The inserted broadcast – by popular demand – of #Frontmessages gave the impression that the soldiers from the previous war had been called up to fight today’s battle. And they made an impression, but first there was another ancient warrior from bygone battlefields. m honored Joop Zoetemelk on the eve of his seventy-fifth birthday. “We made it,” Zoetemelk said, referring to the collision in which he was shattered a year and a half ago.
It turned out that it has broken the great champion a bit. Cycling every day is no longer an option. The Rijpweteringe imperturbability also seemed to have worn off emotionally. At the video congratulations from former colleagues, Zoetemelk’s eyes became moist, which was the upside-down world: when we see Joop, we are full, but he himself should be sobriety itself. On the morning of his birthday, he takes the train back home, leaving us with the reassuring thought that France must have given him a booster.
Not that there was much reassurance against #Frontmessages. Jeroen Pauw, NPO assistant presenter for important matters, interviewed in the studio care employees we still knew from the #Front messages (BNNVARA) of the first corona wave. They were also filmed at work on Thursday. In Roermond we saw how the last IC bed was being filled. With a pitying look at the patient: “He is very anxious.”
The hardest beech got the viewer’s mind a little later, when they switched to intensivist Annemieke Dijkstra at Goeree-Overflakkee during her shift. She spoke to us between the companies, her mouth cap still on. In footage filmed earlier that afternoon, a not-so-old man was filmed in his bed, gasping for breath. “When can I be vaccinated?” he asked scared. You must recover first, he was told. “Now you are too exhausted.”
There was still work to be done
But that recovery is a long way off, it turned out later. Dijkstra said that the man had meanwhile been put to sleep because otherwise he could no longer breathe at all. “He really wanted me to tell this on television tonight,” said the intensivist, wide-eyed above her mouth cap. Paul didn’t know what to say for a moment. Dijkstra answered the last questions while her body language betrayed that she would have preferred to turn away from the camera – there was still work to be done.
It was five minutes of television you’d love to show a vaccine doubter. That atmosphere then also seemed to take over the table, but the Utrecht emergency physician Gor Khatchikyan objected to this. “We should not scapegoat people, including unvaccinated people. The big difference with last year is that we did everything with a promised land in mind, in which the crisis would be over. Maybe we were wrong and there is no promised land.”
He emphasized that, although there is no formal ‘code black’ in force, painful choices must be made due to the pressure. Patients are being moved who are actually too vulnerable for that. “We don’t let people die, but sometimes patients are seriously harmed.” The new #Frontmessages also became a memorable broadcast, impeccably led by Jeroen Pauw from personal stories to policy issues and back.
Last year’s ‘care heroes’ must now function in a society full of people who have entrenched themselves in trenches. The sharp Khatchikyan wanted to say something about that. “I hear that we have to do it ‘for care’. But I can go home at night. No, you do it for your own grandfather and grandmother, for your friend.” With that observation, Jeroen Pauw closed the broadcast, the country high on the fourth corona wave. To put it in Zoetemelk’s way: Paris is still a long way off.
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