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Dutch gamble on ‘intelligent lockdown’ to beat coronavirus

first_img‘Difficult to stay home’ Her neighbor, bookstore owner Marijn de Koeijer, agreed. “I think it would be very difficult to stay at home all day. I’m very happy with the opportunities we have, even if they are limited,” he said among his bookshelves a few minutes walk from the central railway station in The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government.The government itself has won the “support of the population” with its measures as they are “easier to defend and explain to the people”, said de Koeijer.Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte — who came up with the phrase “intelligent lockdown” — has been clear on the policy.”We don’t work like that in the Netherlands, where the government says ‘you have to do this, you have to do that,” Rutte told a press conference at the end of March.The authorities have admonished the public when the country’s beaches have become too crowded, but while police have closed car parks to stop crowds flocking there at the weekends, they remain open.The Dutch position — very similar to Sweden’s — also reflects a wider philosophical split in both Europe and the world on how to balance the need to curb the disease against the catastrophic economic damage caused by harsh lockdowns.Rutte, for example, has previously said that it was important to build “herd immunity” and that much of the Dutch population would get the disease — a controversial concept that appeared to have been backed by the British government at one stage.Dutch policy has not always gone down well with its neighbors though, with Belgium — one of the worst affected countries — initially grumbling that the Netherlands was not strict enough. ‘Convince the population’ But the Dutch believe they have made the right choice compared to countries like Italy, Spain, France and Belgium as the lockdowns there drag on and governments struggle to work out how to ease the restrictions.So far, compared with the very heavy death toll and high number of infected in these countries, the Dutch approach seems to be working, with 4,711 lives lost and 38,802 cases reported for a population of just over 17 million.”Governments need to convince the population that these are good measures,” said Frits Rosendaal, a professor of clinical epidemiology at Leiden University.The number of coronavirus patients currently in hospital is falling, which shows the Dutch approach “has absolutely had an effect” and that its decision to observe less strict measures than other European countries was “responsible — medically and economically,” Rosendaal said.”The two aren’t exclusive. You can’t have a healthy economy if half the population is in hospital.” At his bookstore, Marijn de Koeijer says business is now down by about half from normal, whereas at the start of the coronavirus crisis it was down by about 70 to 80 percent.”Every book we sell counts,” he says. Schools meanwhile start to reopen from May 11. “My friend in Belgium has to stay at home and is only allowed to go out to walk her dog in the street. I mean, come on, be serious,” says Bianca Kragten, who runs a bike shop in The Hague.Cheerfully ignoring the absence of the tourists who would normally be a major part of her business, Kragten hires out bikes in front of the shop, which she has decorated with little flags to “cheer up” people.”It was total panic for our business in the first few weeks. Then we realized that we were among the lucky ones who were allowed to remain open,” she said. The shops are open and families cycle along in the sunny spring weather in the Netherlands, which has opted for what it calls an “intelligent lockdown” to curb the coronavirus pandemic.In contrast to most other European countries where people are virtually housebound, the Dutch authorities have merely advised people to stay home and to keep 1.5 meters of social distance.While restaurants, bars, museums and its infamous sex clubs remain shut, and the famed cannabis ‘coffee shops’ are open for takeaway only, the outdoors-loving Dutch are otherwise allowed to leave home when they want. Topics :last_img read more

Stave, Doe stand out for Wisconsin offense

first_imgView Gallery (3 Photos)On a rare sunny day this April, the Wisconsin football team capped off its spring season with its annual Spring Game at Camp Randall Saturday.Following a different format than in years past, the offense, team “White,” lost to the defense, team “Cardinal,” 61-47 after a second-half collapse saw the offense score just five points in the final 20 minutes.With many of the key players sitting out for the offense – including seniors James White, Jared Abbrederis and Ryan Groy – in order to prevent injury, the attention turned to the one position that had all five of its candidates participating: quarterback.Starting for the offense on the first drive, sixth-year senior Curt Phillips led the team on a 10-play, 50-yard drive that resulted in a Kyle French field goal.However, redshirt sophomore Joel Stave quickly stole the show when he took over at quarterback on the offense’s third drive.Trailing the defense 12-7, Stave orchestrated a 71-yard drive, throwing for four first downs along the way before sophomore running back Melvin Gordon finished the drive off with an 11-yard touchdown run.For Stave, a strong final practice seemed the perfect way to end his first spring season under new head coach Gary Andersen.“I think I’ve made a pretty good impression,” Stave said. “Just trying to compete and trying to make sure I’m learning everything that they are giving me because they threw a lot of stuff at us this week offensively.”By the end the game, Stave had accumulated 161 passing yards on 15-of-20 passing and had the offense’s only throwing score of the game.While Andersen was reluctant to say that Stave had taken the lead in the quarterback contest, he did say that the young signal caller had his best practice of the spring Saturday.“Joel was poised today,” Andersen said. “I thought he wasn’t perfect, but he doesn’t have to be perfect. … We did throw the ball and catch the ball better than we have all spring and that was very encouraging.”None of the other quarterbacks received much of a shot at the job Saturday, with just a combined nine passing attempts between Danny O’Brien, Bart Houston and Chase Knox. Just two of those passes were completed for a grand total of seven yards.Lessening the burden on Wisconsin’s passing game, Gordon took 17 carries and averaged 4.4 yards per attempt but also provided a reliable receiving option, catching four passes for 39 yards.Despite suffering from ankle problems throughout the early part of the spring season, Gordon would manage to rush for 74 yards and a touchdown – a far cry from his first spring game last year where the young running back accumulated 159 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries.“The tweak of the ankle through spring slowed him down, but it didn’t slow him down mentally,” Andersen said. “It really was impressive to me because the day he came back, he was in the offense, he knew the offense … which is a credit to him.”Doe catches attention at wide receiverIn the absence of star wide receiver Abbrederis, the Wisconsin quarterbacks had to search for a new go-to option in the passing game Saturday. Junior wide receiver Kenzel Doe quickly stepped up to the task – something his teammates say they have witnessed all spring.“He was very impressive today,” Phillips said. “He is one guy that I think we have seen throughout the spring make strides.“I think having the confidence now that he has been out there and [making] some plays will allow him the opportunity to improve himself.”Doe made play after play for the offense – catching seven first-down passes in four quarters – on his way to eight catches for 93 yards on the day.Entering the game, the quest for a No. 2 wide receiver was one of the big question marks for Wisconsin, but after the spring game Andersen admitted the wide receiver question may now have solved itself.“Kenzel’s want-to is very impressive,” Anderson said. “He is crafty and … has really showed solid hands throughout practice. Whether it’s route versus error, or a competitive situation, he’s done a very nice job.”Although Doe was electric catching the short passes and even running an end-around that featured some shifty moves, the Badgers sorely lacked any deep-ball potency in their passing game. Without Abbrederis’ presence on the field, the Badgers didn’t take many shots down the field.Stave was the only quarterback to heave up the long ball out of all five players Saturday, overthrowing one attempt and leading his receiver a bit too far to the middle of the field on the other.last_img read more

Azhar Ali 100 ensures tough day for Windies

first_img Off-spinner Roston Chase, who has sent down 21 overs – the most by any bowler – claimed the only wicket to fall to finish with one for 63. He accounted for Sami Aslam, bowled off the under edge, half-way through the final session with the advantage firmly in Pakistan’s favour. Having lost every game on tour courtesy of humbling 3-0 whitewashes in the preceding Twenty20 and One-Day International series, West Indies would have been hoping for a brighter start but instead found themselves at the mercy of the opening pair of Azhar and Sami Aslam. The duo hardly put a foot wrong as they comfortably batted through the first two sessions, carrying Pakistan to 81 without loss at lunch and 172 without loss at the second interval. The right-handed Azhar, playing in his 50th Test, has faced 268 balls in six hours at the crease and counted 14 fours while the left-handed Sami Aslam struck nine fours in an innings spanning 212 balls and just over 4-¾ hours. Neither batsman suffered much alarm during the first session as the West Indies bowlers failed to produce anything threatening with the pink ball in only the second ever day/night Test. In fact, their best chance of the session came when Azhar slashed pacer Miguel Cummins in the air through gully where Leon Johnson was late in responding, as the ball raced to the boundary. Sami Aslam, opting for the sheet anchor role, registered his first boundary after 64 deliveries when he came down to part-time off-spinner Kraigg Brathwaite and struck him to the wide mid-on boundary. He followed up with another straight hit for four off the very next delivery. At the break, he was unbeaten on 36 with Azhar on 39, and it was the junior partner who pushed on after the break to reach his half-century first with a cut to the point boundary off Chase, half-hour after the resumption. Azhar, meanwhile, survived a review for leg before wicket off seamer and captain Jason Holder in the second over after lunch, with television replays showing the delivery missing leg. However, he soon settled to raise his half-century by punching pacer Miguel Cummins to extra cover for a couple, about 45 minutes after the interval. NOTE: Play starts at 6:30 a.m. (Ja time) each day). SCOREBOARD PAKISTAN 1st Innings Sami Aslam b Chase 90 Azhar Ali not out 146 Asad Shafiq not out 33 Extras (b1, lb2, w1, nb6) 10 Total (1 wkt, 90 overs) 279 To bat: Babar Azam, *Misbah-ul-Haq, +Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan. Fall of wickets: 1-215 (Sami Aslam). Bowling: Gabriel 14-2-55-0 (nb6), Cummins 16-2-62-0 (w1), Holder 15-4-30-0, Brathwaite 8-2-21-0, Bishoo 16-3-45-0, Chase 21-2-63-1. WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Leon Johnson, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel. Toss: Pakistan. UMPIRES: R Illingworth, P Reiffel; TV – I Gould. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, CMC: Beleaguered West Indies endured another chastening day here yesterday as opener Azhar Ali stroked his 11th Test hundred to spearhead Pakistan’s domination of the opening day of the historic day/night first Test. The visitors were kept in the field all day at the Dubai International Stadium as Pakistan, opting to bat first, finished on 279 for one with Azhar ending unbeaten on a superb 146. He put on 215 for the first wicket with 20-year-old partner Sami Aslam who fell for 90, a partnership which was the country’s fourth highest opening stand in Tests. Asad Shafiq was looking ominous at the close, unbeaten on 33, already having shared a 64-run, partnership for the second wicket with Azhar.last_img read more