Letter to residents from Mayor Tjapko Poppens 20 October 2020
Amstelveen, 20 October 2020
Dear Amstelveen citizens,
Covid is once again dominating our lives. We had hoped it would not come to this so soon, but the number of infections has been rising rapidly in recent weeks. Amstelveen and our region are coloured deep-red on the RIVM map. This means that the situation is really grave. The new, stricter measures to contain the virus are necessary, yet a painful step backwards for all of us. We have to do everything we can to prevent a situation in which more fellow citizens become seriously ill or even worse.
These are far-reaching measures, especially for many entrepreneurs and organisations in the hospitality, sports and cultural sectors. All the more so because these sectors have recently made considerable efforts to abide by the covid rules. People in the care sector are having a hard time. They can hardly cope with the influx of patients. It is also a difficult time for the elderly and vulnerable people who are lonely and no longer dare go out, for young people who are not allowed to do what they love to do: go out, play sports, get together with friends, and for all those people who are worried about their business or job.
This period unleashes many emotions. Doubt, sadness, frustration, sometimes anger. These emotions are understandable. It has been going on for such a long time and we do not know where it will end. It requires much more effort from us to stick to the rules, the motivation is lower than in spring. Unfortunately, this has been the cause of the sharp rise in the number of infections in recent weeks. The virus is no less contagious or dangerous than it was six months ago. I hear from people who have had covid how intense the coronavirus can be and how long afterwards it can affect them. It can seriously make us very ill and, if we are not careful, we can infect others.
The next few weeks will be crucial. Our behaviour will determine whether we succeed in controlling the coronavirus. We need to be extra careful: travel as little as possible, keep a distance of 1.5 metres and limit our social contacts as much as possible. This means that if you have something to celebrate, you should postpone it. Visit people as little as possible and do not invite people into your home. In this way, we will reduce the virus together and prevent the requirement of even stricter measures in four weeks' time.
I realise that, once again, this second wave is taking its toll on us. Nevertheless, we must once again make a great effort together to make it happen. We must try and stay positive and focus on the things that are still possible. Try to understand each other and support each other. In this way, we are working together on a new perspective: a society in which we can control the virus instead of it controlling us.
I wish you all patience, understanding and strength.
And above all, stay healthy!
Mayor of Amstelveen