but honestly it just felt like a regular Sunday.
Ever since last Thursday people are hoarding and acting like animals. After seeing another video of a mother depending on welfare not able to buy simple groceries to feed her kids (and a person actually arguing she needed that loaf of bread added to her own collection while the mother had absolutely nothing) I got so fed up and disgusted that I had to rant. Today I spent as much time with T. as possible. We play games, he helps me in the garden and we read books. The weather is nice, so we go outside to play again. We walk past the playground and it’s truly filled with kids while their moms are chatting up. Unbelievable. T. really wants to play with the other kids and it breaks my heart to tell him we can’t. He starts asking questions when he can play with his friends again or visit my mom, and I really struggle explaining why we are staying at home for at least the upcoming three weeks. If I can’t really comprehend the whole situation, how can a 3-year old? He luckily quickly forgets when we get to the next playground were no kids are around. T. really needs to release his built up energy and I’m grateful we still this opportunity.
I must say that I see more people compared to yesterday. It almost feels like springbreak just started and there is nothing going on. When I check my social media I’m immediately catapulted into corona world. Every single post is about COVID-19 and many people are actually asking for a complete lockdown. I cannot fathom why people would voluntarily choose to be locked into their home. They must have no clue about the actual consequences of a total lockdown, and I’m happy we have a government ruling the country by reason instead of fear.
Yea, today it landed. I realise I don’t really want to go outside anymore and I tell T. we stay in. For some reason I just felt like it was wrong to go outside. Even though measures state it’s perfectly fine as long as social distancing is being practiced, I just felt this major protective feeling towards T. Maybe it’s all this news from Italy, maybe it’s watching the video’s of Italy’s ICU, maybe because I’m being saturated with COVID-19 news. I don’t know. I just didn’t want to go outside. It’s not that I’m that afraid to actually get infected, I strongly believe that we can fight this virus, it’s more that I do not want to infect anyone else.
T. is disappointed but forgives quickly because screentime limits are over. This is a different situation and honest to God I cannot stay locked in with my toddler for weeks with discussions about screen time. Or any minor thing for that matter.
In the evening I go grocery shopping along with favorite friends at the local wholesale and I am absolutely shocked that even at the wholesale shelves were empty. No pasta, no rice, no Dettol, no canned veggies. Luckily I needed neither of those and managed to buy groceries for the upcoming week without problems. I must admit I as absolutely shocked. It was my first visit at a store since coronagate and I was stunned to see all these empty shelves myself.
I also started binging on Grey’s Anatomy because honestly I cannot hear or see any more news or messages about COVID-19. I gradually zone out of the entire situation.
Its seems like more and more people are not taking the measures seriously. Police departments from different cities are posting on social media urging youngsters to not hang in groups, kids are vandalising shops and playgrounds and more and more people are clustering together outside. I’m not going to lie: this frightens me. If more and more people are discarding the measures I’m afraid an actual lockdown similar to Italy and Spain might be just around the corner. I truly hope people come to their senses.
T. is fully adjusted to life at home. He does miss his friends and nana, but overall he’s doing pretty well. The weather so far was well enough to play in the garden, so at least he is not locked inside the house the entire day. I resubscribed to Disney+ so he can watch Monsters Inc. and Toy Story for the billionth time and we have a good time in general. He really likes to help me around the house and is so proud when I give hime little tasks to do. He truly is the best distraction to this entire situation and truly makes it all less scary. What does concern me is that he is coughing a lot more than usual, but no fever and he is fine otherwise. In the evening his coughing is over and all is well. I also have a quick phonecall with my manager discussing the option to work from home. There is finally hardware available to make it an option and she will let me know if I can start working again next Monday. This would be great, because this means I will keep most of my days off available in June!
It’s official! I can work from home next Monday. I’m so happy about this because it kind of felt weird not to work and just hanging around the house. This evening after Kerim is done working we can pick up my hardware so I can setup my home office. To make the most of it of this last day off T. and I make a quick stop at the hardware store to buy some paint for the living room. I’ve wanted to paint the “Concrete-look” wall for ages and what better time to do it than now? It’s a welcome distraction and the new color (a warm slate color) brings the living room so much more warmth. Very happy with the result and with 2/3 of the can still left I’m probably going to paint the bedroom as well.
I must admit that being in the hardware store and running some quick errands made me realise I am so much more aware of my surroundings..When someone comes close to me (within the 1.5 meter radius) I hold my breath and when someone coughs I quickly look around if they were close. I suppose I do get a bit anxious by going outside, even more so since I’ve learned two of my co-workers were diagnosed with COVID-19.
It’s the first day of spring and the weather is really sunny. So how do the Dutch respond? By clustering together at the beach, the market, the playgrounds..it’s ludicrous. I feel like they do not comprehend why social distancing is so important. Why social distancing is helping hospitals to keep their beds ready instead of over-occupied like it happened in Italy. Hospital staff urges people to stop gathering around and were actually crying seeing all these images online. I have no idea were this collective stubbornness is coming from but I’m pretty sure they want to get treated when they get sick. If these idiots keep doing what they do I think a lockdown is less than a week away.
To distract myself from these covidiots I do some online shopping for T. He needs new clothes for spring/summer and because we were going to go shopping together I let him pick out his own clothes online instead. He truly is my son as he wanted pretty much everything, but decisions had to be made. I must say, he does have a good sense of style!
Later today I am quite convinced I am infected with COVID-19. I woke up with myalgia in my shoulder blades and as the day goes by it’s getting harder and harder to breath. It’s not completely unbearable but it’s odd because I never experience these symptoms when I get the common cold. I did experience something similar the previous week, but it was not as severe as today. Because there are no tests available unless you end up on the ICU I will never know for sure. I’m not too scared, because other than periods when it’s hard to breath and the muscle strain I feel fine. I will stay home completely for a while, just in case.
Last night was not great. It was hard to fall asleep being so short of breath. Today I feel a lot better though, it seems the shortness of breath gets heavier as the day progresses.
Kerim told me when he was walking the dog last night he came past a house where people are gathering for a party. How stupid can you be? I woke up to mayors and officials urging people not to go to the beach or the park, but seeing pictures of people clustered together again. I feel ashamed and angered that these people are just not listening. That they are this stubborn. I’m not ashamed to say that if they get infected I will not feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for everyone working in healthcare.
Today we do some gardening and painting in the house. T. is being extremely hyper so I’m going to let him help around the house a lot. Other than that I’m going to put my phone away for a bit. I just get too angered seeing al these covidiots.
Overall I feel like the whole situation hasn’t truly sinked in yet. I feel like I’m in an episode of The Twilight Zone and constantly catch myself thinking “Is this really happening?”. How are you all doing? Stay safe. X