The emergence of the Coronavirus Covid-19 has given us all something else to worry about besides climate change, Brexit and Trump.
For months now I’ve been leading a workgroup planning two events in our village to celebrate the 75 years since the liberation of the Netherlands.
We were going to have two events in our village hall. On the 3rd April – an evening of drama, song and stories (Freedom Then & Now), with an exhibition of photos, documents, objects, and clothing from 1945 plus drawings, poems, essays from the children in the village school about what Freedom means to them now. On the 4th April: a “Liberation Brunch” with an exhibition of wartime vehicles, and all the children would get a kite and be challenged to draw their symbol of Freedom on it before flying it from the field next to the hall.
Last week, the Dutch government ruled that all events of more than 100 people were forbidden in the Netherlands until at least 31 March – and the Village Hall committee decided to shut the Hall until further notice.
Then yesterday, the government strengthened the rules further. They announced that all schools, children’s day-care, restaurants, pubs, sports clubs, saunas, sexclubs and coffeeshops (this is the Netherlands, after all!) are to shut until the 6th April. Everybody is being asked to keep 1.5m distance from each other – including while shopping. Only children with parents who work in Healthcare, Police, Public Transport or Fire Services are being allowed to go to school or day-care.
Buggeration. So everything has had to be cancelled, and I have no idea when or even if we can resurrect the events… Still, if it helps to stem the spread of the virus, it will be worth it in the end.
As the apocryphal Chinese Curse has it: may you live in interesting times.