This is the first time in my life to experience something so intense that affects us all. Slowly but surely the world is locking up and our own little worlds are getting smaller and smaller.

Rutte’s speech will be etched in my memory for the rest of my life, regardless of your political affiliation he showed yesterday that he is a true statesman. With bated breath, I listened to the scenarios outlined, options 1,2 and 3. I understand his choice but not much later the penny drops does this mean then that over 60% of all Dutch people have to become infected to build up an immunity shield? Holy shit!

I also see the panic in my youngest child’s eyes. Mama, are we all getting sick now?
How do you explain to 8-year-olds that you can’t go to school anymore, can’t play with friends too much, that it’s not a vacation and that everything that is “fun” in their eyes is locked up.

In exchange for this uncertainty, I have a confused and irritated child at home, what his words do not say shows his behavior. Everything is stupid, school is stupid, I am stupid. And the fact that our winter sports vacation was cancelled is the worst. This morning upon waking up, suddenly my 11-year-old daughter was next to me. I was up early mom and couldn’t get back to sleep. I get it honey, mom didn’t sleep well either.

In addition to the concerns we all have about our health, I also have responsibility for 8 staff, 7 students and 3 participants in our day care program. Since the outbreak of the virus we have seen our orders plummet rapidly, this has been going on for some time but we still managed to cope well each time. Now that really everything is closed, it is quiet.

Quiet in the office, quiet in the day care and quiet in the workshop. Day care is closed, students are home and staff are trying to work through as best they can. From home and with some from the office. We try with a dose of humor and encouraging words not to talk each other further into the pit. I miss the girls in day care and worry about them too. They thrive best with rhythm and structure. And now that their familiar place is gone at FBRK. Works…..

Inside, I could cry. How are we going to save this? What else can we do to still bring in revenue. The fixed costs continue, how am I going to pay everyone at the end of the month? Sunday I ran through the house like a paralyzed deer. Sitting still did not work, dawdling with a bottle of detol in hand did. I try to think of the people in care who are fighting for lives right now. Deep respect for everyone in these target groups, but selfishly speaking, it doesn’t help me. I have my own concerns regarding our businesses. The children play outside on the trampoline, a moment of carefree leisure, fun and laughter. As it should, a child should not have to worry about a virus with the name of a summer beer.

Sunday’s lame deer gives way to Monday’s lion. Putting our heads together and using common sense. What can we still do? We have a number of projects on the shelf that still haven’t panned out. Time to finally address this. We come up with some cool promotions and draft emails for our clients. The retailers who may have to close their stores have even more concerns, here too we try to do our part. We can continue online for now. Even though we don’t see each other physically, you feel the togetherness. Everyone is in the same boat and has their own concerns about family members, jobs and children.

Our team apps are working overtime, one idea after another is tossed out into the world, and with the students I am investing a video call. They too would prefer to continue working and not delay their studies. With Suzan, I am making plans to boost the shop. Slowly but surely the self-confidence is coming back and I am convinced that we are going to make it together. It won’t be easy, but it’s all we can do.

I see the most creative ideas emerging, restaurants that will deliver to babysitting services and grocery helpers. Fantastic! Together we are at the mercy of the whims of the virus but please let’s take good care of each other! Follow the RIVM guidelines, and help each other, if not physically then remotely!