Self Isolation in The Netherlands (Covid-19) – Second Month

RO: Anul trecut, pe vremea aceasta, vizitam campurile de lalele. Si ne plimbam prin diverse orase, luam masa la terasele din Scheveningen cu priveliste spre mare, mergeam cu barca pe canale. Nu ne temeam de aglomeratia teribila din micutul sat Giethoorn sau de parcarea arhi plina de la Keukenhof si nu aveam nicio temere sa ne imbratisam prietenii cu care ne-am reunit in Olanda, pentru a petrece Pastele. La acea vreme nici n-ar fi putut sa ne treaca prin cap ca anul urmator aveam sa petrecem Pastele singuri, in izolare din cauza corona virusului. Si sinceri sa fim, inca ni se pare ca traim un scenariu de film si ca nu e real ca intreaga lume sa fie blocata si consemnata in case, cu granitele inchise si cu obligatia de a respecta distantarea sociala πŸ™‚ Dar iata ca au trecut deja doua luni de cand stam acasa si chiar daca nu s-au schimbat multe in tot acest timp, vrem sa povestim cum mai stau lucrurile si ce s-a mai intamplat pe parcursul celei de-a doua luni in izolare.

EN: Last year during this time we were visiting the tulip fields. We were visiting different towns. eating at the terraces from Scheveningen, having a great view towards to sea, we were riding the boat on the canals. We were not afraid of the terrible crowds in the tiny village of Giethoorn or the super crowded parking from Keukenhof and we had no problem with hugging our friends reunited in The Netherlands, to celebrate Easter. At that time we could not even imagine that we will celebrate the next Easter alone, in isolation, because of the corona virus. And honestly, it still seems like a movie script and it’s hard to believe that the entire world is blocked in their homes, with closed borders all around the world, being forced to respect the social distancing πŸ™‚ But here we are, after two months already since we stay at home and even though not many have changed during this time, we would like to talk about what has happened in our second month in isolation.
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RO: Dupa cum spuneam si in primul articol scris despre aceasta perioada de autoizolare (link aici) masurile impuse nu sunt la fel de restrictive ca in alte state. Unul dintre lucrurile permise in Olanda (insa cu masura) este plimbatul inafara casei. Totusi, unele plaje sau parcuri sunt inchise, mai ales in weekend, pentru a evita aglomeratia. Pana pe 14 aprilie, dupa o luna si 2 zile de cand ne-am autoizolat, nu am iesit deloc din casa, nici macar pentru cumparaturi. Apoi, usor am inceput sa iesim in plimbari scurte in jurul caselor din cartier. Nu stim care este situatia in Utrecht sau in alte orase mai mari din Olanda, insa in oraselul mic in care locuim noi, Zeist, lumea respecta intru totul distantarea sociala. Ori de cate ori ne intalneam in sens opus cu cineva, unul dintre noi fie trecea pe celalalt trotuar, fie se oprea in curtea unei case pentru a fi siguri caΒ  se pastreaza distanta de 1,5m recomandata de Guvern in masurile de siguranta implementate aici. Am vazut oameni venind in vizita la vecini, insa stateau in fata casei la distanta, fara sa se apropie. Politia poate amenda (si au facut-o destul de mult, mai ales in Amsterdam din cate am inteles) grupurile mai mari de doua persoane care nu respecta distantarea de 1,5 metri. La fel si vizitele mai mari de trei persoane. Amenzile sunt de 390 de euro pentru fiecare persoana din grup. Cu toate acestea, am vazut si vedem inca foarte multi copii intalnindu-se la spatiile de joaca sau in curtile altor copii, la intalniri de joaca. Olandezii considera ca este in regula sa isi lase copiii sa se joace impreuna in grupuri, noi insa suntem de parere ca este destul de riscant, acestia putand fi purtatori asimptomatici care pot transmite virusul mai departe parintilor/bunicilor. Asa ca am evitat sa participam la astfel de intalniri de joaca, desi poate ca ar fi fost foarte placut pentru Alexei (mai ales ca vecinii din casa alaturata au o fetita de aceeasi varsta cu Alexei).

EN: As we were saying in our first article about the isolation (link here) the measures in The Netherlands are not so restrictive as in other countries. One of the things that is allowed in The Netherlands is walking outside the house. However, some of the parks or beaches are closed, especially during the weekend, to avoid the crowds. Until 14th of April, after one month and 2 days since we self isolated, we didn’t go out of the house at all, not even for shopping. Then we slowly started to go out for short walks around the houses in our neighborhood. We don’t know how are things in Utrecht or other big cities in The Netherlands, but in the small town where we live, Zeist, people are respecting the social distancing. Everytime we met someone on the the other way, one of us was either going on the other side of the street, or stopping in the courtyard of a house, to allow the 1,5m distance recommended by the Government in the safety measures implemented here. We’ve seen people visiting our neighbours but they staying in front of the house, keeping the distance and without getting close to each other. Police can fine groups that are larger than 2 persons who don’t respect the 1,5m distance (and they did it quite a lot, especially in Amsterdam from what we understood). As well with the visits of more than three persons. The fines are 390 euros for each person in the group. However, we’ve seen and we still see lots of children playing at the playgrounds or meeting other children at playdates. The Dutch people consider that it is ok to leave their children to play in groups, but honestly we think this is a bit risky, as they can carry the virus and hand it over to their parents/grandparents. We avoided to participate at such meetings, even if it would have been pleasant for Alexei (our neighbours next door have a girl of same age as Alexei). Self Isolation_11
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RO: Daca in prima luna verificam siteurile de statistici (in care se raportau constant noile cazuri aparute) zilnic de mai multe ori pe zi, purtam discutii interminabile cu prietenii despre acest subiect si citeam orice stire mai aparea, in cea de-a doua luna ne-am detasat foarte mult de documentarea excesiva si am ales sa verificam statisticile o data pe saptamana, poate si mai rar. In mod bizar, cazurile cresc zilnic cu aproape aceleasi numere: aproximativ 1000 de noi cazuri raportate, aproximativ 100 de decese. Cu sau fara acest lockdown inteligent si controlat (cum il numesc olandezii), numerele sunt aceleasi, iar la finalul lunii aprilie numarul celor infectati a ajuns la aproape 40.000. Realistic vorbind, numarul este mai mare, cunoastem si noi cateva cazuri de colegi infectati care s-au tratat acasa, fara testare sau spitalizare. Insa am incetat sa ne incredem orbeste in aceste numere, pentru ca asa cum stie deja toata lumea, nu exista un mod standardizat de a face aceste statistici si raportari, fiecare tara raporteaza diferit si in acest moment e foarte greu de facut o comparatie sau o statistica elocventa. In continuare nu se testeaza suficient de mult, lucru pe care l-a recunoscut si Guvernul, insa se incearca sporirea testarilor pentru a vedea cum evolueaza cu adevarat pandemia.

EN: During the first month we were constantly checking the statistics on different websites (where there were daily updates of the new cases appeared), sometimes several times per day, we were having endless discussions with our friends about this subject and we were reading every news that we would see. In the second month we started to stop over documenting and we have chosen to check the statistics once per week. In a strange way. there is a constant raise of the cases: approximately 1000 new cases, approximately 100 deaths every day. With or without this intelligent and controlled lockdown (as the Dutch people call it), the numbers are the same, and at the end of April the number of cases reached almost 40.000. Realistically speaking, the number is higher, we also know some cases among colleagues that have been infected and treated the illness at home, without testing or going to the hospital. But we stopped blindly believing these numbers, because as well as everybody knows, there is no standard way of making these statistics and reports, each country has its own way of reporting and at this moment it is very hard to make an eloquent comparison or statistic. There are not sufficient tests and the Government admitted this but they try to increase the testing so that they can see exactly how the pandemic evolves.Β  3_Netherlands_Self Isolation_Corona Virus
RO: Vom vedea in saptamanile urmatoare ce se va intampla mai departe, insa regiunile cele mai afectate raman cele din sudul tarii: Noord-Brabant si Limburg, unde au aparut cele mai multe cazuri, dupa un carnaval care a avut loc la finalul lunii februarie. Iar cele mai putin afectate regiuni sunt cele din nordul tarii, unde sunt foarte putine cazuri raportate. Termenul initial al masurilor implementate (inchiderea creselor, scolilor, universitatilor, restaurantelor, muzeelor, mallurilor, salilor de sport, lucratul de acasa acolo unde este posibil etc) a fost 28 aprilie (evenimentele au fost insa anulate pana pe 1 iunie, inca de la inceput). Cu o saptamana inainte de acest termen, pe 21 aprilie, s-au anuntat noile masuri, dupa cum urmeaza. Dupa 11 mai se va incepe deschiderea scolilor (gradinite si scoala primara, liceele se vor deschide dupa 1 iunie) iar in prima faza se va merge la scoala jumatate din timp – s-a luat aceasta masura pentru a ajuta parintii care lucreaza de acasa. Interzicerea evenimentelor s-a extins pana la 1 septembrie. Iar iesirile pentru plimbari sau sport (individual) sunt in continuare permise. Restul masurilor raman valabile ca si pana acum, urmand ca pe 20 mai sa se anunte noile masuri, in functie de cum va evolua situatia pana atunci.

EN: We will see what will further happen in the next weeks, but th emost affected regions remain the ones int he southern part of the country: Noord-Brabant and Limburg, where the most cases have been reported, after a carnival that took place at the end of February. And the least affected regions are the ones in the northern part of the country, where there have been few cases reported until now. The initial deadline of the measures that have been implemented in The Netherlands (closing daycare, schoolds, universities, restaurants, museums, shopping malls, gyms, working from home where it is possible etc) was 28th of April (events have been cancelled until 1st of June, since the beginning). One week before this deadline, on 21st of April, the new measures have been announced, as follows. After 11th of May schoold will start to reopen (daycare and primary school, highschools will reopen after 1st of June) and initially pupils will go to school just half of the time – this measure will be implemented to help parents working from home. Events will be cancelled until 1st of September. Going out for walks or sport (individually) are still permitted. The rest of the measures remain the same and on 20th of May the new measures will be announced, depending on how everything will evolve until then.Β  4_Netherlands_Self Isolation_Corona Virus
RO: hiar si in cea de-a doua luna petrecuta acasa am reusit sa evitam complet mersul la supermarketuri. Se pare ca s-a mai dus din isteria initiala a cumparaturilor iar acum putem comanda cu usurinta la orice supermarket, gasind foarte mult sloturi disponibile pentru livrari. Continuam sa comandam o data la zece zile sau chiar si la doua saptamani, facem liste de cumparaturi ca sa nu ne lipseasca niciodata nimic. Nu a fost niciodata o problema in adevaratul sens al cuvantului referitor la cumparaturi, insa in primele saptamani de izolare chiar ne-a fost destul de dificil sa gasim unele alimente (faina, drojdie, orez, paste). In cea de-a doua luna de izolare nu am mai avut astfel de probleme, supermarketurile erau mereu aprovizionate suficient. Am reusit chiar sa comandam si flori online (200 de lalele), in felul acesta ajutand si oamenii care lucreaza in acest domeniu, carora le-au scazut dramatic vanzarile in perioada izolarii.

EN: Even in the second month at home we managed to completely avoid going to the supermarkets. It seems that the initial shopping hysteria is gone and now we can easily order online from each supermarket, as there are plenty of available slots for deliveries. We continue to order once at ten days or even two weeks, we make shopping lists so that we can always have everything that we need at home. Honestly, we never had a real problem related to grocery shopping but in the first few weeks of isolation it was a bit hard to find some products (flour, yeast, pasta). But in the second month of isolation we never had this problem, the supermarkets had all the products we needed. We even ordered flowers online (200 tulips), helping those who work in this domain as their sales dropped dramatically during the isolation. 2_Netherlands_Self Isolation_Corona Virus
RO: In rest, nu s-a schimbat nimic fundamental in viata noastra, totul este destul de monoton si previzibil. Abia dupa a doua luna de izolare putem spune ca incepem sa simtim nevoia de putina schimbare, insa in continuare incercam sa vedem partea plina a paharului. Pana spre finalul lunii aprilie am putut sa ne bucuram de vremea frumoasa (se pare ca dupa cel mai ploios februarie din istorie am avut parte si de cel mai calduros aprilie din istorie, fara ploaie si cu temperaturi anormal de ridicate), de curtea pe care o avem si de faptul ca Alexei ne tine zilele ocupate si active, cat sa nu ne putem gandi prea mult la faptul ca nu am mai schimbat peisajul de mai bine de 60 de zile. Recunoastem insa ca ultimele zece zile au fost mai grele. Vremea s-a schimbat, a fost ploios, rece, intunecat, astfel ca nu mai puteam petrece timp in curte. Iar asta s-a simtit (am dormit prost, Alexei era destul de agitat, noi foarte obositi si cu dureri de cap).

EN: Other than that, nothing changed fundamentally on our lives, everything is pretty monotone and predictable. After the second month in isolation we’re starting to feel the need of change, but we continue to be optimistic. Until the end of April we enjoyed the nice weather (after the rainiest February in history we now had the warmest April in history, with no rain and with abnormal high temperatures), the backyard we have and the fact that Alexei keeps our days busy and active, so that we can never think too much about the fact that we’re doing the same thing for more than 60 days. We have to admit that the last ten days were hard. The weather has changed, it was rainy, cold and a bit dark, so we could no longer spend time in the backyard. And we felt all these (we couldn’t sleep well, Alexei was a bit fussy, we were tired and we had headaches).Β 
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RO: In aceasta a doua luna de stat acasa, am sarbatorit si Pastele. Pe 12 aprilie a fost Pastele catolic, sarbatorit de olandezi, apoi pe 19 aprilie Pastele ortodox. A fost probabil cel mai ciudat Paste pe care l-am petrecut pana acum, chiar daca in trecut au mai fost ani in care am fost plecati in calatorii de Paste. Desi au fost cateva zile foarte relaxante si frumoase, niciodata nu am simtit ca ne-a fost mai dor de familie si prieteni sau de mesele mari si copioase de Paste sau Craciun, pe care sincer, ajunsesem sa le blamam atunci cand ne aflam in tara. Dupa toata aceasta izolare, spunem cu toata sinceritatea ca abia asteptam imbuibarea de la meselor parintilor de sarbatori πŸ™‚ Tot in a doua luna de izolare a fost si Ziua Regelui in Olanda (pe 27 aprilie), una dintre cele mai importante sarbatori de aici, sarbatorite in general cu foarte mare fast (nu si anul acesta insa). Si de asemenea am sarbatorit si Ziua Eliberarii (pe 5 mai), zi libera in Olanda, in care se sarbatoreste eliberarea tarii de sub ocupatia nazista din al doilea razboi mondial.

EN: During this second month at home, we celebrated Easter. On 12th of April the catholic Easter was celebrated by the Dutch people and then, on 19th of April, the orthodox one. It was probably the weirdest Easter we ever celebrated, even though we’ve been away for Easter in the past years. There have been some relaxing and beautiful days, but we never missed more our family and friends or the hearty meals we have at home during Easter or Christmas πŸ™‚ And we were always blaming those feasts when we were back home πŸ™‚ After all this isolation, we can say with all honesty that we simply can’t wait the meals we had at our parents during holidays πŸ™‚ In the second month of isolation we also celebrated King’s Day in The Netherlands (on 27th of April), one of the most important days for the Dutch people, which is usually joyfully celebrated in the street (but not this year). And we also celebrated Liberation Day (on 5th of May), which is a public holiday in The Netherlands, that marks the end of Nazi occupation during the World War II.
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RO: O alta schimbare majora pentru noi a fost reintoarcerea mea la birou, la jumatatea lunii aprilie. Eram pregatiti pentru o perioada foarte grea, lucrand amandoi si in acelasi timp avand grija de Alexei, insa pana in momentul de fata a fost totul in regula. Ritmul este destul de lent acum, la inceput, si pentru moment ma focusez sa ma readaptez si sa imi reamintesc cum functioneaza lucrurile. Ne impartim ziua si sedintele astfel incat sa nu se suprapuna si sa putem sta pe rand cu Alexei, insa in cazurile in care nu putem face asta, pur si simplu intram cu Alexei in brate in meetingurile pe care le avem. Nu ne concentram 100%, intr-adevar, dar nu avem o alta solutie. Recuperam ce avem de recuperat in timpul liber, dupa sau inainte de inceperea programului. Aceasta reintoarcere la job este o noua provocare pentru noi, care ne tine mintea departe de corona virus. Si gandul ca nu suntem singurii in aceasta situatie (ba dimpotriva chiar, toti parintii care lucreaza de acasa si au copii mici trec prin fix aceleasi provocari), ne ajuta si ne motiveaza sa gasim resurse sa mergem mai departe si sa gasim solutii.

EN: Another major change for us was my return to work, in mid April. We were prepared for a really tough period, both working from home and at the same time taking care of Alexei, but up until now everything was fine. My working rhythm is quite slow now, at the beginning, and for the moment I’m focusing on readapting and remembering how things work. We organize our days and meetings so that they don’t overlap and we switch turns with Alexei. And hen we simply can’t do that, we just bring Alexei with us in our meetings. It is true that we are not 100% focused, but we don’t have a choice. We recover everything that needs to be recovered in the spare time, after or before starting working. My return to work is a new challenge for us, that keeps our mind far from corona virus. And the thought that we are not the only ones going through this (actually, on the contrary, all parents that work from home have the same challenges) it helps us and it motivates us to find resources to go further and to find solutions.
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RO: In continuare nu avem masti acasa, nu am cumparat, nu am cusut. Insa aproape ca nu am iesit din casa in toata aceasta perioada, asa ca nu am considerat ca avem nevoie de ele momentan. Nu am vazut pe nimeni purtand masca in tot acest timp (pe strada) si nu sunt obligatorii in Olanda (stim ca in Romania situatia e diferita). Dupa cum spuneam, nu este nimic nou sub soare in aceasta a doua luna de izolare, insa trebuie sa recunoastem ca ne-am cam pierdut din entuziasm. Da, ne straduim sa fim optimisti si sa nu ne lasam coplesiti, insa simtim nevoia de o mica schimbare. Sunt deja atatea saptamani la rand de cand zilele noastre sunt trase la indigo, ne e din ce in ce mai greu sa ne trezim dimineata (noroc cu Alexei care grabeste acest proces cu trezirile lui matinale si pline de energie :D), avem nevoie de o gura de aer, de natura, de o plimbare linistita, fara stresul ca trebuie sa ne ferim de oameni sau de locuri aglomerate. Am vrea sa se termine totul curand πŸ™‚

EN: We still don’t have masks at home, we didn’t buy, we didn’t sew. But we’ve barely been out of the house during this time so we didn’t consider we needed them for the moment. We never saw anyone wearing mask during this time (on the street) and they are not mandatory in The Netherlands (we know that in Romania things are different).Β  As we said, there’s nothing new in this second month of isolation but we have to admit that we’re beginning to loose the enthusiasm. Yes, we struggle to be optimistic and we do our best not to feel overwhelmed, but we do feel the need of change. There are so many weeks in a row with days that are always the same, it becomes harder and harder to wake up in the morning (but lucikly we have Alexei who always wakes us early in the morning, full of energy :D), we just need some fresh air, some nature, a peaceful walk, without the stress that we have to avoid people of crowded places. We just want everything to end soon πŸ™‚Β 
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