Summer Jam The Hague 2021

Peter Korsten peter at
Mon Aug 30 00:24:40 CEST 2021

Hey Niall,

> My last several weeks in Germany, btw, have felt like one big-ass 
> super-spreader event. Yoy.
> I’m a weirdo in America for wearing a mask; I’m a weirdo in Ireland 
> (but less so) for wearing a mask, and I’m weirdo in Berlin, Köln and 
> especially Niedersachsen for wearing a mask.

It depends, really. There's a wave of populism sweeping Europe, and 
questioning authority –whether from the government, or from traditional 
authority figures such as doctors and scientists– is part of that. 
Friends of my wife who visited the Netherlands in 2020 were stunned that 
nobody wore a mask, despite the fact that there were no vaccines yet, 
and foreign media have also expressed bemusement at the seemingly casual 
Dutch approach to the pandemic. I can't really say how it is in other 
countries. Generally speaking, southern Europeans are more likely to 
follow government advice and regulations, even though populism really 
started in Italy. (All things politically start 20 years earlier in 
Italy than in the rest of Europe.)

Where I live, masks outside are no longer compulsory from the 1st of 
July, provided you're no more than two people and you're both 
vaccinated. We boast one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe, but 
we don't have to show the certificate anywhere to gain access. 
Infections seem stable at 10 per 100,000 per day. You don't need to wear 
a mask when in a restaurant and you're sitting down (it'd be difficult 
to eat that way), but everywhere else they're compulsory, including at 
work. I shall not elaborate on how well that restriction appears to be 

Here in Malta, you wouldn't be considered a weirdo, and you'd definitely 
not face recriminations or abuse. Plenty of people still wear the mask 
outside, because it makes them feel safer.

- Peter

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