17/3/20 - Letter Mayor Lenferink to residents of Leiden

Dear residents of Leiden,

The coronavirus has a hold on us in Leiden as well. People have gotten sick. Some of them are seriously ill. Perhaps one is a family member or loved one of yours. We wish them a quick recovery. We are very concerned about the consequences of this virus, certainly for our elderly and vulnerable fellow residents.  

The measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus are having an effect on your daily life. Schools and catering establishments are closed. Performances, competitions, training sessions and events are cancelled. I sympathise with all the people, companies and institutions affected by the coronavirus and its consequences. Although everyone understands that health and safety take precedence over everything at the moment, I understand that it can be very difficult for you. Not being able to visit parents or grandparents is really tough. Even though you know it is better for them if you do not visit them right now.  

The measures imposed are not easy and demand flexibility and resilience from everyone. I greatly appreciate the catering entrepreneurs of Leiden who responded so quickly to the government’s appeal. I also want to thank the people in healthcare for all of the great work they are doing. And all other professional sectors that are keeping our society running, like the teachers who still teach or care for children within the possibilities available. Thank you so much! Work associated with a small risk of infection, or that has been made smaller through the measures taken, can continue as usual. Children can also still play outside, but keep in mind the experts’ recommendations.

We are not used to having such rules imposed on us in this country. We do not know how long it will go on for.  But this is necessary to restrict the spread of the virus as much as possible.

It is asking a lot from us, but together we can do it. I firmly believe this. I see and hear of many initiatives already to help each other and our elderly and vulnerable fellow residents. That makes me very happy. In the past, Leiden has shown its resilience many times, and I see this reflected again in these types of initiatives. I am proud of Leiden and its residents who are facing this together.

Finally, I would like to ask everyone to please follow the recommendations issued by the experts at RIVM and the GGD to the best of their ability. This will help reduce the risks, for ourselves and for each other.

Henri Lenferink