Today was the first day after the annoucement by the Dutch Government that schools will be closed until 6th of April, gatherings of more than 100 people are advised against... sex-shops, cafes, restaurants and "coffee" shops will have restricted hours or closed completely. Anyway, all measure designed to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and it's potential impact on the capacity of the health system here.
Due to the fact that the switch from business as usual to "oh, this might be something" settings... it appears that the stocking of food and all of that business has started to take hold here. Pasta, Eggs, Milk, Cereals, Canned and Frozen goods... those sorts of things were sold out or in very short supply when I ventured out for my Monday food shopping routine. The streets were definitely quieter than usual, despite the decent (for Netherlands...) weather but the large supermarket was relatively busy... more so than usual for a Monday morning!
People are being asked to work from home... and so, this afternoon, I will be investigating how to do my teaching (music and Math/Physics) online... as well as trying to get a setup fixed for my wife's piano teaching. We cancelled a whole month's of babysitting that was planned (after all of our work was canned...), and we offered to pay half the booked times as we know that the babysitters need the money... unfortunately, we don't know if we will be paid at all for our cancelled work, so we couldn't offer more than that...
Luckily, our household is balanced towards very low expenses relative to our income and so I think we will weather this a bit better than those that are weighted a little bit differently.... even though we have a drastic drop in our near term income... that said, we are going to need to eat into our summer buffer.. and if this continues too much longer, then we will have difficulty reducing our expenses as there is very little to reduce in that field!
Whilst I was out shopping... it was quite apparent that the slightest little bit of hardship (and let's not kid ourselves, a barely enforced 3 week "lockdown" is NOT the equivalent of a World War 2 Blitz....) brings out the best and the worst in people on an individual level. At the supermarket, I saw people share the last packets of milk... and others who would ram trolley's in front of other shoppers to get the last of something.
So, in these times... choose to be better. Make more effort to be better... being an arsehole is contagious, and however much you think it is righteously justified, well... arseholery is still just arseholerly! It is the easy way out, and it makes life less great for everyone else for very little personal gain... the social equivalent of dumping an economic cost on someone else and pretending it is free (aka, an externality).
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