Trimbos: many more adults have a mental disorder

More than a quarter of adults had a mental disorder in the past year between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2022. The Trimbos Institute reports this on the basis of a research among 6,194 Dutch people. It is a significant increase from twelve years earlier, when 17.4 percent of adults had a mental illness. Translated into the entire population, this amounted to 3.3 million people in the past three years.

According to Trimbos’ figures, the percentage of people with a panic disorder has risen relatively fast. In the previous survey that was 1.2 percent, now that percentage is 2.5. Anxiety disorders, which also include panic disorders, are the most common type of mental illness measured by the researchers at 15.6 percent. Furthermore, almost one in ten people reported a depressive disorder.


The more than six thousand participants did not have to report whether they had a mental disorder, but were given an interview of one and a half hours to determine this. About a hundred researchers were trained for three days to conduct these interviews. They are therefore not real psychologists, but according to Annemarie Luik, head of the epidemiology program at Trimbos, this has no influence on the results. “The interviews meet all the criteria for a diagnosis, they just should not be used to treat anyone.”

The corona crisis does not seem to affect the increase, the researchers write. They saw as many mental disorders in the people they interviewed before the pandemic broke out as in the rest.

Performance pressure

“We had expected an increase, but this is a very significant increase,” says Liège. In recent years, society has also been talking more about psychological complaints, Liège sees, but it was not certain that there were actually more disorders. “What you heard about complaints in society, you now also see at the disorder level.” According to Luik, it is possible that people in the interviews also indicate their complaints more quickly because mental complaints have become more discussable, but she expects that the influence of this will be limited.

The research was not about the causes of the psychological complaints, but Liège cautiously mentions a few. “Performance pressure could play a role. We see a stronger increase in the number of complaints among students, which fits in with that expectation.” Twelve years ago, 22.4 percent of students had a mental illness, now it is 43.7 percent. “We are going to do more research into this.” Furthermore, income differences and the individualization of society can cause the increase in mental disorders, thinks Liège.


Does it make sense to wash your apple?

Fungi, mites, aphids, larvae: they all like to snack on our apples. That is why many farmers turn to plant protection products, or pesticides. If they are bad for these pests, they are probably not good for us either, many people reason. That’s why they wash their apple before eating it. Or they even peel him.

But does washing actually make sense? Aren’t the pesticides in as much as on the skin? Or even throughout the apple?

The website of the Nutrition Center immediately gives many answers. The pesticides are mainly in the skin. And it makes no sense to wash your apple for that reason. But washing is still a good idea, because there can also be other dirt on it. Which one, we’ll just fill in for ourselves: bird droppings; mold or mud from the apple warehouse; bacteria from the hands of the shop assistants…

Very strict standards

So you can’t wash off the pesticides. Peel then? “No, that is not necessary,” says Wieke van der Vossen of the Nutrition Center. “Vegetables and fruit must meet very strict standards, which are subject to strict controls. These standards are set in such a way that people do not incur any health damage when consuming those foods, even with peel. The amounts of pesticides in fruit and vegetables are negligibly small.”

Peeling is also a waste, notes Van der Vossen. “Many vitamins and fibers of an apple are precisely in that skin. And peeling also results in food waste. We advise people to just eat the peel.”

But are those standards strict enough? “We can assume that,” says Van der Vossen. “They are based on extensive research in laboratory animals and humans, in different age groups. And then it turns out that people ingest so little of the pesticides that there is no measurable health effect.”

But there is discussion about that, says Van der Vossen. “Many foods contain different pesticides. And people eat different things in a day. Suppose you ingest five pesticides that all have the same effect, then you should add them together. But that’s not how the law works.”

Legumes, grapes and spinach

The recent studies by the RIVM do look at this cumulative effect. A 2020 study reports that the greatest cumulative exposure arises from consumption of legumes, grapes and spinach – but even that exposure, according to this report, remains well below the value that has any health effect.

Apples are not included in this study. According to a 2019 study by the European Food Authority EFSA you will also find all kinds of pesticides on apples, but this report does not see this as a risk either. The EFSA does recognize that not everything is known yet. For example, the studies focused only on thyroid and nerve effects. However, the pesticides can also affect other organs, such as the liver and kidneys. The EFSA is still investigating this, according to it RIVM in a fact sheet.

In short, we can’t eat sprayed apples-with-skin quite calmly yet. But washing (or peeling) won’t change that. “Those who really want to consume as little as possible should eat organic apples,” says Van der Vossen. “It is not the case that there are no pesticides at all. Only they are of biological origin, not chemical-synthetic. And there are much fewer.”


Panic among Russian LGBTI people about complete ban on ‘gay propaganda’: ‘Our space is getting smaller’

Saturday night just after twelve. In front of the gated entrance to a nondescript Soviet building on the bend of the Moskwa River stands a broad man in a blue camouflage uniform. Can you name this club? Do you visit such places more often?”, he fires his questions at the shivering clubbers in the freezing cold. The sound of booming basses blares through the closed door. Behind it, guards check bags and coats of visitors.

Once inside Central Station, Moscow’s largest and oldest gay club, suspicion disappears and a world that normally remains well hidden in Russia opens up. In a white hall, around a stage with provocative red curtains, exuberant boys revolve around each other. Behind the bar, six young boys in little black underpants and leather harnesses fill rows of shots. Those who want more than drinks can spend twenty minutes separately with a favorite employee for 120 euros.

Men hugging and kissing each other without embarrassment, it’s a rare scene. In 2013, a law was introduced that prohibits the ‘propagation of homosexuality’ among minors. That same year, Central Station nightclub was the target of several attacks, including a shooting. The club had to close temporarily and changed location, but not target group. The club is also popular with women.

Last week followed what many see as the final blow to the Russian gay movement. The State Duma passed a series of additional laws that now ban “gay propaganda” among adults as well. No less than four hundred parliamentarians contributed to the laws that prohibit the dissemination of information about ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ through media and the internet, advertisements, literature and film. Information about ‘pedophilia’ and ‘gender reassignment’ is also banned in one fell swoop. Fines range from around 5,000 euros for individuals to 65,000 euros for organizations. Foreigners who break the law can be detained for 15 days and deported. The Russian House of Lords signed the law on Wednesday, followed by Putin’s signature.

Invisible and mute

The measures sent a shock wave through the Russian LGBTI community, where it is feared that the repression will lead to more isolation, psychological suffering and violence against gays, lesbians, transgenders and other sexual minorities. Last week, interest groups mainly called for solidarity. “We will not allow hundreds of thousands of LGBTI people to be wiped out, that we will be made invisible and silenced. Big changes await us, but we will walk this path together,” the Moscow LGBTI organization Resource wrote on Instagram.

Joelia Malygina is the founder of Resource and speaks by phone from Germany, where she has been living with her partner since this year. “We are deeply concerned about our friends and colleagues in Russia. At the same time, we have no idea how the law will be deployed and what will happen.” In recent days, Malygina has seen advocacy groups in several regions of Russia self-suspend as a precaution, and administrators of online aid groups frantically covering their tracks. “We try to reach as many people as possible. But we can’t help if we can’t say who we are. Our space is getting smaller and smaller.” There is fear in her voice.

The laws prohibit the dissemination of information about ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ through media and the internet, advertisements, literature and film

The intensification of repression against sexual minorities appears to be directly related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In his speeches, President Putin invariably portrays the LGBTI community as an outgrowth of the ‘warlike’ West with its depraved morality and provocative gay pride. “In many places, people no longer know what ‘mama’ is. There you have Parent number 1 and Parent number 2 and there are dozens of genera, like a kind of transformers or I know what. That is not our culture,” President Putin said at a G20 meeting in 2019.

Duma member Aleksandr Chinshtein, proponent of the laws, went one step further last week by depicting LGBTI people as an extension of Western ‘hybrid’ warfare against Russia. “The special military operation takes place not only on the battlefield, but also in the consciousness of people,” Chinshtein wrote on Telegram.

List of books

The fact that the Russian government wants to closely monitor the ‘consciousness’ of citizens is also causing unrest outside the LGBT community. Russian publishers and booksellers, film distributors, theater and advertising producers are wondering how the law will affect their activities. One of them is Dmitri Yakovlev, publisher and owner of an online store of graphic novels. “Today the distributor emailed a request for a list of books with LGBTI subjects. There is a lot of turmoil in our profession, we are all waiting for the law to be formalized and how it will be applied.”

Russian riot police detains an LGBTI activist during a demonstration in Moscow, May 30, 2015.
Photo Dmitry Serebryakov / AFP

Yakovlev’s range includes several books in which homosexuality is central, such as the award-winning graphic novel Fun Home by the American author Alison Bechel, in which a young woman finds her coming out experience. But literature buffs fear the law could also affect Russian classics like Nabokovs Lolita (about a man’s love for an underage girl) and Anna Karenina (about adultery) by Lev Tolstoy. Yakovlev himself does not exclude the possibility that his publishing house will have to have books printed outside Russia in the future. “Just like in the Soviet years, when illegal literature entered Russia through smuggling routes.” Like tens of thousands of Russians, Yakovlev himself ended up in France as an emigre this year, when he fled the mobilization.

In his speeches, President Putin invariably portrays the LGBTI community as an outgrowth of the ‘warlike’ West with its depraved morals

Read also: “Of course I’m scared.” The police can raid LGBT clubs in Kuala Lumpur at any moment

LGBTI people are not the only ‘enemies’ who are persecuted and censored. This Thursday, a law will come into effect prohibiting the distribution of works by Russian authors who have been branded “foreign agents” by the government. Among them are the (homosexual, refugee) journalist Mikhail Zygar, who wrote an award-winning book about Putin’s corrupt political system, the wildly popular political scientist Ekaterina Shulman, and detective writer and historian Boris Akunin. Under the new law, their books must be wrapped in opaque cellophane and labeled 18+. Yakovlev can laugh about it. In addition, ‘foreign agents’ are no longer allowed to teach. “Books by ‘foreign agents’ are selling well in Russia. Perhaps that demand will continue to rise.”

Muscular boy bast

On the dark dance floor, behind the safely closed doors and guards, all the panic and fear is barely noticeable. The 23-year-old bar employee Valeri has heard something about new gay laws, but does not know the details. His smooth, muscular boy’s chest is tied in leather straps, his forearm has “All Ease” tattooed in dainty letters. “They have already banned so much, so I don’t think there will be much change in practice. And what can we change about it? We have no influence on anything.” Of course, the clubbers live in fear, but according to Valeri and his cheerful colleague, this is mainly due to the war situation, the mobilization and the sanctions. “In addition, this club no longer openly advertises itself as gay. That’s the trick and it works,” says Valeri with a grin.

Evelina Grand, one of Moscow’s most famous drag queens, performs at Central Station.
Photo Eva Cukier

although from opinion polls shows that a small majority of Russian young people do not see homosexuality as a problem, the proportion of Russians who are against ‘non-traditional’ relationships is growing. According to activist Malygina, negative information about LGBTI people is deliberately inflated in order to divert attention from much larger problems in society. The increasingly suffocating climate has been causing an exodus of LGBTI people to the West for years. “Half of my friends have fled in the past ten years, the rest have gone underground and live a secluded life. They are vulnerable to prostitution, violence, extortion and blackmail, also within the LGBTI community.” Malygina does not think that Moscow’s gay clubs will suddenly be closed. “On the contrary! Those clubs are frequented by the same officials who write all those awful laws during the day, and big stars with connections. They include people who benefit from an unsafe climate in which exploitation can flourish.”


In Central Station, Zhenya, who is in her twenties, seems oblivious to all these dangers. He wears dungarees over his thin body, which has clearly already consumed a good amount of alcohol. “This is Moscow, here everything will remain as it is. What is happening in the rest of Russia? Even if you beat me to death, I haven’t been there in so long,” he shouts cheerfully, putting his arm around his friend’s hip and swallowing the next shot of tequila.

Then, well past midnight, the show everyone has been waiting for begins: a performance by Evelinaа Grand, one of Moscow’s most famous drag queens, who pokes fun at both her fan base and the homophobic Russian government with her vile and piquant humor. Unlike fans like Zjenja, the grande dame of the capital city drag scene is indeed concerned about the new repression, as appeared from a message to her 40,000 followers on Instagram last week. “As long as we can still meet and not be chased with pitchforks, torches and court orders, I ask you to come to my concerts. Then we will see how we have to live on.”


Column | Mearsheimer is an intellectual con artist

“Do you know what to write about? About Mearsheimer. He’s got it. Always look to the US first,” said a lawyer and peer I met on the street last month. John Mearsheimer, a 74-year-old political scientist at the University of Chicago, has argued since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 that the “silly” West is to blame for the war in Ukraine. And not Putin, one “first-class strategist”who has never set out to ‘take territory in eastern Ukraine’.

Mearsheimer is not only a figurehead for this lawyer. He is too in academic circles for the so-called ‘realists’. Realists pride themselves on analyzing questions of war and peace soberly, unlike liberal ‘idealists’ who would moralize.

As befits a guru, Mearsheimer held his course unflinchingly. Even after Russia had started its frontal attack on Ukraine at the end of February. In an interview of The New Yorkers he again advised Kyiv to break with the West and “adjust to the Russians.” Putin was certainly not building a “greater Russia and not interested in the conquest and integration of Ukraine.”

Mearsheimer had spoken. But was the case settled? No. After all, in the nine months everything went differently than the realist pope ex cathedral predicted in Chicago. The New Yorkers so called him again in November. Putin had just annexed four Ukrainian provinces and threatened to defend this new Russia with “all available means”. Mearsheimer was not impressed by these facts. In the weekly magazine he reiterated that “the narrative that Putin is aggressive” is a “fabrication” of the West. That Kyiv ignored his advice, did not ‘accommodate’ but fought back, is indeed strange, at least different ‘than most people had previously expected’.

Pretty is different. A little more introspection is perhaps too much to ask of a guru, who only follows the main lines and, after all, knows nothing about Ukraine and Russia. The tendency to dismiss facts that belie one’s own predictions as “unexpected surprises” is common among realists more widely.

After that, however, the interview gets dirty. When asked why Putin himself joined the 300th birthday of Tsar Peter the Great acknowledged that Russia is imperialist, Mearsheimer says: “There was no evidence of its imperial ambitions before the war. […] There is no evidence that he wanted to occupy four provinces.” He dismisses the fact that Putin wrote in a historiographical article half a year before the invasion that Great Russians (Russia), Little Russians (Ukraine) and White Russians (Belarus) have one language and one religion, in short form “one people” with one goal. He even claims that Putin “makes it very clear in that article that he recognized Ukrainian nationalism, that he recognized that Ukraine was a sovereign state.” The idea that Putin would lie is unthinkable. That would be “unprecedented” in history, except for Hitler, according to Mearsheimer.

Here now Mearsheimer is openly cheating. Because if Putin did anything in that essay from July 2021, it was to deny the authenticity of Ukraine. It was not for nothing that the title was ‘On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians’. Putin even argued in the article that Ukraine is historically nothing more than a Western “bridgehead against Russia”, a plot by Habsburg Austrians, Poles, Nazis and Americans, respectively, who use Ukraine as an “anti-Moscow” project.

Mearsheimer unmasked himself this year. Mearsheimer is an intellectual con artist.

Hubert Smith is a journalist and historian. He writes a column here every other week.


Mexican national coach resigns after World Cup elimination

Mexican national coach resigns after World Cup elimination

Gerardo Martino resigns as national coach of the Mexican soccer team. Although Mexico won 2-1 against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, this was not enough to reach the round of 16. Due to a goal difference that was too low, the team finished just behind Argentina in group C. It is the first time in eight World Cups that Mexico has not qualified for the knockout phase of the tournament.

“My contract has expired with the final whistle. That’s all there is to be done,” said the 60-year-old Argentinian after the match. International news agencies write that the national coach takes full responsibility for the “disappointment”.

Martino has been national coach of the Mexican team since 2019. Previously, he was the coach of the Argentina and Paraguay national teams.

On Wednesday, Mexico won 2-1 against Saudi Arabia, but the team had to leave the World Cup due to a goal difference that was too low. Photo Luca Bruno/AP

Welcome to this blog

This Thursday is the twelfth matchday of the World Cup in Qatar and four games are scheduled. Today the teams from groups E and F, who last played football on Sunday, play. Spain kept their lead in Group E with Costa Rica’s win over Japan, and Croatia took the lead in Group F from Morocco with a win over Canada. That country beat Belgium on Sunday.

The first two games of the day start at 4 p.m. Croatia then plays against Belgium and Canada against Morocco. There are two more games at 8 p.m. Japan will then play against Spain while Costa Rica will face Germany.

The Belgians, who are still struggling, must beat Croatia to be sure of the eighth finals. Only if Morocco loses heavily, Belgium still has a chance of reaching the eighth finals with a draw against Croatia. Croatia needs a draw for a place in the last sixteen. In the other game, Morocco needs one point against Canada, which has already been eliminated, to continue.

Germany has only taken one point after two rounds and must win to have a chance at the eighth final. In addition, the Germans must hope that Spain wins against Japan. Spain is almost certain of the last sixteen due to an excellent goal difference. For Japan and Costa Rica there are chances for the next round both with a win and a draw.

NRC writes a daily report of the competitions and other important and notable events in this blog.

Read the blog here from Wednesday, November 30


The government does not have to compensate energy suppliers for the early closure of coal-fired power stations

Energy suppliers RWE and Uniper are not entitled to compensation because they are forced to close their coal-fired power stations early in 2030. The court of The Hague made that ruling on Wednesday in the case that both companies brought against the Dutch state last year. RWE demanded compensation from the state of more than 1.4 billion euros, Uniper wanted a billion euros in damages.

The reason for the lawsuit is the decision of the Rutte III cabinet in 2017 to ban the generation of energy via coal from 2030. This law should help the Netherlands to achieve the climate goals. At the time of announcement, the power stations of RWE and Uniper had just opened: the power station in Eemshaven (RWE) was commissioned in 2015, the power station on Maasvlakte 2 (Uniper) a year later.

The two German energy companies claimed that the closure violated their property rights. According to them, the so-called Coal Ban Act (Wvk) is unlawful because it does not provide “adequate financial compensation” for the damage they suffer as a result. Without government intervention, both power stations could continue to run for decades: the lifespan of a power station is about forty years.

However, the court in The Hague does not consider compensation for those future losses to be necessary. According to the court, the Wvk does infringe property rights, but this is not unlawful. “The measures that the state has taken with the law to reduce the CO2emissions are proportional. The interests of the owners have been sufficiently taken into account.”

What is taken into account in the decision is that RWE and Uniper could already foresee before they started building their power plants that they could be confronted with ‘CO during their lifetime’.2emission-reducing government measures”. They could have anticipated this by taking measures themselves much earlier: by capturing the emissions or switching to biomass.

According to the court, both companies still have every opportunity to do so even after the cabinet decision: the ban did not take effect immediately when the law was passed, but there was a ‘bridging period’. In that period, RWE and Uniper can still realize revenues and limit their damage. In addition, they can use the time until 2030 to ‘examine other uses for the power plants’.

Uniper and RWE say in a response to the ANP news agency that they are disappointed in the verdict. “We believe that interference with our property without compensation is not acceptable. We will continue to study the ruling and will consider whether to appeal,” said an RWE spokesperson.

“When a company makes long-term investments, the rules should not be changed along the way,” said a spokesman for Uniper. “We have to take this into account in future investments.”

In addition to the power stations of the two German producers in Eemshaven and on Maasvlakte 2, the Netherlands has two more coal-fired power stations: an Onyx power station on the Maasvlakte and an RWE power station in Geertruidenberg. The first was initially supposed to close early, but the owner later reversed that decision. The power plant in Geertruidenberg burns a mix of coal and biomass and must be completely converted to renewable fuel in just over two years.


Addicted to bad publicity

The fashion industry thrives on exploitation. But now see Janice Del that the industry itself seems to be tackling child pornography, racism and anti-Semitism.


Opinion | Equal

After a heated argument with my bossy neighbor, I get an email from her: “Sorry, I got angry. But I was right.”

Readers are the authors of this column. An Ikje is a personal experience or anecdote in a maximum of 120 words. Submit via


Christine McVie was Fleetwood Mac’s hit writer

Christine McVie was not just a member of Fleetwood Mac, as became clear when the band released a very successful Greatest Hits compilation in 1988: half of the sixteen songs were written by the singer and keyboardist.

McVie died on Wednesday at the age of 79, the band announced on social media. She passed away after a short illness, surrounded by her family, the statement said. Fleetwood Mac has sold over 100 million albums and is one of the most successful bands of all time.

Christine McVie was born Christine Perfect on July 12, 1943 in Bouth, near Birmingham. Her father was a concert violinist, her mother was a fortune teller. “I believed in her powers. She was truly a healer,” McVie said of her mother. As a young girl she took piano lessons and learned about rock music through her older brother John. In 1967 she joined the band Chicken Shack, which was formed by band members of a group McVie had previously been in. The band’s first song, “It’s Okay With Me Baby,” was written by McVie, and minor success came with “I’d Rather Go Blind.” McVie fell in love with the bassist of a band they regularly played support act for: Fleetwood Mac.

In 1968 she married that bass player, John McVie. During their honeymoon, which didn’t go that far (Birmingham), Joe Cocker turned out to be staying at their hotel. McVie said about it earlier this year The Guardian: “We got drunk with him on our wedding night! Until we threw him out.”

In 1969, McVie left Chicken Shack and joined Fleetwood Mac a year later, after guitarist and band founder Peter Green (deceased in 2020) left the band. But even before she joined the band, she already had backing vocals and keyboard parts for the album Kill House recorded for the band, and she had also painted the cover of that album. “It was heartbreaking for them that Peter left the band,” she said. “They practiced at Kiln House, and I was there with all the women. They came out of the rehearsal room and said, “Hey Chris, do you want to join us?” I couldn’t believe my luck. I said ‘seriously? I’m just a girl playing the piano.”

Alcohol rivers

The band members were known for their use of drugs and alcohol. “The group members officially lived in California, but usually lived in a self-chosen environment of cocaine mountains and alcohol rivers, in a fog of marijuana vapors,” NRC wrote in 2018. McVie said: “I am not innocent when it comes to that, but Stevie and I were always very careful. The boys were handed cocaine in Heineken caps on stage, but Stevie and I always only took small amounts. I took pretty good care of myself. My drugs were cocaine and champagne, I took nothing else. By the way, I think I performed better because of it, but someone could convince me otherwise.”

Christine McVie during a Fleetwood Mac concert at the Ziggo Dome in 2015.

Photo ANP/ Paul Bergen

The band’s line-up continued to change, and Fleetwood Mac moved to the United States, where Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band in 1974. The album they made together, Fleetwood Mac in 1975, was quite successful. The McVie-written songs ‘Over My Head’ and ‘Say You Love Me’ made the charts. But they achieved greater success with the next album, Rumors, which would go on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time. It featured hits like “Don’t Stop,” “Never Going Back Again,” “Songbird,” and “You Make Loving Fun,” a song McVie wrote about an affair with the band’s lightsman—she and John McVie were divorced at the time of release. The song ‘Dreams’, written by Stevie Nicks (Christine McVie called it ‘boring’ during the recording), became a hit again in 2020, when Tiktokker Nathan Apodaca used it in a video. The song re-entered the charts, including on Spotify and Apple Music.

Hits still followed, but modestly. The song ‘Love in Store’ from Mirage (1983) did hit the charts, which was inspired by McVie’s relationship with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson. And also the songs ‘Everywhere’ and ‘Little Lies’ (co-)written by her Tango in the Night, sold well. That would be Fleetwood Mac’s final studio album. In 1998 McVie left the band to retire to the English countryside.

Solo albums

McVie released three solo albums. Another for Fleetwood Mac, Christine Perfect, on which she made quite pure blues with her beautiful low voice. She made the second in 1984, Christine McVie, whose songs ‘Got a Hold on Me’ and ‘Love Will Show Me How’ did well. her third, In the meantime, came out in 2004 and didn’t do very well. “There were some good songs on it, but I had gone about it all wrong,” she said about it ten years later. “I did it the wrong way, with the wrong people. I didn’t want to fly, I didn’t want to promote it. I just made it in my garage and nothing happened to it.”

Her fear of flying was partly in the way. A therapist instructed her to buy a plane ticket to the destination she most wanted to go to. She bought a ticket to Hawaii, and eventually flew there with Mick Fleetwood. There she played a gig with him and her ex-husband John McVie with their blues band, which led to her return to Fleetwood Mac in 2014. A concert followed, including Nicks, Buckingham and Fleetwood, at London’s O2 Arena, and they decided to tour again.

In 2019 they were back at Pinkpop for the first time since 1971 – although Lindsey Buckingham had already been fired by the band. “A cheerful festive reunion, with the hit carousel spinning from the first notes,” NRC wrote in the review.

McVie’s death has not been disclosed. She said in June this year Rollingstone was struggling with her health, when the question arose whether a big farewell tour of the band was coming, a wish of Mick Fleetwood. “I’m not physically ready for that,” she said. “My health is pretty bad. I have a chronic back problem. I play the piano standing up, so I don’t know if I’m capable of that. What that means? The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Read also: Fleetwood Mac has been a flashing light for fifty years


‘There is less money for fun’

In the Gelderlandplein indoor shopping center in prosperous Amsterdam-Buitenveldert, you can get the impression that the increased cost of living barely affects consumers. On a Wednesday morning there is a lot of shopping in the Albert Heijn XL. The Coffee Company branch, where a small cappuccino costs 3.65 euros, is full.

Yet inflation is not far away here either. Nahima Romero (38) from Amstelveen has just visited the (paid) playground with the children. She immediately nods in agreement when asked if she feels the price increases. “Our income has stayed about the same, but things have become more expensive very quickly: gas, electricity, food.” She just noticed it at the playground. “A coin used to cost 1 euro, now it costs 1.50.”

Romero provides manicure and pedicure treatments as a self-employed person. Her husband has a permanent job at a bank. Romero’s clients seem to be cutting back and book treatments less often. “Instead of once every two weeks, someone comes once every three or four weeks.” Her income has become “a little bit less.” Her husband has received a modest wage increase, but that does not make up for what they have to pay extra every month.

‘Now we go out maybe once every three weeks’

“Life is more expensive, so there is less money for fun,” she says. “We used to go out about once a week, to the cinema or to a restaurant. Now maybe once every three weeks.”

She also takes the car to the city less often to save on parking costs. “If we go by car, we try to plan all purchases in one route.”

Outside it is eight degrees, but at Romero’s house the central heating is not on right now, to save gas. “It sure is very cold. We have a small electric radiator that we turn on for two hours, electricity is also expensive. And we shower very briefly.”

The family also saves on groceries. “We used to eat fish three times a week, now once a week. We buy cheaper brands. We go more often to Dirk or Lidl, less often to Albert Heijn.”

“The way things used to be,” Romero summarizes her experiences, “is no longer possible.”