The soft lockdown of The Netherlands hasn't been so restrictive so far. At the moment, it means that large public gatherings are prohibited until June 1 and from memory you aren't supposed to be with more than 2 people from a different household (honestly, I get confused a bit as it changes quite quickly and I'm following the news from Australia in addition Netherlands!), and most people are working from home.
Essential shops (food and hardware... that sort of thing) are still open with some pretty convoluted measures to try to keep the 1.5 metre distancing... Restaurants/cafes are closed... and the other retail, I think are closed but I'm not sure... I haven't been to a busy shopping area for quite a while! There are still people taking walks and riding places, and I see some construction work still ongoing...
Schools are closed until 6th of April, but there will be a news conference this afternoon by the Prime Minister to announce the progress of the restrictions. Word on the (empty) street are that the restrictions are likely to be prolonged.
Anyway, the official government website (in English) dealing with all of this (RIVM) can be found here: https://www.rivm.nl/en/news/current-information-about-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
So, the first impact of the Coronavirus restrictions was the immediate cancellation of pretty much all of my performing work for the coming months until June 1! Needless to say, during a busy season... this really really stings in the financial side of things. Even more so, as the Dutch government has really NOT stepped up with a package that will help out... They have come up with something, but it is pretty meagre.. and quite a lot of people are excluded. (/rant)
This has meant that I've gone from a stupidly heavy schedule of touring... to pretty much nothing. I have some students to teach from home... I teach Maths and Physics 1-1 to the end of year High School students and sometimes 1st year University students. I use a pretty hacked together set-up with a phone and desktop running Zoom. My laptop doesn't have a touchscreen, so writing with a mouse is a pain in the arse... so I end up pointing the back camera of the phone at the paper whilst I write normally with a pen!
The teaching is a little on the inefficient side of things... but given that this is the state of affairs for the foreseeable future, it is what it is! I'm just glad that I don't have to try and a more latency-dependent thing like violin (music) online!
The kids and my wife have taken to doing some online yoga... if the kids choose, then it is the kids yoga from YouTube... often My Little Pony or Frozen themed. If my wife chooses, then she will do an online class from her usual yoga studio. It means that I have some time to myself during these yoga sessions to write...
.... or to GAME! I've managed to finish the complete Starcraft 2 trilogy (plus bonus Nova packs) over the course of the last couple of weeks... and am slowly putting out reviews. I can't believe that it has been out for 8 years, and I've only just found the time to finish it!
Anyway, that leaves me to continue playing Vampyr and the gaming rig, For the King on the laptop and Valkuria 4 on the Switch... and of course @splinterlands on the phone! Actually, if I didn't have kids at home all day... I think I would be in gaming nirvana! Something that I've not had since university!
We have been trying to keep a semblance of school routine for the kids. For the older one, there is the schoolwork from school. Not too difficult, and she follows Montessori schooling, so it is pretty relaxed as far as homework goes. It also gives us lots of free time to try out new things like programming and cool science experiments.
The younger one is trickier... she is a toddler and just wants to play all the time. Which we can do for a while, but then we also try and get her to do some learning and drawing and just general helping around the house.
Speaking of school... my wife asked me to fix up her complete technical mess. She isn't that great with technology and her electronic life is a complete mess... think of the people who have nested folders copied forever within themselves, plugging headphones into the microphone jack and that log in to sites via their saved passwords in the emails...
...well, we just spent a few hours tidying up and securing the most critical parts of her online life. She does well mostly, but the password manager is a mess of about 7 different login details for the same site.... better than one I guess, and it can be a bit of a toss up as to whether or not any of them actually work! If a malicious actor found their way in, I guess they would leave crying in frustration rather than trying to bother doing anything!
Meanwhile... this week, I've gotten over my self-imposed lack of practicing... and self pity at cancelled concerts. I've started practicing again... which is always a bit of an unwelcome surprise after a couple of weeks of not touching an instrument... I've got no concerts scheduled until about summer (if they aren't cancelled as well!), so I'm taking the opportunity to revisit the basics... studies and scales and that sort of thing. My new companion (the pictured violin) is a recent addition to our family... it's from around 1770-80, so it's seen much worse than what we are coping with these days!
Oddly enough... for a country that spends most of it's time raining and overcast... there is really some pretty decent weather! It is still pretty cold due to the wind... but it isn't raining! So, whilst the restrictions are not too severe, every day we've taken the opportunity to go for walks..
... or to just work and play in our garden. Times like these, we are really thankful that we have our own little back area that is private!
Most of our days are spent indoors.... but generally, I'm the away team. I'm the one heading out to get food and all of that stuff. I will take the e-bike, so I can go quite some distance (around 100 km total distance if required)...
... on these trips, it really feels like a very gentle RPG that I'm playing! Heading out, pack on the back... searching places for the material and food that we want. Killing random passer-bys for their loot....
Thankfully, I'm a bit of a pack-rat at the best of times... so, the shortage of various things wasn't that big a deal... we had a decent supply of toilet paper and food, so we didn't get caught out by the initial panic demand in various things. The only thing that we were short of was flour... which was pretty weird, as pretty much everything else has restocked. But I did eventually find a place to source that from... a touch expensive, but flour is flour... and even in a quarantine lockdown, cakes and biscuits need to be made!
Account banner by jimramones