Maandelijks archief: januari 2017

Q fever, the aftermath

In 2007, in North-Brabant in the Netherlands, Q fever started to spread more and more, evolving into a Q-fever epidemic. Q fever is a disease among kettle (in the Netherlands especially with goats and sheep), which can also spread to humans. This infectious disease luckily cannot be spread from human to human. From 2007 up and until 2016 around 4,000 people got infected (according to the RIVM site) and most of the people who reported they were infected, reported in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Around 300 Q fever patients went to the court in Den Hague, due to the court case against the State, because according to patients, the government should have taken action sooner. Some of the Q fever patients lost their job because they got chronically ill. Considering their opinion that the state could have done more, they claim a compensation.

On Wednesday the 25th of January, the conclusion of the court is that the State did enough and therefore the claim to get a compensation, was denied. According to the reporter Trudy van Rijswijk, who was also at court to hear the conclusion, everyone was silent after they heard the conclusion.  Some of the patients feel unheard and they consider an appeal process.

In my opinion it would be fair that the State does have to give a compensation to these people, because the State could have done more and also earlier. The state could have placed boards near infected sheep and goat farms and also inform better in which areas there was a higher chance of getting infected. Also if the symptoms were more well-known or if there were check-ups in and near areas where the disease was spread, less people would have been infected.




Author: Daphne Mathijsen – Freaders


Sports bring people together

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor sportende kinderen

The Netherlands is called a Multi-cultural society but in fact do not all the cultures in the Netherlands live together. There is a mix of cultures in the Netherlands but  I wouldn’t call it a ‘society’. Is there a way we might be able to bring these different cultures a bit closer to each other? This could not only improve social life but also reduce the amount of racism and rise the physical and mental wellbeing.

As many people know but might not take in account is that all kind of cultures behave differently from the ‘big mass’. A lot of people think it is weird if other cultures do not behave like they belong to our culture, but for other cultures it is really difficult to adjust in a strange culture, especially when this strange culture is not helping you in the progress. A little experiment in a classroom can explain this phenomenon well.

You have to send 2 people out of the class room, while they are away the rest of the class has to make up a new rule which has to be followed every time you communicate with someone in that classroom (including the 2 people that have been send away). After they come back the experiment starts, the 2 people that have been send away have to find out what the rules are that the class came up with. The entire class acts to those rules but the 2 people that have been send out of the classroom have  no idea what these new rules are. No one has told the class that they weren’t allowed to tell the 2 people that have been send away that they are not allowed to tell the new rules, but everyone has decided to not tell the rules. This little experiment shows that if new people enter our culture we are not really willing to help, we just think that if you enter our culture you should behave like it and if you have difficulty finding it out, that is your own problem. This might sound selfish but this is how culture works. That’s why I think that the government should help other the Netherlands taking a step away from their own culture and taking a step towards other cultures. I truly think this can be reached through sports.

Sports could be the solution to unite the variety of cultures in the Netherlands. Sports involves discipline, teamwork and tactics, sports is good for the mind and for the body so not only would sports bring these people together but health issues that involve overweight can be reduced as well. Sports can make people feel confident about themselves, and even if you are not the star of the team, you can also have a great time with your team members in the (most important) 3rd half of the match as the Dutch call it. My demand is not that all adults are going to play sports but I would like to mainly focus on the children. Not only do this children from a young age grow up to be more tolerant with these other cultures, also the parents on the side line start talking with each other. This idea would have effect on both children and parents.

A lot of people from with immigrant background struggle to integrate in a society due to a lack of contact with the Dutch society. These different cultures often start living together in their own bubble, this causes their children to grow up in this bubble again, and so the circle goes on. If these children started doing sports together with the indigenous population, the bubble might pop.

The way this plan can be realised is subsidies, and the promotion of local sports clubs. Not only do these sports clubs have to increase their capacity, also the school should pay more attention to sports. For instance by creating an extra sports day, or after school sports clubs (just like they do in America). You might think that the investment in sports might be less important than some other issues that we have got in the Netherlands, but sports can be cost saving, there will be less people with overweight and other health issues that can be solved with physical movement.

Sports can be the way to bring different cultures close together, it is good for your mental and physical health and it is a lot of fun. The government should invest more money in sports, this could solve some cultural issues and maybe even other issues on long term. Sports is a must for the mind and for the heart


Author: Amber Aerts

The burns of fireworks

A few days ago, the new year has been welcomed with an immense amount of fireworks that lit up the dark sky for several hours. However, those happy, festive and coloured lights do have a darker side. With the turn of the year, a lot of accidents happened with the rockets and firecrackers. Great damage has been caused by the with gunpowder loaded rockets. Bins and containers were blown up, windows were shattered, cars were damaged or even put on fire and so on! Also, a lot of illegal fireworks have been lit. In this article, we will take a closer look at this social problem.

With the whole of Netherlands, we have spent a whopping 68 million euro on fireworks, according to the newspaper: De metro1. This is a great amount of money to simply light up, shoot away and get to explode. Besides the smoke that comes from all of the explosions that pollutes the air, little particles released during firework displays can enter the soil, water and air and can be disruptive to the environment. Fireworks have been the reason for a rapidly increasing amount accidents such as horrific burns and sometimes even deaths. Emergency services got ninety percent more calls for help than the last year2! A lot of these calls were for complete accidents, but even more were caused by people who don’t care about their or others safety. The aid workers couldn’t hold up with all the fires, wounded people and fights. In many places, their aid was welcomed with people throwing fireworks, bottles and stones at the workers. One police officer was run over by a car but couldn’t be resuscitated because of the aggressive, throwing bystanders.

It is true that fireworks are a great invention. It is great looking at the rockets exploding high in the air and exploding firecrackers are great fun as well. Fireworks are also necessary for both patriotic and religious celebrations, such as Diwali (festival of lights) and Bonfire night. Besides certain event, lighting fireworks on new year’s eve has long been a part of a lot of multiple cultures, including the Dutch culture. It has become a tradition for many to shoot rockets in the air.

However, the advantages of firework do not weigh up in the slightest against the disadvantages. Something must be done to solve this situation. Several municipalities have tried to implement firework-free zones. However, this didn’t work out at all. It caused a lot of confusion for the citizens and it was impossible for the police officers, who already had a lot of work to do, to monitor. Another solution would be to abandon the private use of firework. The compromise means that people can no longer light fireworks themselves, but the municipality would provide a professional firework show. In this manner, less money is spent on fireworks, there is only small to no danger, there is less pollution and damage to the environment and there is still firework for everyone to adore.

To conclude, the tradition of lighting fireworks is a great festive feature of new year’s eve and other events, but it comes with great consequences. Everyone sees that something should be done to solve the problem. However, finding a solution appears to be harder than first thought.



Author: Rick van de Sande