Quiet Time in Aalsmeer

Our second week in the Netherlands has been quiet so far. Exactly a week after we got here, I came down with a cough that has developed into a pretty standard respiratory virus. The COVID self-test was negative. This wasn’t a surprise because the rate of infection here is vanishingly small. Aalsmeer has about 32,000 inhabitants. One of them has tested positive this week.

Meanwhile in Amsterdam, 13 out of about 903,000 people reported positive tests last week.

For the purposes of comparison, that’s 1.2 cases per 100,000 people over 7 days. At home, there were 153 new cases per 100,000 people last week.

I know ground water numbers are more reliable but I struggle to interpret them, so this is what I use to determine risk.

So, it’s probably not COVID given the low incidence of COVID here and the negative test.

I’ve still felt pretty crappy, so I’ve been sleeping a ton. ME, M, and I ventured out to the Grote Poel (the large pool) of the Westeindeplassen. The humidity outside really helps my breathing but I have to be careful not to overexert myself.

A blue sky, white clouds, a lake, bare trees in the distance In the distance, an old brick tower looks out over a lake. In the foreground, concrete and stone steps lead down to the lake. A red-roofed house on a lake

Today both ME & M are feeling poorly.

In the meantime, W has been into the city a couple times and loved exploring. I’m looking forward to getting the whole family there next week once we’re all back on our feet. It always takes at least an hour to get there from the village.

(When we booked the house, there was a bus that went directly to the airport train station but they changed the routes right before we came so it doesn’t run anymore. This adds one or two transfers to every trip.)

I guess people really want to know about what food you get when you travel. We mostly buy groceries and prepare our own food, so we haven’t tried anything extra Dutch besides stroopwaffels. Those are delicious.

The eggs here are super fresh and excellent. They have all the produce you might expect. They have a mix of Dutch brands and other brands. Froot Loops are Unicorn Froot Loops. We eat a lot of Nature Valley granola bars. There is, of course, immense variety in the cheese available.

That’s the latest here. I hope to be more adventurous soon!

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Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
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