Notes during a Corona Pandemic #1 | Intelligent lock-down, loss of smell, last dinner at a restaurant


25 days ago I wrote:

For four months, once a month, I travel to the North of my tiny country by train, a three hour journey, one direction. I joined a course in ‘Felting’ here, adding to the knowledge I already gained from Youtube and Pinterest. Five weeks ago was the first of four of these journeys, today is the second. Where I had only a vague notion of the Corona Virus last time, I realize that today I’m very aware of it. I checked if there was some hand sanitizer for sale but of course it wasn’t anymore. People are already stocking up, especially in shops on train stations I would guess. I’m trying to be more aware of the surfaces I touch, and started correcting myself when I touch my face - this might be the best thing to do in order to prevent infrction, next to washing your hands 20 seconds or longer with soap. Anyway, I’m not panicking, just feeling aware, and my monthly journey to The North will be my anchor in experiencing how Corona will evolve in my country. From journey 1 to journey 2 I evolved from vaguely aware to slightly cautious. I think Felting is great for my health in more ways than one: tomorrow I’ll basically have my hands in hot water and soap all day long.

Little did I know that one moth later I would NOT travel by train anymore. Because I learned last week the school cancelled our next class as a preventive measure. Also, the government announced yesterday there are not gatherings to be held anymore until June 1st, so I already know my fourth and last felting class will be canceled as well.


Today I decided to write some Corona Notes, even though back-dated. I feel this could be something I might read back later, for now we don't know how it will evolve and how much of a 'historic event' we're living through. Although I heard about 20% of the world's population is in lockdown (in some form) already, which, to me, sounds pretty historic. And we might only be at the beginning of all of it.

Timeline of Corona 'Events'

  • March 8th, Sunday, I went to my grandmothers house. She and her new husband celebrated their 1-year anniversary so their kids and grandkids were all there. My sister in law was there (she works in an office job at the hospital) and we talked a little bit about Corona, but it wasn't too serious yet. The hospital she worked in was at the center of the worst infected region in the Netherlands though, so she was already noticing things speeding up.
  • March 9th, Monday, I canceled Pilates, already knowing I would probably also cancel my Yoga and second Pilates class later that week. I remember it didn't make sense anymore to lie on a mat 1 meter from someone else. Government hadn't given any guidelines then though, they would take another week.
  • March 10th, Tuesday, one of my best friends came to visit me at home. We said 'shall we hug'? And decided it was safe as we're both pretty much at home most of the time. It shows how awareness was growing over the days though.
  • March 11th, Wednesday, I went to a restaurant with a friend. We hugged, talked about Corona, I remember not feeling comfortable because too many people were sitting too close from me, I also felt like I didn't want to touch the table and chair.
  • I got sick Thursday 12th of March. Just a regular thing. Some throat aches, some sneezing, some sniffing.
  • Friday the 13th, Friday, my cleaning lady visited. I didn't feel too comfortable, was very aware of us infecting each other, possibly? My boyfriend was working from home, also looking for ways to handle the spread of Corona, so the three of us were in this small space, and I was very aware of it.

After that I got pretty sick. That weekend I was feeling horrible: head aches, intense muscle pains, and my normally sensitive joints were now feeling absolutely weak - I would just 'sink' through my feet, for lack of better words, as if they weren't able to hold my weight. I remember making a very normal move and suddenly feel pain creep up from my ankle all the way through my shins, a pain which remained for a few days.

I had a fever, 38.2 Degrees Celsius, and I had the most vivid dreams that night.

Monday, when I was still sick, Rutte, our Prime Minister, held a speech, for the first time showing a serious face, telling the country 'I don't have an easy message to give you, we have to social distance, we have to make sure those who are weak and/or old won't become victims, please stay home, this might take weeks or months'.

The Netherlands didn't go into lock-down as was done in some other countries, like Italy, which is so far the worst affected by Corona in the world, so many people critiqued the speech. The Prime Minister is basically calling upon our own 'sensibleness': take precautions, keep distance, go to work when you have to, stay home when you can.

Basically, all week, I've been feeling low, having at least one day where I felt some form of panic, maybe I just was a little hypochondriac at that point, which is when I feel I start couching and some unhealthy feelings in my chest, a core 'Corona' symptom, right? I try to calm myself though, but messages about young people fighting for their lives don't help. The older people seem to be the ones 'actually dyeing', but the young ones are certainly not walking out of it undamaged. And nothing is known about long-term effects of Corona, yet.

I do however know how to calm myself again, even though I'm low on energy, my fever is gone, and although more symptoms pop up they don't necessarily feel like they make me sicker. Just as if a train of symptoms is going through the body one by one.

One week after the first speech, now it is Monday the 23th of March, a more serious press conference is held by the Prime Minister and some other Health Ministers / Experts. The message is clear: you didn't keep enough distance so now we'll up the possibilities of especially mayors to fine people who are in groups and to close parks/beaches when needed. They call it an 'intelligent lockdown', where not everybody has to stay at home, but you are expected to stay at home when one member in your family is sick. Also, you can go outside, if you are alone, and if you're with 3+ people you can get a fine.

The waiting starts now: are the Dutchies 'smart enough' to keep themselves in an 'intelligent lock-down'? Or do we need stricter enforcement even?

I'm hoping we're smart enough. This way we can still go outside without, like they do in France, a filled-in paper with your reason for going out.

Fingers crossed.

Oh, I'm slowly feeling better. Except I just learned that loss of smell is one of the symptoms of Corona and I haven't been able to smell anything for the past few days :D

I can't wait until we can test for anti-bodies so we can learn if we're already immune to it or not.

Cheers. (This was basically a freewrite except for the part with the bullets/dates, and I might write a bit more in the coming week. Just wanted to have something to look back on in a few weeks, and was afraid I was already forgetting some things. Days at home start to look a bit similar pretty fast.)

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  • @glenalbrethsen

    Hey, @soyrosa.

    Wow. I hope you get to feeling better really soon. Are you going to get tested to see if you have it? Will they allow you to, even though you might not fit the demographic? I hope so. Knowledge is power, and they should be able to offer you some more medical treatment than just rest, fluids and over the counter pain relief or flu pills.