Interview with the Mayor of Stavhurst, Jan Ten Kate.
You want to make a call for testing, but you never want to invite people to get vaccinated. why not?
“I’m not interested in the related stuff, and it’s not about the extremists. I think we find each other in the middle – especially in Stafford. Of course it’s true that vaccination helps a lot in suppressing this epidemic. But there are people out there who don’t choose and I respect that. Then it enters a different scenario. Into effect: Consider each other, keep that meter and a half in mind and start the test. The story we’ve known a year and a half ago. Do it in order to make sure we get high grades fell back.”
As a mayor, should you sometimes not pay attention to your residents and continue to give this urgent vaccination advice? Because the numbers appear, also in neighboring municipalities: the higher the vaccination rate, the lower the number of infections.
“I am not a mayor superior to the population, I am among the population. But I also look after them and do that by ensuring that people make a good choice based on good information. Choosing to be vaccinated, but for a group of people that choice is not vaccinated for their own reasons. It’s good to take that into account and respect it. But I make an urgent appeal to that group of people: give space to each other, keep some distance between them, go to the test. Well, you know the story.”
Can you also pinpoint where the infection primarily occurred? For example, is the increasing number of positive cases mainly among young people?
“What we get from GGD is that it mainly occurs in families and we know we have very large families in Staphorst. So if someone does get infected, the pressure of infection is really fast. We’ve already seen that for a year and a half. We can’t really find a source.” Or a reason, but it’s in families. And we have big families.”
The outside world looks at Staphorst and thinks about the number of visitors in the churches. Is this where the infection occurs?
“Well, what I said: it’s mostly in families. It’s known that the churches have also taken their measures and they’ve also come back to a smaller number of people. Only families are together and they stay a meter and a half apart. So I also get the impression that people there take into account the situation as He is at the moment.”
Staphorst’s vaccination rate is low, about 56 percent. Do you hope that under the pressure of facts – high vaccination coverage, fewer positive tests – that people in Stavhurst will take a turn?
“I hope that people do their own assessment every day. We also see in other municipalities that people are not vaccinated for other reasons; sometimes there is a fear of a vaccine. But again: we are in favor of trying as much as possible to get the right information.”
Ten Kate advises: “If there is a fear, contact GGD and try to ask more questions. Also tell us why you’d prefer not to. Then maybe we can see together if we can give you the confidence to do it.” The last call I want to make: Give both of you another space, figuratively, and respect each other in whatever decision you make.”
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