Greetings, dear reader, from the Netherlands. I arrived back home on Saturday. The trip was uneventful, but I must say that I don’t really like traveling in Covid times. It’s particularly difficult trying to figure out what each leg of a journey needs in terms of documentation for Covid. In addition, the new strains that are popping up seemingly every day are causing the end of anxiety for me and everybody else. Things I learned this trip: Do not transfer through Heathrow if you can help it. It is a terrible transfer airport. The layovers are way too short and the signage in the airport is way to unclear for you to ever figure out where you’re going.
I got back to the Netherlands to find that the rules have changed again, and a more severe lockdown is now in place. All stores with the exception of supermarkets, are to close at 5 PM. Essentially the lockdown is A 5 PM to 5 AM business curfew. All but essential stores have to close at five and they cannot open until 5 o’clock in the morning the next day. I’m not sure how effective this measure will be, however, it seems a little bit like they are just trying to give lip service to the idea of lockdown, Rather than any measures that are actually effective. While the European Medical Authority has approved vaccinations for ages 5 to 12, the Dutch government has not started putting anything in place to get kids vaccinated. I do think that would go a long way to stopping the spread of Covid. It would be nice if the Dutch government could make some concrete decisions and quickly. With a new variant in southern Africa, Jasper and I are reconsidering both our trip to Greece which is booked and our trip to America which is not.
My last class with Conversation Playground went online as well because of the regulations. The schools are now allowing people from outside the school to come in. I was a bit nervous about the class as I have not taught kinds online in a group. It’s always been one on one. It went really well, but I forgotten how hard it is to manage a group classroom. We used Teams and I don’t like it as much as I like Zoom. But I did get to hear positive feedback from the paents in the background.
My English center classes are mostly online, with the exception of one, which is in person at Amstelveen. I sent emails to everyone and confirmed lessons with most of them. The in-person lesson will still be going to go through as the English Center is open for business. At least until The government says otherwise. The consequences of my trip were rather severe. I lost one student because she said that she did not want to switch between teachers and did not want to wait for me to get back from the US. The other student seemed to be willing to wait, but he did not respond to the two emails that I sent him. He then contacted the English center to also switch permanently. I sent him an email wishing him well that he never responded to. That did not make me feel good.
The Writers Group had their first weekend Write-In a while. We met on Sunday from 10 to 1 and about eight people showed up. We will have to see if the Thursday night online session has as many people. This will continue for at least three weeks if not longer, what with the restrictions changing so quickly.
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.