Lockdown, day 40. From my home in Tiana, Spain.
he Dutch prime minister and his companions. Every time I am annoyed by the questions journalists ask afterwards. They often ask questions you already know there's no answer to or the answer is already given. And sometimes they are overly critical and even blunt. Last night it was the same again. The entire Dutch people had been looking foward to this conference. Hairdressers and physiotherapists hoped to open their business again. The catering industry was ready with plans for the 1.50-meter-society. Athletes were ready to get back to work. But the prime minister delivered us the disappointing yet clear message: it is not possible yet. The coming weeks, all measures remain. We can completely forget festivals and sports competitions this summer. The only thing he could make us happy with was that children can return to school and sports clubs soon. He explained why everyone has to stay put with the 'intelligent' lock-down. His story was crystal clear. We are not protected against the virus, we are not familiar with it, and before we know it, it can take over again with all its consequences. Caution is imperative. How touching it was, when he sighed deeply and told how he had struggled personally with 'this devilish dilemma' in recent days. Afterwards, none of the journalists said a word of thanks for the clear explanation or the considerate way of how this difficult message was delivered. Not a sign of appreciation for the vulnerability that was shown. None of this. Instead, incomprehension and grouchiness. "You're saying the Dutch people behaved exemplary and what do we get in return? Another three weeks of measures. How can you put two and two togheter?" "That's not a question, it's a reproach. And the only answer is indeed: "I don't come up with this, the virus does." In his press conferences, Trump turns down every question he doesn't like as stupid. Fortunately, our prime minister does not. He patiently explains how it is again and again.
So, to all jounalists: would you please ask real questions from now on? Then I don't have to listen to the same story every time and can be spared the embarrassement.