Students worried about curfew
‘I barely see anyone as it is’
‘A curfew would disproportionately curtail our freedom, while its effects would be limited’, business student Ibrahim A’mema says fiercely. He would absolutely hate to be forced to stay inside between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.
The government is debating imposing a curfew to bring down the number of corona cases. The extra measure is mainly aimed at preventing young people from meeting up. While infection rates are slowly going down, they’re still high among this population group.
Ibrahim thinks the measure is much too strict. ‘Knowing how close Groningen students live to each other, it would be really easy to get around a curfew. The effects would be minimal, so what would be the use?’
Gwendolyn Meuleman can understand the government’s reasoning. She knows not everyone is following the corona rules, seeing how many people are still going to house parties. ‘That’s so stupid. I think a curfew would be a good way to put an end to that.’
But that doesn’t mean the student of spatial planning and design would welcome a curfew. ‘I think socialising is really important to people’s well-being. I’m home alone all week, studying.’ Gwendolyn only meets up with a few friends on Tuesday evening. ‘That’s all I have’, she says. A curfew would take that away.
Frieda Frick just graduated with a degree and neuroscience and psychology and is currently doing an internship in the south of Germany, where there’s a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. She knows that it can make your social circle much smaller. ‘The only people I see are my family and my closest friends’, she says.
She does miss not being able to spontaneously meet up with friends, but it’s surprisingly easy to stick to the curfew. ‘The fines, the cold winter weather, and the snow make you want to stay inside. Besides, pubs and gyms are closed anyway, so there really aren’t any places left to go.’
Stay the night
Gwendolyn thinks she’ll stay inside if the government decides to impose a curfew. ‘Mainly because I wouldn’t want to get fined for being outside.’ But she’d like to find a way to meet with people at least once a week. ‘I think I’d ask if I could stay the night somewhere, or if my friends could meet me before the curfew starts.’
Ibrahim certainly won’t let a curfew stop him. ‘Walking or driving around late at night is about the only bit of freedom I have left. Besides, I never see anyone when I’m out and I bother no one. It would suck if they banned that.’