Ook ik heb een – persoonlijk – verhaal over het Corona-virus. Wat doet het zoal met mij en mijn familie? Hier volgt – in het Engels – mijn relaas dat ik gisteren uitstuurde naar mijn ‘classmates’ uit Lausanne, Zwitserland, waar ik in 1981 studeerde. Van tijd tot tijd houden we elkaar op de hoogte en zo ook bij deze crisis. Vandaar in het Engels. Hier volgt mijn verhaal:
The story here is not much different from all those that we just learned from various classmates around the world. Here in this country we have curiously enough what is called a ‘smart’ lockdown. The difference with a true and simple lockdown, is that it is self imposed, and hardly enforced. Smart or not, we are confined to our homes, just like everybody else. I am not exactly sure who invented this term ‘smart lockdown’, the government, the press, the endless stream of talkshows, where the participants all seem to be virus experts. Just like in normal times they are all, like myself, coaches of the national soccer team. The term on the one hand seems to display the idea that in this country ‘we do things smarter’, I must admit on the other hand, it sound rather arrogant.
We are well
We are well. Both Jolanda and myself work from home. I did just that already for a number of years since my retirement from the payroll. I have a number of part time positions and they all can be carried out from home adequately.
Apart form restaurants being closed, no outside morning coffee, no more playing golf, although fortunately my other passion, sailing, is not affected, I can’t see and look after my grandchild living with my daughter and her husband close by, or my other daughter also living around the corner. My son lives farther away, as does my stepdaughter. They are all busy working and fortunately, they are all well.
My 93 year old mother
Then I have the care for my 93 year old mother. She is mentally no longer well, but fysically very much okay, given her age. So she walks everyday for half an hour, but can only do so with help and guidance from others like myself, as she, once outside, cannot find her way back to the house. With this corona-virus running around, I am not allowed to visit her, and therefor the daily walks are no longer possible. I call her often, she seems not to understand what is going on and why everybody seems to have abandoned her. Very sad and lonely. Although, five minutes later, she has forgotten it all. It is my impression, however, that the feeling of discomfort, that something is wrong, stays with her.
The virus will go away alright, at some point in the near future, but the consequences will long be felt, economically and otherwise. It feels a bit like this myth from the American zenteacher Joko Beck: a man falls from a skyscraper. Half way his fall he is asked: “how do you feel?”, his answer: “so far so good!” We are falling and we will at some point hit the ground…
What I see around me, though, is an endless and unstoppable creativity, inventiveness and flexibility! It gives me an optimistic mood, it may turn out for the better, after all. Crisis means disaster ánd opportunity!
Keep up the spirit, folks! I hope to see you all well in Lausanne next year!
Tot zover mijn relaas aan ‘The Class Of ‘81’. De tijden zijn extreem, ik hoop dat het mijn lezers onder de omstandigheden goed vergaat!