Damn, where is this going to? The Netherlands back in lockdown. Yes, it makes you feel down when you think of the small businesses, the folks working in hospitality, theatres, healthcare, the constant loneliness, insecurity and fear that is pumping through young and old bodies.
Exactly one year ago, I was in the Netherlands for a month. Strolling in Amsterdam with my sister and niece never had been so unforgettable as back then. The silence, the peace. Beautiful, but also strange. Because something wasn’t right here. Now exactly one year later, the same. I will never forget the café owner, sitting behind the window, a cup of coffee in his hand. He looked at the abandoned streets with just a handful of people passing by. There was something sad about it.
Perhaps this could be a good read for Christmas: Henry David Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience” from his famous book Walden.
Meanwhile in Spain minister-president Pedro Sánchez has declared this morning the current covid-19 situation in the country as an “extreme risk”. This Wednesday the Minister of Health, the government, and all autonomous regions will discuss the situation. In Spain almost 90 percent of the more than 47 million inhabitants has been vaccinated and the “booster campaign” is at full speed. Omicron got in between. It seems like a never ending story which needs another approach, which is proportional and just. I don’t believe another lockdown is.
A sustainable plan to fight pandemics as covid-19 is still missing, so the chance covid 2.0 arrives, is high likely. This will be the era of viruses if the political will is still lacking to fight the roots of it: intensive animal farming which expands the risk of zoonotic diseases (especially the Netherlands is at extreme risk with a population of 107 million of cattle and poultry to 17.44 million of people living on a small surface), deforestation, the destruction of eco systems, the climate crisis, the severe cuts in Dutch healthcare for many years.
It’s all intertwined.
Where’s the political will to fight these crises and to understand there’s only one health? That of humans, animals and our environment together.
Illustration: Vanessa Rose Graham