Letter from the Mayor to all Westland residents

Dear Westland residents,

New, stricter national measures have been put in place since Tuesday 29th September (6 p.m.), in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. These measures will definitely impact our daily lives. Fortunately we haven’t quite gone back to the measures in force at the very start of the corona crisis, but we may well be heading back in that direction again if we don’t get the virus under control. No one wants to go back to that situation and I don’t really think anyone wants the current new measures either. However, we can’t ignore the fact that the number of infections is rising and with it sadly also the number of people who end up in hospital. The number of corona patients in intensive care in our region is currently quite low, but we are starting to see an increase again.

We all need to take our responsibility in ensuring the number of infections are reduced and that we don’t find ourselves in a situation where our healthcare system is once again overloaded. We have to do this for the healthcare staff, our vulnerable fellow human beings and for patients with other complaints who can subsequently not be treated.
I have heard several different opinions around me about the approach, how the epidemic is developing and the impact this will have on our healthcare system. To be completely honest with you, I certainly have my doubts too from time to time. And I’ve definitely also had enough of the coronavirus. But yet I fully support these new measures. I have seen the rapid increase in infections. I’m also very aware - as are many others - of the worries and concerns where people who need treatment for things other than the coronavirus are concerned. Westland was one of the regions which topped the national rankings in relation to the number of infections and deaths at the start of the corona epidemic. But together we managed to turn the tide in Westland with a clear and coherent approach. Those measures were by no means fun or enjoyable, but they certainly did work. Fortunately we are now no longer one of the frontrunners and that’s down to all of us. An achievement which I’d like to take a moment to once again thank you all for.
We are doing relatively better than average in Westland. It’s therefore very difficult to accept the fact that the catering industry now has to deal with measures which will lead to less turnover. Or that sports clubs have to close their canteens and are not allowed to welcome spectators. This is particularly tough because I have seen with my very own eyes how hard both the catering industry and sports clubs in Westland have worked on preventing the spread of the coronavirus. I have a huge amount of appreciation for that. Just like all the organisations which have continued to organise various different activities throughout the summer and now during ‘Westland Ontmoet’ too, on a smaller scale compared to previous years.

Westland residents have proven they are very capable of keeping the number of infections low by working together. And we must continue this trend. I therefore want to call on everyone to continue working hard together. This will ensure we are supporting each other, but we’ll also be helping out the catering industry and sports clubs. After all, we don’t want these current measures in place any longer than is strictly necessary. So please don’t do anything which will have any adverse effect. Keep an appropriate distance from each other for the time being. Don’t meet up in large groups. Not even in places where you won’t be easily caught out. We very simply just have to get on with it.

Even though I’m addressing every single Westland resident with this letter, I do have a special message for one particular group. I would like to urgently appeal to our young people to also observe the rules. Believe me, I completely understand how difficult and annoying it is that you can’t just do what you want to do. My children are also of an age where they like to go to parties at the weekend, meet up with friends or enjoy a beer or two in the sports canteen. But we’re especially desperate for your efforts and commitment to bring an end to this damned corona virus. You’re not doing it for yourselves, but for the people around you!

I know Westland and its residents as an area and community where people look after each other. With the characteristic that people don’t always abide by the rules, but where everyone does take their responsibility seriously. I trust this will be the case once again, knowing that people don’t merely live for themselves, but that they’re also responsible for each other. Let’s make sure we support each other throughout this sometimes difficult time. Can I rely on your efforts and commitment? Thank you very much in advance!

With Kind Regards,
Bouke Arends
Mayor of Westland