The second wave

This is what Iman (David Bowie’s widow) said today and I’m so with her…

Corona is really on the rise again. We are well and truly into the second wave here and I think we may have one of the highest infection rates at the moment.

(Source)

At 7 pm there will be another Covid-19 press conference here and stricter measures are expected to be announced. And so quarantine life trudges on and even I, as an introvert, wouldn’t mind more social interactions by now, rather than less. It is what it is, however, and I guess until there is a reliable vaccine this will continue to be our lives and we will have to continue social distancing and making do virtually.

It is not an option for us to ignore the virus and pretend it isn’t so bad like my nephew does, who I’m told that even though he has contracted Covid-19, still thinks it’s all a hoax, as does his boss who continued to let him work (in a barber shop!) even though he had a fever. I wonder if this second wave also has to do with a growing number of people seeing it all as a hoax. It doesn’t help that some very public figures (like that US president everyone looks to) continue to downplay it all. A few weeks ago there were some Dutch young social media influencers who said they would be opting out of following Corona rules, they all thought it was nonsense. The most well known of them (I didn’t know her but my kids assure me she is very popular amongst youngsters) went on a talk show and she also talked to one of the most famous intensive care doctors here right now. He apparently later also toured an intensive care unit with her and since then she has taken down her opposition and is now working with him to highlight the importance of following Corona rules. Doesn’t sound like her change of heart (and the change of heart of many others in that protest group) influenced my nephew, however.

To counteract such depressing times, at least virtually I can still sometimes keep my spirits up, for instance with these new Colin Firth pictures taken at the premiere of the Supernova film the other day. He’s turning into a lovely grey fox.

I really want to see this movie but I know it will break my heart as well (see trailer here), so it may take me a while to get around to it. On to the very many more quarantine weeks and months to come…

Feelgood Friday?

Yesterday I heard that my older brother has Covid-19. He’s not been well for only a short time and had a fever for two days but seems on the mend again, so it looks like only a mild case for him. Now his partner and two teenage kids are tested as well and we have to wait what those results bring. This morning I hear my other nephew may have contracted the virus as well (independently from my brother), still awaiting results. Also this morning, the news comes that the US president now has Covid-19. So much going through my head on that one, so let me only share what Mark Hamill said to that and then leave that be. (By the way, since Wednesday we also have an advisory here in The Netherlands to wear masks at public indoor spaces).

I just need something to take my mind off all the doom and gloom and work is just not doing that. I’m so not motivated for work today, even though I try to do stuff here and there. So, to cheer me up on my break, and maybe others as well, here’s a really happy Miranda fan video I like…

And I’m following that by loads of fun Lucifer gifs (yeah, I’m still in Lucifer mode during my down time) that make me smile. Starting with a buttload of Amenadiel (DB Woodside) gifs…

… followed by fun Lucifer (Tom Ellis) ones…

… and go on, some Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) ones too…

An hour of looking at gifs, a video and blogging about it all has brought a smile back on my face… and now it’s back to work for a little bit before the weekend starts…

Or should I just give up and try again on Monday?

Corona hair & encouraging figures

Yay! My Friday afternoon 3.30 pm video meeting was cancelled! Of course there are a million other things I could do, but hey, why not shoot out a blog post instead, I thought?

Just before starting this post, I came out of a close to two hour phone call with someone who had all sorts of questions. She was so glad to be speaking to someone that she took the opportunity to ask about a hundred other questions as well. At least I left her happy, and that’s always good, right? I thought the call would be a short one, so was going to eat lunch after, but instead lunch didn’t happen until just a little after 3 pm (after also emptying and refilling the dishwasher). Yep, I had chocolate sprinkles on small matzoh crackers…

Not sure why I have the headphones in, probably habit once I sit down at my work laptop. Anyway, Mr Esther is growing his corona age beard and I decided to just let my hair grow as well and see what happens. Getting quite long now, which means I’m brushing my bangs a bit to the side now. Befitting the age of 50, it’s also getting greyer and greyer and I admit I kinda like the grey! We’ll look like real hermits once lock down is completely over, like this guy in Monty Python’s Life of Brian… I’ll have that hair and Mr Esther will have that beard…

This week further easing of restrictions have been announced here in The Netherlands as of July 1st as the figures of Corona containment here have become encouraging. We’ve have a few days in the past week with no Corona deaths at all, as shown in this graphic I took from the article I just referenced.

With the easing of restrictions, the 1.5 meter distance rule still holds true and work from home, if in any way possible, is also still encouraged. This social distancing thing does work when people stick with it, so we’ll be sticking with those rules a while longer. We do have a 4 week holiday coming up in a few weeks’ time and have decided to rent a self-contained holiday cottage in the south of The Netherlands for 10 days. Mr Esther jr will probably have to work at the hotel he’s interning at but may come down for a weekend to join Mr Esther, mini-Esther and myself. We can continue social distancing in such a cottage and we can nip into Belgium and Germany if possible but will still be close enough to home should things change, restriction wise.

So, all I can say in closing is: stay socially distanced, stay safe and hope that the Corona vaccine will come soon (first human trials have already started)! Oh, and get back to work Esther, enough mucking about…

Priest Richard (very fresh)

The priest project announced last year is still on!

I’ve once before expressed my enthusiasm for priests (the kind ones, not the creepy, abusive ones) and am looking forward to seeing Richard as one. If he looks anything like this, I’m a goner, no matter how good or bad the story will be…

Richard’s already had some practice! He can do communion…

… and pray…

… and hold a bible while charmingly interrogating people…

I think he’s all set for this! I’m hoping filming really can begin in February and that there will be no Corona virus surge stopping that.

On a side note and speaking of Corona, I just received a news notification that today is the first day where no Corona deaths have been reported in The Netherlands since the beginning of March! I so hope we can keep this up here and that this will start happening everywhere.

In other news, some RA fans found another Richard Armitage commercial voice over…

It’s all very fresh, apparently (mentioned four times in 30 seconds)!

OK, enough distraction now, back to work and my next (and last) video meeting for the day.

Making the best of longer isolation

Our prime minister, Mark Rutte, gave a press conference yesterday and all measures that had been taken to combat the Corona virus have been extended from April 6th till April 28th. To quote the statement:

“The extension means that sports facilities, establishments serving food and drink, childcare centres and other locations will remain closed until 28 April inclusive. Schools will remain closed until at least the end of the May school holidays. The ban on events still applies until 1 June.”

It’s all getting more and more grim.

Total number of confirmed cases: 12,595 (+845)
Total number of confirmed cases who are or were admitted to hospital: 4.712(+722)
Total number of reported deaths: 1.039 (+175)
The number of patients admitted to hospital and the number of deceased patients reported in the Netherlands are increasing less rapidly than would have been expected without measures in place. The province of Noord-Brabant seems to have moved past the peak of new hospital admissions. Hospital admissions are still increasing in Zuid-Holland, Noord-Holland, Gelderland and Limburg.

We live in Zuid-Holland so we’re still getting the worst in this part of the country. It’s no surprise that the measures have been extended and, listening to the press conference yesterday, chances are that the measures will be extended even longer after that date. We’ll have to wait and see. I’ve got to say that with all the criticism I have had in the past of our PM and his policies, I do feel like he is handling this crisis very well.

So, at the very least, we have another 4 weeks of this isolation thing to go… I am extremely grateful that Mr Esther and I both have steady work and a steady paycheck. Not everyone has that luxury and very many don’t have work they can do from home but this stay at home thing is not a holiday either like many in (social-)media do seem to suggest. So many ads and social media posts giving well-meant advice to combat boredom and I keep on thinking, “Really? Is no one else working except for hospital & care staff, grocery store staff and Mr Esther and I”? I really don’t have time to read 10 books a week, watch 20 Netflix series, do full time meditation retreats and play indoor games all day (even if I do have a day off work today). I’m not so much bothered by boredom, rather I am affected by restriction. Our world is large in virtual life but very small and confined in real life. And even then I am lucky that I have a good home life, a good internet connection, am healthy and not lonely.

I hope all these measures to stay at home will help stop the spread of the disease, I hope that all healthcare staff and all other people that work so hard to keep everything going get through this unscathed, I hope that all those who are now not able to work or fear losing their jobs and businesses stay well, I hope that those who have difficult at home lives or no home at all come through this alright and I also hope that in all this darkness we can also try to see some light now and again. With so many people here and around the world getting sick and dying, and these economic problems looming, and our home lives and contacts being restricted, life can be a little demoralizing. So, for me as a cup half full sort of person, I’m tyring to make the most of the little things, like enjoying a geriatric 15 year old cat in the sunshine in our back garden…

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…or taking a walk with my home office colleague while keeping our distance from others…

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Our black cat is happy that we’re home all day as it means she can always find someone to stretch out on (mostly on my daughter who, by the way, is bored)…

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… and faithful reader Squirrel sent me this picture of her son which made me smile and that she asked me to blur and share on my blog. She says, “My son is creating 3D printing masks at home, in his narrow student studio, during spare times.”

Radagast son1

And last but not least, sharing a gorgeous Richard Armitage in Uncle Vanya image might help a tiny bit as well with cheering up. It’s topical too, as he is a doctor.

20200327 RA in Uncle Vanya2

If Dr. Astrov really were a good doctor, I’m sure he’d say, “Take care of yourselves and each other!” and I second that. Here’s to making the best of at least another 4 weeks in isolation.