Ross: Lockdown fatigue sets in from Washington to Belgium

Nov 22, 2021, 5:31 AM | Updated: 9:34 am
Protestors attend a demonstration against the reinforced COVID lockdown measures from the Belgium government. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
(AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

This last weekend was the most normal I’ve felt in a while. We were back attending mass at St. James downtown, most of the choir was back, the congregation was singing along – masked up, of course – and I almost shook Father Ryan’s hand on the way out (I caught myself just in time).

That’s how close to normal it was.

Then I got home later and started going through the news feeds, and I hear a report from the CBS news desk about a second night of violence in the Netherlands, where dozens were arrested in what police are calling “anti-lockdown disorder” after a new partial lockdown went into effect last week, following a major surge in coronavirus hospitalizations.

I’ve been to the Netherlands a couple of times and it tends to be a very orderly country. They tread lightly on drugs and sex, but a study last year found that when it came to COVID, people essentially locked themselves down, without being forced to. The “Intelligent Lockdown” they called it – motivated by people wanting to do what was best for the country.

But it didn’t prevent COVID from spiking again and filling the hospitals. And when the government declared a mandatory lockdown, out came the rioters, setting fire to bicycles in the bicycle capital of Europe! That’s how angry they were.

Same thing in Belgium – thousands marching in Brussels, to protest vaccine passes, which keep unvaccinated people out of bars. So these are all sober people, and they still got out of control.

And that’s not all.

CBS reports that in nearby Austria, which has some of the highest rates of COVID and lowest rates of vaccination in Europe, thousands took to the streets of Vienna on Saturday after the government announced a full nationwide lockdown starting Monday, as well as mandatory vaccine requirements starting in February.

At least the Austrians were orderly – except for a few people who brought out their Nazi swag and got arrested.

But if people in these normally compliant countries are out of patience, I can only imagine what would happen here if we have to respond to another spike.

So please, even if you feel life is getting back to normal, keep protecting yourself, in whatever way works best for you. Because, number one, all of us here at KIRO love people who listen to radio, and we don’t want to lose you. But also because another spike could lead to more mandates, at a time when all of us — especially parents stuck at home with fidgety kids — are about to snap.

So, if we love freedom, and I know we do, then staying healthy is not just good medical advice, it’s also our patriotic duty.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Lockdown fatigue sets in from Washington to Belgium