As a Dutch guy I am often proud of our little country. We are widely known for our ingenuity when it comes to water, shipbuilding and many other feats of modern day engineering. The Americans may value their freedom, but I think the Dutch enjoy a far broader sense of freedom than they do.
Yet, there are times when I’m deeply saddened by how Dutch people can act too. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a disaster. Killing lots of people, and putting a big dent in the world economy. Here in the Netherlands we seemed to have everything under control, but lately the number of infections has grown. The numbers suggest that, if we don’t obey the rules of social distancing and everything else that’s been put into effect by our government, we might be looking at a second wave of infections.
So here I was feeling really sad for the United States, Italy and other countries that aren’t doing well with particularly high mortality rates, only to see us fail here as well. My faith in Humanity has been strained and a pandemic seemed like a good way to redeem that faith, but I find myself having a hard time to keep up my hopes in light of the recent developments here.
The virus doesn’t care if you think the rules are ridiculous
A couple of days ago the Dutch media was flooded by messages from “Dutch celebrities”. Most of these influencers on social media that have followers in the thousands. A new movement was started by them, each of them stating: “Ik doe niet meer mee.” or, freely translated: “I’m out.” Apparently these people all think that following the rules to prevent COVID-19 from spreading is a government lie and that the people should make a fist against the government to resume life as we lived it before the outbreak. There’s a big flaw in this logic however, and that is that the virus doesn’t care if you want to follow the rules or not. In fact, it’ll probably be grateful that you won’t follow the rules, so it can continue spreading. I wonder what’s going on in the mind of these people. Yes, you can’t do everything as you did before. Maybe in the future we can live our lives as we did pre-COVID-19. But in all honesty I think that we should use this time to rethink our lives. It’s obvious Humanity can’t go on the way we do. Now it’s COVID-19, but sooner or later it’s going to be another virus. Perhaps one far more lethal than this one. This should be a wake-up call to the world, yet I only see a small number of people who think this way. Scientists, doctors and medical personnel all warn us about the horrible things this virus can do if we allow it to roam free, yet everyone only seems to think about their own little inconveniences and can’t be bothered to look at the bigger picture. It would be good if we could somehow convince those people who don’t “believe” that it’s in everybody’s best interest if we do follow them.
I’m still in (for the long haul)
Despite what other people around me might be saying, or doing, I am still following the rules. The reasons are simple. First of all, I realize I’m not alone on this planet and even if I might not be experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, I might still be a carrier. That’s why I keep my distance and why I actively tell people who don’t to keep their distance. I’ve been called a lot of things for reminding people of the rules, but I don’t care. It’s everyone’s duty to prevent the spreading of this virus. It doesn’t care what you think. All it cares is about spreading and surviving.
Second, I don’t believe any of the conspiracy theories regarding the virus for a very simple reason; thousands of people have died from this virus. You can’t just make a virus up and have that much people die mysteriously. There’s no real evidence to support the claims of these theories either (which is common with conspiracy theories). Why people think Bill Gates is involved baffles me. They’re basing these theories off of selected video material to support their claims, but leave out a lot of other important details. And even if those theories were true, what would he stand to gain from all of this? And even if he is going to control a large portion of the world population with his vaccine, what could a normal person stand to do against such a massive endeavour? The man would have to be a truly evil mastermind to pull something like that off.
Third, and this refers to the title of this article. The only thing that can save us is interdependence. We live in a society that puts a lot of weight and value on independence, but that is a very short sighted view on things. If you look closely you’ll see that the only way to truly be successful is by being interdependent of one another. I couldn’t have reached this point in my life without the support of many others and I think it’s time we realize that if we want to make it through this outbreak, prevent global warming, and creating a bigger, brighter future for all of Humanity we need to stop looking only at ourselves and start seeing the bigger picture. We need each other to live. Whether we like it, or not.
I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy, but most of all, I hope everyone starts to realize that we’re all in this together and the fastest way to defeat this virus is by following the (simple) rules.