23 January 2021: Belgium’s federal and regional governments has met yesterday to discuss the measures that are in force to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The most important decisions taken at the meeting were a ban on non-essential travel outside Belgium that will come into force from Wednesday 27 January and will last until 1 March and the promise that barbers, hairdressers’ and beauty salons will be allowed to reopen from Saturday 13 February providing that the coronavirus improve between now and then. Meanwhile, with 1,963 cases on average a day in the week to 19 January (the figure is down 4% on the week) we remain at a high plateau. Furthermore, the fall in the number of new infections is currently only apparent in Wallonia and Brussels. In Flanders an increase of the numbers has been reported. Also, it was noted that the fall is greatest among over 80s and that we’re seeing a double digit increase among children under 10. Net-net, the situation remains very fragile and the slightest inattention can ignite a new wave. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The virus is currently playing a home game, but our best players, the spring and the vaccine, still need to come onto the field. In the end fortune will turn in our favour. Today, I’m posting some graffiti that I came across during yesterday’s corona walk – Ghent, Belgium.
22 January 2021: In the week to 18 January on average 1,963 people tested positive for coronavirus each day. The figure is down 6% on the week. There was also a tiny drop in new hospitalizations and deaths reported. The trend continues to move in the right direction but way too slow. The situation in Belgium is better than in neighbouring countries, but the slightest spark can reignite the figures. Therefore, the key topic on today’s agenda of the government will be a proposal to ban all non-essential travel across Belgium's borders. In the Netherlands the Dutch parliament approved a 9:00 pm curfew starting as of Saturday. It looks like going to the office in Groningen is not going to be for tomorrow. Today’s picture is from my Groningen postcard greetings collection. Stay safe, stay healthy!
21 January 2021: Biden is president and all key indicators for the pandemic are lower. Yesterday was a good day! In the week to 17 January on average 1,972 people tested positive for coronavirus each day. The figure is down 6% on the week. Also, the number of hospitalisations and deaths linked to coronavirus continue to drop. The only bad news was that the planned vaccination of hospital staff in several hospitals was halted. The decision was taken after Pfizer announced it would supply fewer doses while changes were made at its plant in a bid to upscale production – Ghent, Belgium.
20 January 2021: The number of cases continued to fall slightly for the second day in a row. On average during the week to 16 January 1,988 people a day tested positive for the coronavirus, that is down 5% on the week. Good news, but the plateau we seem to have reached is still too high. In conjunction with the emergence of new variants there is no room for complacency. Nevertheless, we’re seeing that more people are traveling to work, and that the government, whilst discouraging non-essential travel, is still opposing a complete travel ban. Meanwhile, a total of 285,775 Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered to our country as of last Sunday (281,775 Pfizer/BioNTech and 4,000 Moderna) and 112,293 people have received the first dose of the vaccine as of Monday 18 January. Today’s picture reminded me that it has been a while since I last was dragging my luggage around. For every disadvantage there is an advantage… Ghent, Belgium
19 January 2021: Experts are calling on politicians to strongly discourage or even ban foreign travel.
19 January 2021: The 7-day rolling average for people testing positive for the virus stabilizes and the number of people being hospitalised with the virus continues to fall slowly but surely. The same is true of the number of people with the virus that are dying. On average during the week to 15 January 2,017 people a day tested positive for the coronavirus, that is down 1% on the week. Meanwhile, several outbreaks of the British mutation of the virus have been reported. In one case it has been confirmed that the source of the infection is people that had travelled during the Christmas holiday and not stuck to the rules concerning quarantine on their return. The result is that thousands are quarantined due to the negligence by a few. The question of how to keep out more contagious coronavirus variants of the virus is what is now preoccupying the country’s politicians. Waiting for the beneficial seasonal impact on the spread of the virus and the effect from groups immunity via people who have had the virus and via vaccinations I continue my corona walks. On display today is a pleasing urban alignment that I pictured alongside the river Scheldt – Ghent, Belgium.
18 January 2021: Did the movement of tourists open the doors to the spread of the UK-strain of the virus?
18 January 2021: Generally, the increase in infections has slowed down in recent days, and both hospital admissions and deaths continue to decrease. On average during the week to 14 January 2,010 people a day tested positive for the coronavirus, that is an increase of 9% on the week. However, around noon yesterday, news broke that an outbreak of the UK strain had been detected in a little village in the Western part of the country with 128 persons infected, 63 of them in a nursing home. While only a minority of samples in Belgium have tested positive for the new strain, the number could shoot up, according to our subject experts. The British variant of the virus was already present in our country, but we’ve noted an increase since the new year.Did the movement of tourists open the doors to the spread of the mutation? We’re anxiously waiting to see how the situation will evolve in the coming weeks – Ghent, Belgium.
17 January 2021: On average during the week to 13 January 1,969 people a day tested positive for the coronavirus. The figure is up 10% on the week. Although the figures show a further rise in the 7-day rolling average of the number of people testing positive for the virus, the rise continues to be less sharp than it has been in recent days. As vaccination is the only way out of this mess the out of the blue announcement from Pfizer on Friday that it would not be able to supply EU countries with the weekly quantities of vaccines originally scheduled in the next three to four weeks was badly received and resulted in strong reaction from the government and healthcare professionals. Last night, however, the company corrected its statement and promised that it still would deliver 86.500 doses next week and that the delay would be limited to 1 week. Hence, the impact on the roll-out of the vaccination campaign will be minimal. On display today is another beachscape from a recent leisurely stroll in De Haan – De Haan, Belgium
16 January 2021: On average during the week to 12 January 2,037 people a day tested positive for the coronavirus. The figure is up 17% on the week. The recent rise in the number of people testing positive for the virus is flattening off a little bit but with the fall in the number of people with COVID-19 that are being admitted to hospital slowing, it could be some time yet before the government will start considering a relaxation of the measures designed to curb the spread of the virus. Experts said that this won’t be before the beginning of March. Meanwhile, nearly 50,000 people in rest and care homes have been vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and as of Monday Belgium will start administering the Moderna vaccine in hospitals. The two vaccines will most likely be joined by that of AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford at the end of January as the EMA has received a formal application for authorisation. An interesting fact that came to my attention yesterday was that the EU is considering a Covid-19 passport/certificate allowing holders to be able to travel around Europe freely. An interesting thought but I’m wondering if the proposal will survive the political and legal challenges associated with it. Anyhow, we will limit ourselves to walking the Belgian coast – De Haan, Belgium.
15 January 2021: On average during the week to 11 January 2,085 people a day tested positive for thecoronavirus. The figure is up 24% on the week and the fall in the number of hospitalisations has slowed further. Also, the more infectious B117 mutation first detected in Britain has started circulating in Belgium without links to foreign travel. In light of the growing number of coronavirus infections with the UK variant and the first detected case of the South African variant on Wednesday virologists are calling for tighter restrictions on travel abroad. Meanwhile, from Saturday, a curfew will apply throughout France from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Also, the Dutch government is looking into the option of bringing in a curfew in an effort to further cut down on contacts between people and so reduce the spread of the virus. In summary, we’re still having long and dark months ahead of us. A mood that is well reflected in today’s street shot taken downtown Ghent – Ghent, Belgium.
14 January 2021: On average during the week to 10 January 2,082 people a day tested positive for coronavirus. The figure is up 28% on the week. It needs to be noted, however, that there was far more testing than during the previous week that included the New Year’s Day holiday. Also, the first case of the South African coronavirus variant, which is thought to be more infectious, has been found in Belgium. Amidst the storm of the resurgent pandemic a rapid roll-out of the vaccine should give us hope. Yesterday the Flemish government announced that its ambition was for everybody to get at least their first jab before next summer. Hope is very good for breakfast but very bad for dinner, so we’re all expecting to see significant progress in the weeks to come. On display today is another seascape from Saturday’s hike in De Haan – De Haan, 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!