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Belgium in Brief: What Is Bouncing Back?

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What do you think of when you think of a country “bouncing back” after a crisis? 

Cambridge Dictionary says it is “to start to be successful again after a difficult period, for example after experiencing failure, loss of confidence, illness, or unhappiness.

But then we have to pick apart what we mean by being successful again. Is it returning to normal? Something new rising from the chaos of a difficult time? Or is it just returning to some form of ordinary? 

We all know of businesses that didn’t survive or had to make significant changes almost overnight, never to be the same. On countless occasions, I’ve found myself faced with the feeling that I missed something important when stores I once frequented were suddenly gone. 

On the other hand, some places have thrived. They’ve diversified or adapted to cope with this bizarre time, only to find it works. Some places even came into creation during the crisis. 

Is bouncing back the old surviving? The new blooming? Or just a world where we don’t collectively recoil when we bump into a stranger? 

Derek Blyth has taken a look back at an extraordinary moment in our time and identified six ways that Covid could change the EU capital forever – so read his take here – but I want to know what bouncing back will look like to you? 

Let @johnstonjules know.

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. ‘Start of infection wave’: Flanders to turn red on European map again

Flanders will turn red on the map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) again this week, as the daily average of new infections in the region doubled over the past two weeks. Read more.

2. Café patron stabs manager after being asked to see proof of vaccination

A customer stabbed a café manager in Brussels on Saturday after being asked to show his Covid Safe Ticket (CST), according to Bruzz. Read More.

3. Belgian playground bullying drama wins at London Film Festival

Playground (original title ‘Un Monde’), the first feature film by Belgian director Laura Wandel, was awarded the top prize in the First Feature Competition at the London Film Festival (BFI) on Sunday, distribution company Lumière announced in a statement. Read more.

4. Brussels bets on bikes (and pedestrians)

Two new initiatives are being developed in Brussels to make the city safer and more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly, especially around key areas on the city’s network. Read more.

5. Belgian youth asked to skip school for Friday’s climate strike

Young people in Belgium have been called on by the climate movement Youth for Climate to once again skip school and take to the streets during the Global Climate Strike on Friday 22 October. Read more.

6. Belgium’s health minister not in favour of a general booster shot

The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with existing ones, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke stressed on Sunday. Read more.

7. Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Belgium

A 770-metre long Highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to Laurent Blondiau, project manager for the Club Alpin Belge (Belgian Mountain Climbing Club). Read more.

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