Kranti – Week Five

Last week Kranti was less worried about the situation in Belgium, but she started worrying more about India, her native country. This week she will tell us what new habits she developed during the lockdown. If you want to know more about Kranti, click here to read her bio.

Press the play button to find out what Kranti and her roommates have decided to do in their free time.

Current situation in Belgium 24-05-2020

Last week the pressure on the hospitals was decreasing, and there were 1831 new cases in one week. Even though the number of patients at a hospital or ICU is decreasing, April turned out to be the deadliest month in Belgium since the second world war.

On Friday May 22 the National Public Health Institute announced that between the 16th of March and 3rd of May there were 51 percent more deaths than usual. According to an informal survey done by newspaper De Standaard, almost one in four COVID-19 patients at ICE died.

During the last week there were 2062 new cases of COVID-19 and 260 deaths. On Monday the 18th of May the second phase of the exit strategy started. Children have gradually gone back to school and places such as libraries, hair salons and zoos reopened.

There is still a increase of COVID-19 infections and deahts, but it is increasing less than before.

Second phase
Shops have already been open since May 11, but from May 18 people can also:
– Get a haircut
– Go to the zoo, or an open-air market, or a museum
– Do sports activities in the open air

Returning to school will happen in phases. This week children from primary school in the first, second and last (sixth) grade could go back to class. Schools also reopened for the sixth and seventh grade of secondary schools.

On the 25th of May there will again be more relaxation of the restrictions.

Schools reopened for some students
For some children schools reopened this week, but there are some measures that have to be followed. Students and teachers need to keep enough distance from others, children older than 12 and teachers must wear a facemask, and there is more attention for hygiene. It can be hard for young children to keep distance, but a Flemish school came up with a solution for this problem. Children from the first and second grade each got a hula hoop to carry with them. The principal of the school told the Brussels Times: “It is a bubble for the children that they have with them all the time, to keep the distance”.

Universities will continue online lectures
Universities still teach online, and this will not change that much during the next academic year. Big auditoria that normally can host five hundred people, could only be used by one hundred students because of the corona measures. That is why universities decided to continue online classes next year as well. There will be a limited amount per student of lectures that they can attend physically.

Women still do more housework
According to a survey carried out by the Free University of Brussels women still do more household chores than men. The lockdown has reinforced the inequalities between the two genders in Belgium. The research found that women daily spend thirty minutes more on chores and childcare than men. Men also have an hour more free time than women per day. Because of the lockdown both men and women have, on average, one hour more free time than usual.

More plastic waste
The month of May was less ‘plastic-free’ than it could have been in Belgium. This was the result of people buying more produce like fruits and vegetables that are sold in plastic. Because of corona, people don’t want to take the risk of buying, for example, apples that may have been touched by others. According to a vaccologist this shouldn’t worry people, because there is a very small chance to get infected because of this.  

More demand for bikes
Not only the demand for products in single use plastic has been increasing, but
also the sale of bicycles. During the lockdown bike shops had to close, now that they are open again some are struggling with the high demand. Filip Rylant from the federation of bike dealers says: “People want to cut down on public transport to get to work and are opting for the bike.  Many people are now also looking forward to a biking holiday”.

Extras
The Brussels Time again listed some good news that happened in Belgium from the last week. Want to know what happed when cows escaped? Read the article.

In the Flemish town Dendermonde there is a special celebration once every ten years called Ros Beiaardommegang. Because of the pandemic it could not be celebrated in the original way. If you are curious how they did celebrate it, you can watch this video.

In the centre of a Flemish town someone spotted an eagle owl nest in a window box. That is quite unusual in this area. Curious what it looks like? Click here to take a look at the baby owls.

Previous stories on Belgium:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

2 thoughts on “Kranti – Week Five

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