More people out in nature, fewer in planes, thanks to COVID-19

Photo credit: Staatsbosbeheer (Eindhoven News Media Library)

The coronavirus has had some interesting effects. For instance, it is busy in the nature areas around Eindhoven, Staatsbosbeheer (the Forestry Service) says.

This is probably due to a combination of factors. The weather is beautiful and lots of people are not at work or school, due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The biggest crowds are at Leenderbos and Strabrechtse Heide”, forester, Erik Schram, says.

“We have noticed it is a bit busier than it normally would be. People are usually stuck at work on a day like today”. Schram also understands that people go for a walk to break the rut of social isolation. “The weather is lovely, of course, but it is also breeding season, and spring is on its way. That makes nature extra beautiful but also extra vulnerable”.

Please stay on the paths

“That is why we are asking people to stay on the paths and keep dogs on their leashes”, Schram says. “A stray dog can disturb birds’ breeding behaviour. Or the peace and quiet of roe deer that often birth calves at this time of year”.

Looking to nature can be a welcome distraction. People who are symptom-free are, therefore, welcome to go for a walk. There are several tips on the Forestry Service website for those who want to explore nature.

Drastic drop in passengers at Eindhoven Airport

In contrast, the number of passengers at Eindhoven Airport has fallen sharply. This too is as a result of the coronavirus. On Tuesday, 17 March, 60% fewer passengers left from and landed at Eindhoven Airport.

“To summarise – it is quiet at the moment”, spokesman, Gijs Vrancken, says. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to fly within Europe. That is noticeable here at Eindhoven Airport”.

Eindhoven Airport provides flights mainly within Europe. Travel agency, Corendon, has decided to cancel all flights until at least the end of March. Decisions on flights after 31 March will be made at a later stage.

Transavia has cancelled their flights to a total of 20 destinations. Ryanair has also cancelled flights. Due to the reduced number of flights and passengers, the airport is also forced to change its own way of working. A reduction in working hours has not yet been applied for, Vrancken says. “We are tailoring the staff to the needs”.

The homeless can stay in shelters during the day too

Homeless people in Eindhoven can now also go to the night care locations during the day.
Neos, Springboard040, and the Salvation Army want to do their bit to curb the coronavirus. By opening their doors during the day, they want to help keep the homeless off the streets. They also want to provide these people with a safe, protected living environment.

The walk-in areas for the homeless will also remain open as much as possible. Nevertheless, the three social aid organisations think these measures are not enough for this target group. They are, therefore, still discussing further measures among each other.

Source: Studio040

Translator: Bob

Editor: Melinda Walraven

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