It’s groundhog day in the Netherlands again. Having tried to reduce the number of coronavirus infections using so-called ‘intelligent lockdowns’. The Dutch government has announced new coronavirus lockdown measures that will last until Jan 19 2021.
- All schools close from today
- Contact services such as hairdressing and massages to be forbidden.
- All non-essential shops to be closed (Yes that includes the sale of sneakers and leopard print)
- Places of worship will remain open so that people can pray for a reduction in the infection rates
- Dentists and physios will remain open
- Gyms will close
- Nurseries and BSO’s will only remain open for kids whose parents do essential jobs (police, nurses, fireman, oliebollen sellers etc)
Being calm and rational. Dutch people immediately started panic buying as soon as information about the lockdown was leaked to the media.
Now before people start pointing fingers, I’ve decided to put together a list of people who are definitely NOT to blame for the latest lockdown in the Netherlands. Neeeeee!
1. Black Friday Shoppers
Expecting the Dutch to put safety ahead of the primal call of the ‘korting’ is simply too much. There was no way in hell that the average Dutch person was going to stay home when electrical goods and clothing were on sale at a discount! Just as grizzly bears are unable to resist one of natures greatest events, the salmon run, the Dutch will walk through fire in order to get to a store with a korting!
During Black Friday the shopping centers of Rotterdam, the Hague and Amsterdam were overrun with eager bargain shoppers. In fact, some of the shopping areas had to be closed down by the authorities due to dangerous overcrowding. Now some people might blame those who ventured out on that day on the hunt for bargains for spreading the coronavirus, but I tell you that the increase in infections a couple of weeks after Black Friday is purely coincidental!
2. People that refuse to wear facemasks in shops
I was in my local bakery recently, looking to buy some delicious Dutch bread that goes dry and tasteless the minute you leave the shop. Lekker!. So while admiring the UGG boots worn by a fellow bread connoisseur. I was a little taken aback by a man who walked in without wearing a mask. When the lady behind the counter politely asked him to put on his mondkapje he replied “moet dat?” Which is indeed a reasonable question. After all, even though we’re weeks into a lockdown in the Netherlands and the number of coronavirus infections remains stubbornly high. Philosophically the existentialists would agree that his question was indeed profound. “Moet dat?”
3. People hosting parties at home
I interviewed a young Dutchman who to protect his identity I’ll call him Bas van Rijke Ouders.
“What on earth are people expected to do? All of the kut clubs and bars are closed. There’s nowhere open where you can spend the night staring and staring at women and not say a word to them, in the hope that they’ll hunt you down like piranha fish in a feeding frenzy. Nowadays we have to use Tinder, and you have to have lots of conversations and pretend to be interested in their sneaker collection. Echt kut man! On the plus side as everything is closed at least you can suggest going to a woman’s home on the first date without being shouted at or blocked. Ha, ha, ha!
That we can’t party is a scandal! Corona only affects old people anyway. Don’t believe the so-called statistics, the Dutch government and Bill Gates just want to control the young, because they’re afraid! So what if we host a party for 20 friends in a 30 m2 studio apartment, well that’s our business. There’s no proof that our holding parties spread corona. I’ll tell you what spreads it, it’s fear! Fear of corona spreads corona. Echt!”
4. ?People who take their masks off on public transport
It’s mandatory to wear face masks on public transport in the Netherlands. This draconian and oppressive piece of legislation fails to take into account several important and common behaviours of Dutch commuters.
- The need to pick ones nose while travelling
- The important discreet phone call that has to be made. “JA ANOUK, IK HEB DE CONDOMS EN GLIJMIDDEL!”
- The irresistible urge to consume smelly deep-fried snacks and stink out the train carriage for your fellow passengers
- Wanting to play tongue hockey with your travelling companion
I am indeed nostalgic for some of the pre-kut facemask behaviours that were common when travelling on public transport in the Netherlands.
5. Parents who do the school run
Parents who do the school run can indeed be terrifying.
- Tearing around corners at high speeds with their bakfietsen.
- Double parking their Teslas and SUVs and blocking the road in front of school
It’s only natural that upon dropping their little Jan’s and Mieke’s off at school that they’re going to stand around discussing the finer points of how their kids are not badly behaved brats but in fact must be in fact ‘on the spectrum’. That they choose to huddle together like a group of penguins and jak, jak, jak, incessantly, without wearing masks is OK!. They’re outside, in the open air. Anyway, it’s all a bit overblown this corona stuff. Doe normaal! The fact that the only parent standing by the playground wearing a mondkapje is a kut expat says it all!
6. The Dutch Government
The fact that they took the so called Bob Marley approach to pandemic management. “Everything’s gonna be alright, yes, everything gonna be alright now”. Is not the reason why the strategy failed so abysmally. Nee hoor! As I’ve said before, the Dutch are the most stubborn people IN THE WORLD! You cannot tell the Dutch what to do. In fact, the best thing that Mark Rutte could have done was to tell the Dutch, not to wear face masks. To ignore social distancing rules and to cram as many people into their homes as possible. I guarantee that the Dutch would have then done the opposite and we wouldn’t be at almost 10,000 infections a day in a country of 17 million people. Bear in mind that Germany has over 80 million people and 20,000 infections a day. It’s stunning that Mark Rutte clearly doesn’t understand his own people and how bloody stubborn they are.
No penguins were hurt during the writing of this post.
Until next time. “Moet dat?”