The Easter Pause didn’t have as much impact as hoped but the Covid numbers have been deemed to be enough under control for the break to end on Monday, as planned. This means, among other things, that people can meet outside in groups of up to ten, we no longer need to make an appointment to go shopping and hairdressers and other non-medical contact professions can re-open with restrictions. I think I need a haircut again.
The big news, though, is that bars and restaurants with terraces can reopen on 8th May. There are a number of restrictions, but these amount to: go with a small group, or your household; stay seated; and be out by 10:00. Not all restaurants are going to be able to re-open because the tables have to be at least 1.5 metres apart, but I’m feeling optimistic.
May 8th is also when restrictions on youth club activities start to bee loosened, with a further relaxation (provisionally, as always) on 25th June. This should mean that the boys will be able to go on summer camp this year.
This, of course, all depends on people getting vaccinated so it’s good to see that the Belgian vaccination campaign is receiving something of a boost, with the delivery of nearly 900,000 coronavirus vaccines. This, along with the minimum age limit for the AstraZeneca vaccine being lowered will, hopefully, see the schedule speeding up a bit.
According to the Flemish Health Minister, Flanders is expecting to have half of it’s population vaccinated by the end of May, at which point things can start returning to normal.
Here’s hoping that we can all look forward to August.
Research: Covid-19 more likely to cause blood clots than any vaccine
Infection by the virus that causes Covid-19 is about 100 times more likely to cause blood clots in the brain that any Covid vaccine on the market, according to a new study carried out by Oxford University.
With people all over the place panicking about the AstraZeneca and, more recently, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it is worth keeping in mind that any risk associated with either of these vaccines is trivial compared to the risks associated with Covid.
Vaccination is an essential part of getting the coronavirus under control. Let’s not give the virus any help by over-emphasizing minor and unproven issues elsewhere.
As you do. With thanks to The Brussels Times for today’s Headline of the Day.
Today’s headline of the day goes to The Brussels Times.
With Coronavirus indicators continuing to rise, it came as a surprise to no-one that Belgium is going into lockdown again. This was announced yesterday and the new restrictions take effect on Monday.
The new and tightened rules all amount to reducing the numbers of contacts we have with each other, with aim of having a short, hard lockdown now in order to avoid longer lasting one later.
For us, the main impact is that schools are closed next week. Macsen has end-of-term exams, which are permitted but we will have to wait to hear from the school as to how these will be organised. As for William and Alexandre, we are also waiting to hear from their school whether any online learning will be organised or if they are going to have a three-week Easter break.
Non-essential journeys within Belgium are still allowed and the zoos remain open, so even with these new restrictions we’re not entirely trapped. Just as long as none of us tries to talk to anyone.
Spring has sprung, COVID infection rates are rising and, in Belgium, the anticipated easing of restrictions has been put on hold.
It’s a bit of a stretch, but now seems as good a time as any to turn to Bill McClintock who makes mashups, taking two or more songs from wildly different genres and watching what emerges. He’s really rather good.
I am sure that most people would never think that Slayer’s Chemical Warfare and Katrina and the Waves’ Walking on Sunshine might belong together, but the result is not only insanely funny, but a frighteningly catchy tune in its own right.
Congratulations to the goats of the Great Orme headland in Wales who have provided The Guardian with today’s headline of the day.
In the comments of yesterday’s post, I suggested (slightly flippantly) that if France and Germany didn’t want their AstraZeneca vaccines, they could be used to speed up the vaccination process in Belgium.
Great minds think alike.
Belgium has asked pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the surplus vaccine doses from the countries that have temporarily put the company’s jabs on hold over recent concerns about possible side effects.
While rambling yesterday about the Coronavirus, I suggested (not as directly as I thought I had) that the availability of vaccines provided a way out of this pandemic. They do, but there are still delays.
The biggest coronavirus vaccination centre in Belgium, Heysel, did not open its doors on Monday after the delay in deliveries of AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines resulted in hundreds of appointments being cancelled.
AstraZeneca announced last week that it would only be able to deliver 500,000 coronavirus vaccines to Belgium, 200,000 fewer than promised, and Moderna said it would be delivering just 94,800 doses this week, leaving centres with reduced supply.
Then again, this is why any plans we make are very provisional.