As coronavirus panic sets in around the world, it seems I’m getting a little bit of paranoia delivered right to my doorstep.
Personally, I’d love to have the privilege of a skiing trip to break up the semester, but unfortunately, I’m just not lucky enough to have access to such things. Normally I’d be delighted to get a gift from such an exotic destination, but when I heard Vindicat were coming home early, I crossed my fingers and hoped that they wouldn’t have time to pick up any souvenirs.
It would be easy to keep piling misery onto the Vindicats. I mean really easy, incredibly easy… but I’d imagine that the possibility of having contracted the virus is hard for our colleagues. On top of that they also had to worry about international headlines and getting their pictures taken to be spread across the world as they hopped off a bus to get tested on Saturday. I don’t I envy them for that.
I was genuinely glad to read that the four students who reported feeling unwell when they returned to Groningen were cleared when tested for the virus. But the whole skiing trip incident has really shown me that the hysteria is getting very real. It seems the only thing growing faster than the cases of the virus are the news reports on them and when I open social media, I just see panic there too.
The whole Vindicat’s skiing trip incident has really shown me that the hysteria is getting very real
In Ireland, the government’s handling of the outbreak has been astoundingly bad. A rugby match against Italy was cancelled this weekend over concerns about visiting fans coming from at-risk zones. Sounds good, but the flights carrying the fans weren’t cancelled, so they spent the weekend in Dublin anyway.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin brings half a million people to the city from every corner of the globe and it’s still going ahead too. Sure, what could possibly go wrong there?
By comparison, the Dutch government and UG are incredibly proactive. They’re providing plenty of information, weighing up options for online classes and working with the GGD to keep up to date. It’s a much more sensible approach and I regularly read the updates on Nestor to keep informed. Such sensible approaches are less common in Ireland, so it’s a breath of fresh air.
But in all honesty, two weeks of self-isolation might not be the worst thing to happen. There are a few bottles of whiskey here that could do with some testing… maybe I’ll start now, just to be extra safe.