Sometimes wishes come true. Sometimes dreams come true. If you read this blog regularly, you must have noticed that I have something to complain about in many encounters with cruise ships. They stink, they flood their destinations with people, they don't adhere to the traffic regulations at sea, they look shitty and they also often obstruct the view of the landscape or the horizon. I've always wanted a world without a crusader.
This wish has been fulfilled. At the moment we are calm in front of the cruise ships.
The reason why no crusaders will come to Aruba in the next four weeks is of course known to everyone by now. It's because Corona virus. Flights to Europe are also canceled.
The borders were closed in the surrounding countries. We sailors usually go where the wind blows us. Then we go to the authorities, fill out a huge mountain of forms and get stamps on our passports. Afterwards we are in the country and can do whatever we want.
We read on the Internet that in Europe one country after another is lowering its barriers. It is no different on the islands in the Caribbean. That's why we stay here for now and wait for the things that await us in the next few weeks. It is clear to me that the whining is at a very high level, because we are in a very nice place, have access to good care in infrastructure and, if the worst comes to the worst, would also have a properly equipped clinic at hand. But we don't enjoy it. We are also with our thoughts with family and friends in Germany.
There is a lot to read in newspapers and magazines that the virus will affect the economy. That most people will get it someday. There is much speculation about the danger and the development of a vaccine will take some time. There is a lot of panic, half-knowledge dominates the virtual space in the network, stupid jokes are cracked.
In Oranjestad we see clearly that damage to the local economy can occur immediately. The pedestrian zone is empty, so are the shops.
The world changed within a few days. We now have another planet. Sometimes crazy politicians turn the wheel, circulate crude theories and point their fingers at other countries instead of trying to contain the plague.
The unsettled people react with actions that they would never perform under normal circumstances. Who (apart from us sailors) needs toilet paper in the house for several months? Our stock would extend to Australia. Who actually likes spelled pasta? And who is so crazy about washing his nose with vinegar?
The cashier in the supermarket just around the corner from our marina was wearing an operating mask and rubber gloves yesterday. In front of the cash register was a plate of sliced raw onions. Reason and madness right next to each other.
I hope that the planet will return to normal in the next few weeks. We're stuck, we can't go any further. The situation can change every day, every hour. If we keep going, we cannot be sure that we will be let into the port at the destination. We have received too many first-hand reports from other sailors who have experienced it firsthand.
It is poison for my personal mood. It's very, very unfortunate for our plans. It is a disaster for the people here in Oranjestad.
The train has left for a life without the new corona virus.