Corona stories from residents of Rheden and Rozendaal: This week: Sonja Kapel (70), Animals

Corona came from all sides and hit us from all sides. How were you in the time of Corona? In the coming weeks you can read the stories of the residents of Rheden and Rozendaal at

This week: Sonja Kapel (70), Animals

Sonja lives across from the Dierense stadium. During Corona, she was able to closely monitor the area she was involved in as a volunteer for 44 years. Found it very frustrating that the Community Core remained closed.

I’m used to spending sixty to seventy hours a week on the field. Together with Berry, I do the financial management and am responsible for the volunteers. Suddenly it’s gone. Then I started making all the new membership cards right here on the table. Every now and then we would walk to the stadium to check if there were any crazy things going on. We let the water run for a while, and cleaned out some cupboards. The stadium is a public facility and should also be closed for weeks. After that, we understood that according to the guidelines, we could have stayed open! That was very frustrating to hear. The rules and guidelines were not clear, and the communication was not good. But I know how important this playground is to so many families… We are the hub of the community. I was very worried about the children. Not everyone is home. It is very important that children always have a place to go. At one point the children were allowed back in again, but the parents were not. But you don’t let four-year-olds play on their own, do you? Then we closed permanently again. Play is an outlet. It is also good for education. Here children learn to participate, to be helpful, in dealing with children with ADHD or a physical disability. Differences between people? Parents talk big about it, but kids don’t. I often say to children who fight, “They fight all over the world. There is only one place in this world where there is no quarrel.” “This is definitely the stadium?” They say themselves.

‘Rules and guidelines were not clear’

When we were allowed to reopen in the summer of 2021, we required all visitors to sanitize their hands. Not everyone wanted it. Some have gone crazy! I told them there were two things they could do: either wait here for the boas I was going to call, or go somewhere where they could play by their own rules. Regular check-ups were done. If we and our visitors don’t follow all the rules, we can close again! Because of my health I’m a fanatic anyway. I still want to rule out any risk. Some people think I’m exaggerating. Then I hear, “Come on, son. Is there anything left to do now?” Corona has not gone away yet. I am a lung patient and have to avoid everything that can be avoided. Still. My husband Perry and I babysit our grandkids twice a week. If they had a simple cold, they wouldn’t come. I have had five vaccinations. Perry didn’t actually want to take the last shot anymore, but then I said: Do it for me. At first, when no one had yet been vaccinated, the grandchildren came back here in the parking lot. I put the drinks in the elevator and they unloaded them downstairs. If they do our shopping, they put the bags in the elevator upstairs. The kids are there and we’re here on the railing. So we can talk a little bit.

Seniors should go first, I heard a lot during Corona. But the elderly also have the right to life.

Corona made me more vigilant. If a volunteer catches a cold, I won’t let him come. I’m old, I know. and “Old people should go first.” This is often said during the corona. Yeah, keep that to yourself, I guess. Older people also have the right to life. I am now very busy sending the membership letter. People who have lost their jobs due to Corona, or who have been sick for a long time, are now in trouble. Also people who have homes inhabited by their owners. They are ashamed of this and it creates ‘silent poverty’. I write in the member’s letter that no one should be ashamed and that we help where we can. Corona is all about helping ′′ for me anyway. Berry and I went shopping at 7:00 in the morning, during the old age hour at the supermarket. I thought that was awesome! I’m an early bird and all the shelves were nice and full at the time. Many times we also do groceries for others. Where we can, help us. Corona gave me a sense of teamwork. I felt like we were united. Aside from people who believe in conspiracy theories you have to drop those theories, I noticed we got really close to each other.

The stories were written by writer Maaike Kuyvenhoven. Can she also interview you? Then call us at [email protected].

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