It took some time and a lot of back-and-forth between health experts and Belgium’s government, but finally all noses are pointing in the same direction: wearing a face mask has been made mandatory in shops, and some other indoor spaces, from today. People that fail to respect the new rules face criminal proceedings. Today’s picture was taken in August 2015 at 80 Days of Summer. At the event international and national photographers showcased their work in Ghent’s most beautiful monuments. Jacques Sonck’s Archetypes were on display in the Belfry. Aside from all noses looking in the same direction I liked how the bald guy in the background reflects the two guys in the photo above him – Ghent, Belgium.
The 177th edition of Ghent Festivities is cancelled - Normally every summer the city goes wild for 10 days. Ghent Festivities is a sparkling cultural festival with numerous performances of various national and international artists: a unique event in Europe, thanks to a variety of performances, exhibitions, fairs, parades and so much more. 2020 will be the first time since the World War 1 that Ghent Festivities will not take place. The picture was taken during the 2015 festivities – Ghent, Belgium
Belgian infection rates have stabilised, but we are clearly not out of the woods yet. Belgium and most EU countries have opened their borders for tourists, but the new lockdown in Spain is giving cause for concern. Federal Public Health Minister Maggie De Block gave instructions that people who return to Belgium from Catalonia need to ask their GP for a test and should go into quarantine pending the test results. This is a picture of Barcelona in better times… I’m hoping things get better and the green flag is raised by the time my next meetings are scheduled early September – Barceloneta, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
The public health scientific research institute Sciensano continues to publish figures on the novel coronavirus pandemic in Belgium. The numbers of new infections, hospital admissions and deaths over the past 7 days show a further fall across the board. During the past 7 days an average of 82 people tested positives for the novel coronavirus. This is down 13% of the average of 94 new infections per that were recorded during the previous week. The average number of deaths is also down. During the past week there were an average of 4 deaths from COVID-19. Last, the average number of patients with COVID-19 that have been admitted to hospital during the past 7 days has fallen to 13 per day. Despite that the virus has not disappeared the government continues to gradually ease the corona restriction measures. Nevertheless, the world today is a very different place. Since mid-May Belgium’s museums reopened. The museums have had to adopt a raft of measures to prevent the spread of corona virus making it safe for us to visit and to ensure museums don’t get too crowded – SMAK (Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art), Ghent, Belgium
13 June, 2020 - Update on the Corona Crisis from Ghent - The virus’ reproduction number in Belgium currently stands at 0.87. This means that anyone with the novel coronavirus infects an average of 0.87 people. All trends look favourable and for the first time since mid-March, fewer than 500 people are in hospital, and fewer than 100 on the intensive care. Van Gucht, one of Belgians leading virologists, said: “We are now sailing into calmer waters and we can release the reins a little bit. Although we entered a new phase of the exit plan social distancing remains key to stemming the transmission of COVID-19”. Today’s pictures were taken long before we were confronted with the one-and-a-half-meter society. The picture is a vignette of the funeral of Flemish singer, Luc De Vos, who died suddenly in December 2014 at the age of 52. I’m wondering how we would have paid our last honors to Luc De Vos in today’s environment – Sint-Pietersplein, Ghent, Belgium
Yesterday’s Corona figures in a summary: 154 new infection, a further 15 deaths and a total of 571 people hospitalised. Whilst the Corona pandemic is tailing off in Belgium the economic and social fallout becomes clearer and politicians are scrambling to appear decisive and compassionate for the sake of boosting their popularity. Last week the government announced that all employees will receive a €300 cheque that can be spent in bars, restaurants or hotels. Yesterday they published that everyone living in Belgium will receive a ticket offering 10 journeys on Belgian Railways free of charge. The government is playing Father Christmas. Unfortunately, most of these decisions are taken without consultation with the concerned stakeholders and without having a comprehensive economic policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Covid-19 pandemic shakes the global economy and disrupts the way we live, work, and conduct business we are in urgent need for politicians that don’t simply react to the most imminent threats confronting them, but we need leaders with a vision for a clear post-crisis future. Today’s photography pictures some less concerned people sup boarding the rivers of downtown Ghent – Kantienberg, Ghent, Belgium.
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to tail off in Belgium. Still, 165 new infections were diagnosed on Friday. Let’s hope that this is linked to increased testing. Meanwhile, the budget deficit has shot off the rails and is climbing to new heights. The corona crisis has pushed up expenditure: there has been a big take up of the grants available to businesses forced to close, while at the same time revenue is sharply down. Despite the implementation of well-measured protective measures, employment will not escape the consequences of the economic shock. Whilst the economic outlook is not rosy the government has agreed another set of measures to support economic activity. VAT on goods and services in the hospitality industry is being cut to 6% for a limited period. Moreover employees will receive a €300 cheque that can be spent in bars, restaurants or hotels or to buy tickets to attend organised events like shows and theatre performances. On display are people enjoying lunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon downtown Ghent in August 2014. I’m wondering how it will look as of Monday when restaurants and bars are scheduled to re-open – Jan Breydelstraat, Ghent,
The security council’s ban on mass events till 31 August means that all the big summer events will be cancelled. In Ghent too many are heartbroken, It is the first time since World War I that the Ghent Festivities will not take place. The Festival of Ghent is without doubt the biggest and best-known street festival in Europe, attracting around 2 million visitors each year. “The Ghent Festivities are part of the city’s DNA. The cancellation of course hurts, but we are resilient. In 2021 we plan to party twice as hard” said Mathias De Clercq, the city’s mayor. Here are some memories of the sparkling “Gentse Feesten” from 2014. On display is late Walter De Buck at one of his last public appearances before he passed away later that year. Walter De Buck was a singer, sculptor and founder of the modern “Gentse Feesten” – Sint-Jacobsplein, Ghent, Belgium.
28 Corona related deaths and 82 new infections were reported yesterday. The figure is slightly up on the day but remains under the 100 threshold. A major relaxation of the Corona restriction becomes effective as of 8 June. PM Sophie Wilmès said: “We started by banning everything. There was a lockdown. Starting 8 June we will think differently. Freedom is our point of departure. Everything will be possible, except the things that are banned.” While we are moving into the “new normal” the full extent of the impact of COVID-19 is not yet known, it is clear that it goes well beyond the immediate deaths and morbidity. The impact is likely to be felt for long after COVID-19 itself has been dealt with, with there being long-lasting implications for cancelled elective healthcare, mass unemployment, and extended social isolation. Every century has six or seven years, which represent main turning points. 2020 is certainly a candidate to become one of those few key years, shaping this century is: a deadly virus challenging economy, globalisation, mobility and consumption and even creating the general consensus that freedom of movement belongs among our highest goods. Today’s picture demonstrates that it’s not all gloom and doom and that vacationing in your own city can be an enjoyable alternative to long distance traveling – Ketelvaart, Ghent, Belgium
For the first time since the start of the epidemic yesterday’s figures show that fewer than 100 people have tested positive for the corona virus in a single day. All other statistics continue to move in the right direction. Hence, it’s time to reverse the logic of the corona measures. Until now the authorities tried to set out what was allowed. All the rest wasn’t allowed. Deputy PM Alexander De Croo believes that we are now at a point when this logic can be turned on its head. If you follow the general rules on social distancing, hand hygiene and mouth and nose coverings, hopefully from 8 June onwards everything, apart from a few exemptions, will be permitted. It will also be far more logical for people. Let’s wait and see if the the security council is going to confirm this logic later this afternoon. Today’s picture shows The Backstay Hostel in Ghent, a beautiful monumental Art Deco building with a rich history. The hostel found its home in the former office of “Dagblad Vooruit” (a Belgian Newspaper) and was later turned into an cultural house called “Backstage” – Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat, Ghent, Belgium
"Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with how you see them."
I just like to take pictures, I just push the button. I never worked in the darkroom, I never studied photography or journalism; I’m just a passionate photographer.
"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure, without a loss of enthusiasm”
Sir Winston Churchill
Therefore, I Am A Believer Of "All Critiques Are Valid". Thank You!