International Journalism and PR, Limburg

Dutch city Heerlen looks after each other

In the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Rutte calls for looking after each other and King Willem-Alexander states: ” We cannot stop the corona virus. What we can do is stop the loneliness virus! Social distance is recommended. Care homes for the elderly are closed to visitors. Visiting the elderly and people with weakened immune systems is not recommended. It is appealed to help elderly people to do the shopping for them, call them, write letters so that they do not remain in social isolation. Special hours are introduced in stores during which only elderly people can make purchases to protect them against infection. Special telephone numbers are introduced for lonely people to call and have a chat. Special platforms and actions are initiated to fight with social isolation.

In Heerlen, a southern city of the Netherlands they say no to social isolation, insist on taking care of one another and come up with many solutions. Polish Public TV news aired a reportage about Heerlen and you can watch it here and here from 10.15

Dutch artists such as among others Emil Szarkowicz, Bart Storcken. Angelique van Schendel, Ivo Rosbeek, Lex Nelissen, Rud Kleinen performed this great song in Heerlen entitled: ” Let ’n bietje op elkaar ” (take care after one another) produced by Submedia.

Victoria Bruggeman from the foundation: Knuffel tegen Eenzaamheid (Hugging against Loneliness) has initiated an action with her sister Alexia to prepare hand-made cards which will be sent to lonely people. They have chosen special poems to lighten up a bit the darker times.

Alexia Bruggeman and Victoria Bruggeman from the foundation ”Knuffel tegen Eenzaamheid”.

Church services are held via internet. For example in Heerlen in the Pancratiuskerk the services are live streamed via Facebook thanks to the dean Hans Bouman and a film specialist Marc Baadjou.

Hans Bouman, dean, minister, Pancratius church, Heerlen, the Netherlands. Screen photo.

Schools and universities offer online education at home. Internet learning is also recommended by, for example, sports clubs. MFG academy and its owner Marc V Till has implemented regular classes and online advice.

Marc V Till, MFG Sports Academy in Heerlen, the Netherlands

So Heerlen takes care of one another, keeps distance but still socializes and fights against social isolation. Great example to follow!