Antwerp Life During Corona Virus Restrictions

Hello, and thanks for reading Nessascityblog!

As you can imagine, a blog which is usually devoted to sharing information about events, is not going to be very busy right now, so I though I would just do a general post about life in Antwerp and Belgium under the new restrictions, and share some useful links. I will keep editing this, so if you think there is a link I have missed, do get in touch.

UPDATE 27th March: Extension -current measures to stay in place until 19th April.

Information and News from Belgium in English

Flanders Today and The Brussels Times are the news outlets which will bring you the latest Belgian headlines and information in English.

The government website with information about Covid 19 is here and available in French, Dutch, German and English. You can also follow the Federal Health Department on Twitter.

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 12.36.05
The Stad Antwerpen Instagram page.

(translation of text in image above: Stay home; do not gather with others; keep a distance of 1.5m; outdoor exercise is OK, with max 2 people; look after yourself and each other)

The Stad Antwerpen page is mainly in Dutch, but if you go here and scroll down, you will find .PDFs in a variety of languages.

Last week I published this blog post with information in English about organisations and help lines, if being at home is not safe for you or your children (or if you are anxious that someone you know is not safe).

Kids

school table
home school

Lessons are suspended and children are learning from home. Only those who work in essential services (and who cannot find childcare) may take their children into school. Colleges and universities are delivering classes and assignments online.

For learners in English, I have this list of educational sites.

Support and interaction

Lots of people want to help at this time. Others needs help. Stad Antwerpen has this page (in Dutch) for those either requiring help, or wanting to volunteer their help. In both cases you need to fill in a form:

Here is the form if you need help

These are slips to download and deliver if you want to offer help to your neighbours who may be in a vulnerable group. NB: you need to do this while observing social distancing as much as is possible. Other forms of volunteer work can be found here 8pm

At 8pm many people are taking to their balconies and windows every evening to applaud the frontline workers who are keeping essential services -especially health services – open and functioning.

It’s important to make time to Skype/ Zoom/ WhatsApp/ Facetime with friends and family.  If your family is in an other country, you may have extra anxieties and feel home-sick. That’s very understandable – so if you are on Facebook you are very welcome in our group Expats in Antwerp. Not just for Covid 19 info- we have a daily chat thread each day, for general conversation, sharing news, recipes and -of course – pet pics!

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 12.53.26
Expats in Antwerp on Facebook

Financial support and assistance for incomes and businesses affected by Covid 19

RVA Antwerp

PMV.eu

Finally….

blogging-1168076_640If  you would like to help keep Nessascityblog going by writing a blog post for me, then now is the time! I welcome posts about how you are managing your time; the challenges and achievements of our changed circumstances; creative writing; how you are working and how your Antwerp business has been affected. Feel free to get in touch if you have an idea!

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

 

 

 

 

When Home Is Not Safe: support during confinement

coronavirus-4939290_640Violence & abuse in the home during confinement due to Corona pandemic: support in Belgium.

I want to post about a group who are vulnerable at this time, and may be in a difficult situation which is made more difficult if you don’t speak Dutch or French; that group is women & children in abusive family situations.

For people in this group, work and school are the safe places -not home. The added dangers to them during this period of confinement are obvious. Sadly, police and support workers are expecting an increase in domestic violence and abuse. Current circumstances mean that some women and children will find themselves spending the vast majority of their days and nights at home with their abuser(s).

If this is you, or a someone you know, please be aware that there is a number to call on this website:

https://www.ecouteviolencesconjugales.be/

There is also this site, which additionally includes numbers for children and young people.:

https://1712.be/

also for children and young people: http://nupraatikerover.be./

(you can also contact this site if you are worried about someone else)

There is also this article in Nieuwsblad, but it is in Dutch and behind a pay wall – you can make an account to read a few articles for free.

https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20200317_04892641…

Here is an explainer in English about contacting the police.

https://www.police.be/en

There is an app called Bright Sky, aimed at helping those affected by domestic abuse, and also those concerned about a friend, colleague or family member in this situation: https://www.hestia.org/brightsky

Screenshot 2020-03-19 at 19.57.49

PLEASE feel free to share this information in groups that you are in -or on your Facebook or Twitter status.

NB: If you supply this information to a woman or family you suspect may be at risk, please do so very carefully and discretely: abusers often monitor the communications of those who they abuse.

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

 

Education and Learning Sites for Children.

These are mainly in English, and from the UK or the US. I found this list and the descriptors on a teaching group on Facebook, so cannot personally vouch for how good the content is on all of them:

A non-exhaustive list that might help those affected by school closures due to coronavirus, compiled by home educators. 

Feel free to share.

Khan Academy

https://www.khanacademy.org

Especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it’s mostly common material.

BBC Learning

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learning/coursesearch/

This site is old and no longer updated and yet there’s so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.

Futurelearn

https://www.futurelearn.com

Free to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account).

Seneca Koop

https://www.senecalearning.com

For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.

Openlearn

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/

Free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it. Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.

Blockly

https://blockly.games

Learn computer programming skills – fun and free.

Scratch

https://scratch.mit.edu/explore/projects/games/

Creative computer programming

Ted Ed

https://ed.ted.com

All sorts of engaging educational videos

National Geographic Kids

https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/

Activities and quizzes for younger kids.

Duolingo

https://www.duolingo.com

Learn languages for free. Web or app.

Mystery Science

https://mysteryscience.com

Free science lessons

The Kids Should See This

https://thekidshouldseethis.com

Wide range of cool educational videos

Crash Course

https://thecrashcourse.com

You Tube videos on many subjects

Crash Course Kids

https://m.youtube.com/user/crashcoursekids

As above for a younger audience

Crest Awards

https://www.crestawards.org

Science awards you can complete from home.

iDEA Awards

https://idea.org.uk

Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.

Paw Print Badges

https://www.pawprintbadges.co.uk

Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.

Tinkercad

https://www.tinkercad.com

All kinds of making.

Prodigy Maths

https://www.prodigygame.com

Is in U.S. grades, but good for UK Primary age.

Cbeebies Radio

https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/radio

Listening activities for the younger ones.

Nature Detectives

https://naturedetectives.woodlandtrust.org.uk/naturedetectives/

A lot of these can be done in a garden, or if you can get to a remote forest location!

British Council

https://www.britishcouncil.org/school-resources/find

Resources for English language learning

Oxford Owl for Home

https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/

Lots of free resources for Primary age

Big History Project

https://www.bighistoryproject.com/home

Aimed at Secondary age. Multi disciplinary activities.

Geography Games

https://world-geography-games.com/world.html

Geography gaming!

Blue Peter Badges

https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/joinin/about-blue-peter-badges

If you have a stamp and a nearby post box.

The Artful Parent

https://www.facebook.com/artfulparent/

Good, free art activities 

Red Ted Art

https://www.redtedart.com

Easy arts and crafts for little ones

The Imagination Tree

https://theimaginationtree.com

Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.

Toy Theater

https://toytheater.com/

Educational online games

DK Find Out

https://www.dkfindout.com/uk/?fbclid=IwAR2wJdpSJSeITf4do6aPhff8A3tAktnmpaxqZbkgudD49l71ep8-sjXmrac

Activities and quizzes

Twinkl

https://www.twinkl.co.uk

This is more for printouts, and usually at a fee, but they are offering a month of free access to parents in the event of school closures.

Open Culture
http://www.openculture.com/


Free ebooks 
https://www.gutenberg.org/

Audible – free stories, read aloud
https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

30 minutes daily PE workout for kids and teens
Joe Wicks – Body Coach

https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1

David Walliams stories
Read by the author: https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses/

 

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

This weekend in Antwerp: 14th & 15 March

UPDATE: Stad Antwerpen closes museums, libraries, sports facilities (including pools), community centres and all non-essential services from Friday 13th March until the end of the month. Here’s the update from the website

From midnight 13th March – Belgian schools suspend lessons -some are staying open to provide care if needed for the children of essential workers) until 3rd April; as well as cafés, restaurants. At the weekends, shops (apart from pharmacies and supermarkets) will close.

March is Black History Month in Belgium. Here is the agenda, where you can search for events near you. The theme of Black History Month 2020 is “The Roots Of Our Health” and it will be explored through events such as debates, movies, exhibitions and performances.

If you have a young reader, then you may also know that March is “Jeugdboekenmaand” (Youth Book Month) which means that there’s plenty going on in Bib Permeke for children and young people throughout the month. The theme this year is ART.  See the Permeke library website for events, activities and exhibitions taking place there, or the search the complete agenda on the Jeugdboekenmaand page.

Next Tuesday is St Patrick’s Day, and we wish our Irish readers a wonderful day! Although, it looks as though some celebrations around the world will be cancelled due to the corona virus, let’s hope that the Irish pubs in Antwerp are able to keep their doors open for what is always a fun night/ weekend in the city.

Saturday

Screenshot 2020-03-11 at 17.31.27
An Sibhin

Antwerp has four Irish bars: An Sibhin, Molly’s, Kelly’s and The Irish Times. All have celebrations for St Patrick’s Day planned, but they’re clearly over-excited at Molly’s on Jesuitenrui, who are kicking off already with live music, promos, sport & giveaways, and at  An Sibhin on Nationalestraat (pic right) with the 6 Nations Finals on today, (and a breakfast on Sunday).***CANCELLED

It’s Retro Day in the second hand stores (‘kringloopwinkels’) around Antwerp.

CANCELLED *** Beer lovers who look forward to MEUG festival will also be getting in the mood at Bar Chapel with a one-night pop-up bar, opening at 7pm – register on the link, for a free drink. ***CANCELLED

Sunday

Screenshot 2020-03-11 at 17.27.09
Plantin Moretus

CANCELLED *** One of my favourite museums is having a birthday party. After all, it’s not every day you turn 500, like Christoffel Plantin. The Plantin Moretus Museum on Vrijdagmarkt will be celebrating with a few different events, but starts today with a party, taking place both in the museum and on the Vrijdagmarkt: here is the agenda for the day. You can read more about the museum and Christoffel Plantin on this excellent guest post by Daniel McBrearty, from last year. ***CANCELLED

If you see runners in unusual places around the city today, that’s because it’s the Antwerp Urban Trail. You can register for this event until the day before. Register here. There are 7km and 12km runs, which go through famous Antwerp buildings that will be opened especially for the event, and you can view the routes here.

And if you see some well-fed looking oxen on Grote Markt, that’s because of an old Antwerp tradition called (literally translated) Weighing The Fat Ox which starts at 2pm. This dates back to Napoleonic times and you can see the animals being weighed on the traditional scales. Here’s an explanation of the history behind this tradition:

bull-3541819_640“In 1795 the French occupation put a stop to Antwerp’s butchers’ guild. The Vleeshuis then closed its doors and new covered market halls sprung up in its place. Butchers started organising themselves by market hall. Those from Sint-Jan founded an annual weigh-in for the fattest ox on the Grote Markt in the middle of the 19th century. The market hall no longer stands but the weigh-in still takes place. It is a remnant of what, for a long time, was a daily sight in the city: cattle wandering around.” (source)

It’s Boekenplein on de Coninckplein in from of Antwerp’s Permeke library. The monthly second hand book market returns after a cancellation last moth due to storms. The book market will be on from 10am -4pm.

After a grey and dreary week, there might be some improvement in the weather, although Friday is likely to still be rainy (mainly in the morning). Saturday and Sunday will be brighter, with a much lower chance of showers. Top temps on Sunday – around 14 degrees.

Miscellaneous

hand-washing-4818792_640If you are concerned about the corona virus, this page will keep you updated about the current situation in Belgium (or via the Federal Health Department on Twitter). The situation is subject to change, and I will attempt to update if any of the events listed here are cancelled. At time of writing, larger indoor events (over 1000 people) are likely not to go ahead -if you have plans or tickets for such an event, check the event organiser or venue website.

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram

This weekend in Antwerp: 6th, 7th & 8th March

It’s March already!

And if you have a young reader, then you should know that March is also “Jeugdboekenmaand” (Youth Book Month) which means that there’s plenty going on in Bib Permeke for children and young people throughout the month. The theme this year is ART.  See the Permeke library website for events, activities and exhibitions taking place there, or the search the complete agenda on the Jeugdboekenmaand page.

Friday

movie-918655_640Why not start your weekend at the pictures? De Cinema (at De Studio) is showing one of my favourites –The Big Lebowski (1998) – at 8pm. Tickets via the link. It’s conveniently located near a bar/ bistro I like too: Zeppos is just a few doors down and easily recognisable by its red exterior.

Saturday

At Den Beulebak there’s a free vintage comic fair from 10am -5pm. It will take place alongside their regular monthly second hand book market.

Screenshot 2020-03-04 at 15.04.43 Sunday

Today is International Women’s Day. Here are two events you can attend to mark the day here in Antwerp, and there are further events listed in the Events section of this Facebook page.

Proefkonijnen is a children’s theatre on Frankrijklei: maybe their show Drakenjacht (Dragon Hunt) at 2.30pm would be something for your 4+ year old(s) on a Sunday afternoon? If you want to check it out, find tickets here.

Now that the storms have (hopefully) passed, you might like to (re)visit Rivierenhof:  every Sunday at 2pm at the “sprookjeshuis” there’s a  fairy story read aloud (in Dutch) for children aged 6+. It’s costs 5 euros and you can register your child(ren) here, in advance. The Sprookjeshuis is near the Rivierenhof Kasteel and the playground, and there’s a vegetable gardening workshop going on at the same time -click the link; and then on to the Eventbrite link in order to register for this.

The weather will continue to be cooler this weekend max temps 11 degrees), with Saturday likely to be the best day – dry and bright, and showers expected on Friday and on Sunday morning.

Miscellaneous

Runners: You can now sign up for the Antwerp 10 Miles on 26th April 2020. It costs less if you sign up before the 6th April.Screenshot 2020-03-04 at 15.07.56

If you are concerned about the corona virus, this page will keep you updated about the current situation in Belgium (or via the Federal Health Department on Twitter).

Find & Follow #nessascityblog

ON: Facebook (Events in Antwerp)

Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

& check out #nessascityblog on Twitter & Pinterest & Instagram