Foto: Janine Schrijver

Over 300 stories on Dutch story platform ‘Wij & corona’

On the last day of 2020, the 300th story was published on Wij & corona (translated into We & corona). On this Dutch website, we share the experiences of older people during these trying corona times. In this way, we provide a platform for the voice of older people and support and inspire each other! For example, Willem (71) explains how he tries to stay fit at home and Maarten (77), who is a heart patient and must be extra careful.

Very diverse experiences
At the end of March 2020, Leyden Academy and the GetOud foundation started Wij & corona, to offer older people – who are relatively hard hit by the virus and the corona measures – a platform to share their experiences. We could not have imagined then that the pandemic would last this long and that more than 300 people would entrust their personal stories to us. We shared the experiences of elderly people from all over the country and from all walks of life: from a hermit to a bon vivant, from an elderly football supporter to a retired healthcare CEO. We also published stories of care givers, which give an insight into the raw reality of COVID-19.

In search of more (international) stories
Thanks to our collaboration with HelpAge International, ILC Japan, and the Leyden Academy international network, we have also been able to give an impression of how older people in other parts of the world experience the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the stories from Ume (88) from Japan, geriatric researcher Raúl from Mexico, or Klavdiya (79) from the Ukraine.

As long as this virus continues to dominate our daily lives, we will continue to collect and publish these stories. Do you have suggestions for people we can interview or do you want to share your own story, please send an email to Yvonne Koemans.

Special thanks to the funds that help(ed) to make this initiative possible: Jo Visser Fonds, Fonds Sluyterman van Loo, RCOAK Foundation and Fonds 1818.