Getting ready for the second wave. Case numbers are up again in Germany (where I live). Like with the first wave, The Netherlands (where I’m from) is ahead of the curve. Masks are still not mandatory there though.
It’s an odd feeling, being so disconnected from my own people. I understand on an abstract level why Germany is doing better. Germany has clear rules, defined on a local level. People obey rules because they’re not so individualistic as the Dutch. But almost every time I talk to otherwise mostly reasonable Dutch people, it feels unreal that they’re part of that culture.
Conversations go something along the lines of:
“Germany is doing pretty well in the pandemic, right?”
“Yeah, it’s amazing how different two neighbouring countries can be. It’s not like viruses respect country borders.”
“I don’t understand it either. But in Germany you even have to wear a mask in shops, no?”
“Yes, thank heavens.”
(Slightly annoyed) “You think that’s good, huh?” (Changes the topic)