Coronavirus COVID-19 or sars-CoV-2-virus is omnipresent. As I am writing this, Belgium is in a ‘lockdown light’. Quarantine. Confinement. Call it what you want.
In Belgium, the current measures are implemented until 5 April. But realistically this confinement will last longer. Maybe until way into May, perhaps June. In an interview on Sunday, Minister of Public Health dr. Maggie De Block, MD said she expected the crisis to last eight weeks. That is two months.
The list of cancelled events is now long. Sporting events such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Spain, The Netherlands, Azerbaijan and Monaco have been postponed or outright cancelled.
Utrecht Pride, the Eurovision Song Contest, Glastonbury and so many more are cancelled. The Belgian Pride has been postponed to August. In the hope August is viable. If the Olympic Games in Tokyo are postponed a year as is the UEFA European Football Championship, this might be a sign the world isn”t ready for big events.
Other experts, such as national virologist prof. dr. Marc Van Ranst, MD, urge us not to make firm plans for the Summer. He would like us to stay in the country. “You can co to the seaside or the Ardennes. Just keep your safety distance.”
Belgium has 60 km of coastline. I don’t know how all those Belgians can keep their 1.5 meter safety distance there.
But of course he’s a doctor and scientist. He formulates solutions disregarding emotions of people. Doctors see humans as machines who are to be fixed.
Elsewhere I read we should get used to antiviral measures to be implemented, phased out, implement again depending on the seasons and circumstances. That’s bad news for a society depending on habits and planning such as ours.
Van Ranst stated all big events such as music festivals (think of Tomorrowland, Rock Werchter) should cancel. Who wants to be packed together with tens of thousands of people anyway at this point? Togetherness has a different meaning now.
So maybe we should, right now, mentally write off any plans and projects for 2020? And let us start over next year. I see prides rescheduled, I see Formula 1 trying to form an adapted calendar.
But without a reliable end date to this crisis, I ask myself “what’s the point?” Th same is true for other events.
Please disagree with me. I hope I will be proven wrong.