As the Covid-19 measures hit our country in the end of March the bird’s feast in my back garden started – a wood pecker, a robin and many great tits that I usually do not see in my small patch of city-green. The morning concerts are twice as loud as usual!

Text: Daphne Riabokon

The peak of the disease was end of April. Now life is slowly starting to loosen up a bit. One can feel it in the streets, children playing, more and more friends having picnics in the parks. But also, alas! more airplanes too that, when the winds blow from a certain direction, fly right over my house and outcry the birds.


Since 11 May we are allowed to give shiatsu treatments. With extra hygiene, hand wash instead of handshakes, many white sheets, health check before every appointment (no running noses, coughs let alone a small fever). Face masks we only use if the client (or therapist) feels more comfortable with one. Face masks are compulsory in public transport. Not in the streets or shops, where people can maintain the one-and-a-half-meter distance.

As from 1 June cafés and restaurants can receive up to 30 guests, reservations beforehand, health check, and, one-and-a-half-meter distance between the tables, likewise for theatres and movie theatres. In one month they hope to increase the numbers of people inside to a maximum of 100.

What about our shiatsu schools?

All of them have started very quickly to move to online lessons in various forms. This was great to keep the contact, keep the Ki flowing. We even have felt some advantages of the online life. Meeting people from farther away in the lessons, even abroad. Having a recording of the lessons afterwards. Some schools are preparing – just in case – for online courses in September, professionalising in this field. But others will start lessons within a few weeks, smaller groups and, again, distance between the mats, fixed practising partners.

Mr. Robin

While I am writing this on my balcony I can see Mr. Robin. He is visiting me again. Robins are sometimes referred to as the symbol of wisdom and patience, but also a spring song and good luck, new beginnings and renewal.


Amsterdam 1st June 2020

Still no ticket for the congress? Order here.