News - October 17, 2019

Fresh air is the Dutch medicine


Last year, my family and I arrived in Wageningen with a terrible flu and cough. It was the fifth time that year and we were scared of going outside and getting worse. To our great surprise, the doctor we visited told us we were okay. There was no need for a drug prescription, we simply had to rest. We couldn’t believe our ears because we felt very sick. Fortunately, we had brought a big bag of medicines from our country.

A few days later, we were invited to dinner by a nice Dutch family. As soon as they heard about the bag of medicines, they advised us to leave it alone and go for a walk and breathe in the Dutch air instead. While they were astonished by our bag, we were alarmed by their suggestion: neither family could imagine the other’s point of view. That evening we learned that the Dutch rarely go to the doctor and that they are prescribed very few medicines. When they are sick, they just rest at home but also go out to get some fresh air. In Mexico we tend to go to the doctor for anything strange that happens to us, a lot of medicine is prescribed, and staying at home is compulsory.

The Dutch family advised us to leave our bag of medicines alone and go for a walk

Despite our hesitation, we heeded the suggestion and after a while, we started feeling much better. Now we are more familiar with this typical Dutch behaviour; we are much healthier and haven’t fallen ill even once. We walk more, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful Dutch landscapes. However, we must confess that we are still afraid of being infected by people who are recovering outdoors...

Leticia Elizabeth Romero García, wife of a postdoc researcher at the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group, from Mexico

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