A Summary of King Willem-Alexander’s speech concerning the Corona virus epidemic
By Margery Didier
On the evening of the 20 March 2020 the King, Willem-Alexander, spoke about the crisis in The Netherlands from the Paleis Huis ten Bosch in The Hague.
In the speech the King expressed his deepest sympathy for all Corona patients and their families, especially the ones that are critically ill or have unfortunately lost their lives. Though the measures being taken to slow down the spread of the virus are drastic, it is necessary, said the King. He knows that residents of The Netherlands are saddened at the reality of not being able to visit their loved ones and continue with their regular life but that everyone must come through it together.
Furthermore, special recognition was given to the doctors and nurses that are working under intense pressure for others during this pandemic. Workers at the RIVM, the GGD and other institutes were thanked for their hard work and scientific research, which has provided guideline to follow and a deeper understanding of COVID-19. “They have only one goal in mind, which is that we get through this crisis as best we can, and that the risks for vulnerable people are kept as small as possible’’, said The King.
Special appreciation was given to people working in logistics, supermarkets, cleaning; IT, education, childcare; public transport, and the police for continuing to work and for keeping our society from halting. The King said “you carry us through this difficult time’’.
Children may be happy and excited to be free from school but soon that excitement will fade as they will start to miss school, extracurricular activities and upcoming birthday parties that are now cancelled due to this crisis- warned The King.
Many parents are now working from home and have to care for their young ones. This change in routine can be difficult for many, he intoned.
The King is encouraging everyone to look out for one another by helping others when possible and working together to make sure no one feels abandoned in this time. Where visits aren’t possible, he says are other means of making contact via calls, post and online communication are good ways to maintain contact.
The King also highly praised spontaneous people: neighbours volunteering for the residential care center in the district, people who volunteer to join a helpline, students that offer childcare to parents with vital professions. The outbreak has unleashed an incredible amount of decisiveness, creativity and humanity, he said.
It is these qualities that we continue to need very badly, not just now, but certainly later as circumstances may become even more challenging, said The King.
Despite the paralysis of public life, the heart of our society continues to beat: “Alertness, solidarity and warmth: as long as we keep those three, we can handle this crisis together, even if it takes a little longer’’; he surmised.
Image: King Willem-Alexander in 2013, via Wikimedia (license free)