Self Isolation in The Netherlands – Third Month

RO: Sincer, am tot sperat ca acest articol sa nu mai fie scris πŸ™‚ Este greu de crezut ca au trecut deja trei luni de izolare si chiar daca restrictiile in Olanda au fost intotdeauna mai permisive si mai relaxate, noi am ales sa fim cat se poate de precauti. Abia in cea de-a doua luna de izolare am ales sa iesim din casa, iar atunci am ales padurile cat mai izolate, locurile fara oameni, plimbarile prin zone cat mai putin aglomerate. Am evitat orice fel de interactiune cu vecinii, cu prietenii care locuiesc in apropiere si chiar si cu copiii. In ciuda faptului ca aici au fost intotdeauna permise intalnirile intre copiii mai mici de 12 ani, pentru a se juca impreuna, noi am ales sa evitam orice loc de joaca. Si iata-ne acum in cea de-a treia luna de izolare, cu masuri mai putin restrictive, insa cu aceeasi stare de nesiguranta si instabilitate pe care am trait-o si pana acum in aceasta perioada. Este foarte ciudat cum izolarea a devenit parca parte din normalitate si cum o simpla plimbare in parc a ajuns sa fie un adevarat eveniment al zilei si o adevarata aventura.

EN: Honestly, we hoped that we will never write a third part of these series of articles πŸ™‚ It is hard to believe that three months of isolation have passed and even though the restrictions in The Netherlands have always been more permisive and relaxed, we have chosen to be prudent. We went outside of the house after two months of isolation and we went to nearby forests or in places without people, walking in area that were not crowded at all. We avoided any interaction with our neighbours, with our friends that live close by and even with other children. Despite the fact that playdates with children under 12 years have always been allowed here , we have chosen to avoid any playground. And here we are now, in our third month of isolation, we less restrictive measures, but with the same uncertainty and instability that we lived up until now during this period of time. It is weird to see how isolation has become part of normality and a simple walk in the park seems to be the event of the day and real adventure.
1_Self Isolation
RO: De pe 11 mai masurile implementate in Olanda s-au mai relaxat. Numarul cazurilor a continuat sa creasca in ultima luna, insa numerele sunt mici si constante. Guvernul a anuntat in repetate randuri ca situatia se afla sub control si ca treptat, vor permite cat mai multa “libertate”. In continuare sunt cerinte de a ramane acasa cat mai mult posibil, de a evita vizitele si intalnirile cu foarte multe persoane, de a evita folosirea transportului public daca exista alternative (masini personale) si de a respecta distantarea oficiala (se insista foarte mult pe pastrarea distantei de 1,5m fata de orice persoana intalnita).Β  Insa scolile primare si cresele au fost deschise de pe 11 mai, scolile de soferi la fel, saloanele de frumusete (insa functioneaza doar pe baza de programare, pentru a evita aglomeratia), bibliotecile. Au inceput usor, usor sa se redeschida cafenele locale (pentru take-away), la fel si restaurante.

EN: From 11th of May the measures implemented in The Netherlands have been relaxed. The number of cases continued to increase in the last month but the number are low and constant. The Government repeatedly announced that they have everything under control and that they will slowly allow more “freedom”. There are still recommendations to stay at home as much as possible and to avoid visits, meetings with many people, public transport if there are alternatives (personal cars) and to respect the social distancing (they insist a lot on keeping the 1,5m distance to any person). Primary schools and daycare have been opened from 11th of May, driving schools as well, beauty salons (but they only work on reservation, to avoid the crowds), libraries. They started to slowly open local cafes (for take-away) as well as restauntants.
2_Isolation
RO: Mastile nu sunt obligatorii pe strada, iar pana la 1 iunie nu au fost nici in transport public. Rareori (aproape niciodata) am vazut oameni purtand masca in orasul unde locuim noi, insa de la 1 iunie a devenit obligatorie purtarea mastilor in transportul public (cu toate acestea, observand autobuzele care trec prin fata casei nu am vazut niciodata pasageri purtand masca). A fost subliniat in repetate randuri sa NU folosim masti medicale, pentru a evita eventuale lipsuri pentru cadrele medicale. Nu am purtat masti in toata aceasta perioada pentru ca am evitat spatiile aglomerate, mereu am ales plimbarile in parcuri si paduri pustii. Insa la inceputul lunii iunie am fost nevoiti sa purtam masca, din cauza unei cazaturi destul de serioase a lui Alexei. Am mers la doctorul de familie, apoi a fost necesar sa mergem la spital, la camera de garda. A fost o intreaga procedura pentru corona, un cort de triere, luat temperatura, verificat simptome si doar unul dintre parinti putea intra in spital cu cel mic. Chiar daca totul parea foarte bine pus la punct si chiar daca am ajuns la spital spre finalul pandemiei, a fost o experienta destul de neplacuta si stresanta. Medicii din spital si asistentele cu care am interactionat nu purtau masca, de altfel eram singura din tot spitalul cu masca pe fata.

EN: Wearing a mask is not compulsory and they haven’t been in the public transport either, until 1st of June. We rarely (actually almost never) seen people wearing a mask in the town where we live, but starting 1st of June it has become mandatory to wear a mask in public transport (however, seeing the buses that pass in front of our house we have never seen passengers wearing a mask). It was emphasized NOT to use medical masks, to avoid scarcity for the medical personnel. We have never worn masks during this period because we avoided crowded space and always have chosen walking the parks or isolated forests. But at the beginning of June we had to wear a mask as Alexei fell quite serious. We’ve been to the general practitioner and then we had to take him to the hospital, at the emergency room. There was an entire procedure for corona, with triage tents, checking the temperature, checking the symptoms and only one parent could go inside the hospital. Even though everything seemed to be very organized and even though we went to the hospital at the end of the pandemic, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. The doctors and nurses from the hospital were not wearing a mask, actually I was the only person in the hospital that was wearing one.
3_Self Isolation
RO: De la 1 iunie, au inceput sa se redeschida terasele, cu conditia de a distanta mesele astfel incat sa se pastreze distantarea de 1,5m. Cinematografele, teatrele, restaurantele au fost redeschise, insa cu foarte multe restrictii (sa se faca programare inainte si sa nu se depaseasca un numar de 30 de oameni in acelasi loc). Am crezut ca lumea va fi destul de reticenta in ceea ce priveste mersul la terase si restaurante (cel putin in primele zile) insa am fost surprinsi sa vedem contrariul πŸ™‚ Terasele erau pline, insa mesele distantate conform noilor reguli. Noi inca nu am avut curajul de a sta la terasa, desi recunoastem ca vremea atat de buna din ultimele saptamani in Olanda ne-ar fi tentat sa o facem. Totusi, am apucat sa mergem la o cafenea din centrul orasului nostru, unde am putut comanda o cafea la pachet. Pare foarte amuzant ca mentionam faptul ca in cea de-a treia luna de izolare ne-am cumparat o cafea la pachet, insa chiar a fost un… eveniment πŸ™‚ Si inca unul cu emotii. Insa totul a decurs foarte bine, se pastra distanta de 1,5m, nu intrau mai mult de doi oameni in acelasi timp in cafenea, aveau dezinfectant la intrare iar platile se faceau doar contactless.

EN: Starting from 1st of June, they started to reopen the terraces, with the condition to keep the tables distanced so that people can keep the 1,5m distance. Cinemas, theaters, restaurants have been reopened, but with lots of rules and restrictions (with reservations beforehand and keeping a maximum number of 30 persons inside). We initially thought that people will be a bit reluctant in going to terraces and restaurants (at least in the first few days) but we were surprised to see the contrary πŸ™‚ The terraces were full, but the tables were indeed distanced according to the new rules. We didn’t have the courage yet to stay at a terrace, although we have to admit that the good weather we had in the last few weeks in The Netherlands tempted us to do it. However, we went for a coffee in our town, where we could order a take away coffee. It might seem funny that we’re mentioning the fact that we bought a take away coffee in our third month of isolation but it real was an… event πŸ™‚ A full of emotions event. But everything was ok, people were staying at 1,5m from each other, no more than two people were entering in the cafe, they had sanitizer at the entrance and the payments were only contactless.
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7_Self Isolation
RO: Dupa 1 iunie am facut prima plecare cu masina inafara orasului in care locuim. Am vrut sa mergem pana la mare, asa ca ne-am documentat care ar fi cele mai potrivite si mai pustii plaje la care am putea merge. Si am ales zona de la sud de Haga, plaja de la Gravenzande in prima zi (destul de multa lume, dar distantata), apoi plaja Monster in cea de-a doua zi (uriasa, complet pustie). A fost… eliberator sa mergem pentru prima oara inafara orasului si sa vedem marea. In sfarsit am simtit din nou entuziasmul unei excursii si bucuria de a vedea un loc nou.Β 

EN: After 1st of June we’re been in our first outside the town trip. We wanted to go to the seaside so we made a research for the most adequated and isolated beaches we could go to. And we have chosen the area of Den Hague (southern part), in the first day we went to Gravenzande beach (pretty crowded but people were keeping the distance) and the second day to Monster beach (a huge, completely isolated beach). It was so… healing to see the sea after so much time. We finally felt the enthusiasm of a trip and the joy of seeing a new place.
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RO: Lucratul de acasa continua acolo unde este posibil, cele mai multe companii au ales sa extinda lucratul de acasa chiar si dupa ridicarea restrictiilor. In general, se vorbeste despre lucrat de acasa pana la inceputul lunii septembrie, insa acest termen variaza foarte mult de la companie la companie. Cresele si scolile sunt deschise, insa noi am ales sa nu il ducem pe Alexei. Nu ne este deloc usor sa lucram de acasa si sa avem grija de el in acelasi timp, dar incercam sa ne descurcam si sa ne impartim atributiile.

EN: Working from home continues where it is possible, most companies have extended working from home even after the restrictions will be lifted. In general, people talk about working from home until Septemer, but this deadline varies depending on the company. Daycares and schools are open, but we have chosen not to take Alexei to daycare. It is not easy to work from home and take care of him at the same time, but we try to manage this situation and to divide our tasks.
13_Self Isolation
RO: In continuare nu mergem deloc la supermarket. In toata aceasta perioada nu am fost absolut deloc la cumparaturi, am facut totul online. Din fericire, lucrul acesta a fost posibil, supermarketurile aveau suficiente sloturi pentru livrare, totul a fost si este in continuare extrem de sigur. Cumparaturile ne sunt aduse in ladite de plastic, pe care le putem returna la urmatoarea comanda, deci nu trebuie sa ajungem absolut deloc la supermarket. Curierii au un recipient cu dezinfectant in fiecare masina, pe care il folosesc inainte de a scoate produsele din duba, lasa cumparaturile la poarta casei, apoi se indeparteaza, astfel incat sa se pastreze intotdeauna distantarea.

EN: We still don’t go to the supermarket at all. During all this period we haven’t been shopping at all, we bought everything online. Luckily, this was possible, supermarkets had enough time slots for deliveries, everything was and still is very safe. Our groceries are brought in plastic cases, which we can return at our next order, so we don’t have to go to the supermarket at all. The couriers have a sanitizer in each car, which they use before taking the groceries out of the car, they leave the cases in front of the gate then they move back so that they can keep the distance.
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RO: Insa lucrurile isi revin. Oamenii devin din ce in ce mai relaxati si din fericire pentru noi, acest articol va fi ultimul din seria celor despre izolare. Ca sa fim sinceri, nu stim cand au trecut trei luni. Avand atat de multe pe cap, nu am simtit niciodata greutatea izolarii si nu a fost vorba de plictiseala in tot acest timp. Am avut noroc de o vreme superba in ultimele… multe saptamani, ceea ce ne-a ridicat extrem de mult moralul si recunoastem ca in cazul nostru, a fost ideal ca am petrecut aceasta perioada de izolare in Olanda. Unde restrictiile au fost intotdeauna mai relaxate si unde am avut libertatea de a ne misca, de a ne plimba, de a iesi din casa si de a avea extrem de multe locuri unde sa o putem face in siguranta. Oricat de mult ne mai revoltam noi asupra “ignorantei” olandeze in ceea ce priveste acest virus, realizam ca de fapt ei au avut exact atitudinea care ii defineste ca popor. Au fost pragmatici, nu s-au lasat coplesiti sau speriati si au actionat… rational. Iar pentru acest lucru, ii apreciem si ii respectam. Pentru ca noua, la fel ca poate multor alti romani, ne lipseste teribil de mult pragmatismul acesta.

EN: But things are coming back to normal. People are becoming more and more relaxed and luckily for us, this article will be the last one from our isolation series. To be honest, we don’t know when these three months have passed. Having so many things to deal with, we never felt the burden of this isolation and there was absolutely no chance of boredom. We were lucky to have a gorgeous weather in the last weeks which helped us mentally and we have to admit that for us it was great that we spent this isolation in The Netherlands. The restrictions here have always been more relaxed and we had the freedom of movement, of walking, of going outside the house and having plenty of places around where we could safely do this. No matter how much we would riot against the Dutch “ignorance” related to this virus, we actually realized that they had exactly the attitude that defines them as a nationality. They have been pragmatic, they were never overwhelmed or scared and they have always been… rational. And for that, we appreciate and respect them. Because for us, as well as many other Romanians, pragmatism is something that we’re totally lacking.
19_Self Isolation

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