We arrived in a country that seemingly abandoned all COVID-19 regulations. What a stark contrast with Germany, where life without distance and a mask, even months after having been vaccinated is nowhere in sight. I’m happy to oblige. Here in the Netherlands, I have not seen a masked face yet. The lady at a local food outlet – to her defense – wore a splatterscreen (or whatever these things are called). Literally everyone else was maskless. Shops were full of people, terraces were teeming with life.
I already noticed the surprised faces in the first gas station I stopped at yesterday. The customers looked at me as if I were the disease itself. Interesting. Voluntary masking – apparently – is not a thing.
I also happen to be born into a family of people that have never taken a self-test. In Germany, these things have become the norm whenever you decide to have many people together, especially indoors. Maybe it’s just my family, or maybe it’s the Dutch, but I was somewhat surprised that my youngest brother never took one (and I have since learnt that the same is true for all other family members).
And so we walked into a more or less empty store today, without a mask. Mostly because I didn’t have one with me, and we needed some stuff from the local HEMA – a very Dutch store that sadly doesn’t have a Freising location (although locations exist in Germany). Sure, I’m vaccinated, we all were, but still, I haven’t felt this uncomfortable in a very long time. I was happy to be outside again. Maybe, I’m some kind of doomsday prepper, but I think I will be wearing my masks for a very long time to come.
(It was good to see my family again after more than a year)