It feels misplaced to applaud, Dennett, but your description tells so much in a few words. Please feel the applause as a sign of empathy.

We see the same things happening over here, in a small country where oversight and centralized coordination is a bit more feasible. There is one dashboard for all indicators of the pandemic. Every newspaper shows the development in graphs. Our government has communicated all measures against spreading in regular press conferences on public tv. Measures are regionalized. Economic and financial measures (in three steps) have dampened the effects a bit. We are all learning every day.

The situation is dire, especially for the less wealthy, small business and flexwerkers, but we are a rich country. Government has decreased public debt so much since the last financial crisis that public financial support is possible for some time.

But we are more optimistic about the long run. For starters, monitoring (testing and consequential quarantine measures) is improving and medical treatment has improved much (both with drugs and procedures). Second, vaccines are tested at the moment and a EU-program (in cooperation with Gates) put in motion to buy vaccines and distribute them over poor countries too.

The economic prospects are black, but an 8% growth in 2021 is possible. Poverty is monitored, people without income can fall back on public financial aid programs.

We personally are cautious, but not afraid. All kinds of entertainment are organized in the social distance frame, hotels, cafes and restaurants are open, musea are open (obligatory reservation, questionary at the entrance etc.), shops are open. There never was a total lockdown. We travel much less but still went on holiday to other parts of the country and nearby Germany. We celebrate birthdays in smaller groups (max. 6 family members or friends). More parties! Today my third birthday party, with the Amsterdam section. We started playing music together ( up to a quintet) with open doors, adequate ventilation and careful behavior (how I miss the hugs!).

I am confident that vaccins will be found and eventually stop the pandemic. Life is changed forever. There are lots of reasons to be happy with that.

Friend of life and beauty and foe of spoilers of life and beauty. Golden marriage. Grandfather. Pianist and micro poet. Dutch, European.

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