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Stay inside now, so we can all go out and explore the world again together!

Even after an entire month of being locked up alone in my house, the whole situation the world is living in right now still seems pretty surreal. It feels like it’s all a big nightmare or a plot of a thriller movie. But unfortunately it is reality and it frustrates me so much that a lot of people still don’t seem to get the severity of this reality.

In Belgium, the situation is pretty bad. Every day, at 11am on the dot, we get the new statistics of the last twenty-four hours. And every single time, it’s a heartbreaking high number of deaths and people hospitalized due to COVID-19. And those numbers also need to be taken with a grain of salt, as not all cases are getting through. So it’s hard to stay positive when you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

NRHA's COVID-19 Advocacy Response Update - NRHA

Easter weekend is now drawing to a close. It was a beautiful weekend filled with sunshine and warm weather. And it seems like those two factors were enough for many people to neglect and discard the rules that have been set. We are still so damned fortunate here that we are allowed to go on a walk, run or bike ride, just so we can stay active and healthy. But no, many seem to take this freedom we still have and exploit it. They walk and bike to go meet family and friends and think it’s okay because “we’re still keeping distance”. NO! It’s not okay! It’s not fucking okay.

I’ve been stuck at home with just my cat and my thoughts for company. There is no one else. So still being allowed to go outside and exercise is probably the only thing that’s keeping me sane at this moment. So can you understand it’s maddening for me to see that people are bending the rules to go see other people? I’m pretty sure this sort of behavior is going to lead to a full lock-down here and then those rule-breakers will of course be the first to complain as well.

But the real victims will be the people who have stuck to the rules from the start, no matter how much it hurts to not have physical contact with family and friends. Because they’ll be punished for the laxity of others.

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So I ask you, is it that important to have a barbecue with “only just one other couple” or have an Easter brunch with your parents “because it’s tradition” that for the next couple of weeks we won’t see a decline in those horrible numbers? Is it that important to you to see that one friend, even though you can perfectly well converse over the internet, that you are willing to deny everyone else – and yourself – some normality this summer? Are you really that selfish?

I’ve already seen the plans for my triathlon in Lisbon this May been cancelled, but I’m slowly starting to fear that my trip to Australia in October might end up being snatched away from me as well. And that’s all thanks to those idiots who are still not getting how awfully serious this is. Who are still finding excuses to justify their rule-breaking. This has to stop! Yes, it’s a horrible situation and yes, it’s not easy to deal with it all, but we’ve got to get through it. And to get through it, we must all stick together!

So please, please, please, stay home. Only go outside when it’s really necessary, like grocery shopping or to exercise to stay healthy (if you’re lucky your government still allows it). Stay home now so we can soon all go outside again in a healthy environment.

To end this rant; another big, big, big thank you to all those who are now working their butts off to keep our society afloat. Health care workers, supermarket employees, postmen, people in transportation, factory workers, … From the bottom of my heart; THANK YOU! I hope you’ll all manage to stay safe and healthy. You are the true heroes and I’ll do whatever I can to make sure no one forgets!

♡ Ellen

 

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