Lieven Crombez

Corona Marvels: Granddad gets visit by crane

These are hard times for residents of Belgian nursing homes.  Visits have been banned.  The family of Granddad Crombez in Torhout (West Flanders) thought they had found the ideal solution to keep in touch, but the local mayor pooh-poohed the use of a crane to give granddad a visit!

Visiting relatives in nursing homes is virtually impossible due to the COVID outbreak.  Seniors are missing their company.  The Crombez Family thought they had found the solution.  They were eager to show how much they loved their granddad and produced a large banner setting out their love. But it didn’t stop there. Lieven Crombez is a crane operator and he winched a cage with granddaughter Anne-Sophie up to granddad’s second floor window so they could have a chat.  It was safe because granddad remained behind glass.  “We were missing each other enormously” Lieven confided to VRT News.

Granddad was over the moon with his visitor, but that wasn’t a feeling universally shared.

“It’s getting really out of hand at that nursing home” said Torhout Mayor Kristof Audenaert, when quizzed about a reaction to this story. “Last week there was a guy playing the bagpipes and now this crane!  I’m sure it’s all well-meant, but I must stress that this visit by crane isn’t covered by the ‘essential visit’ rule.  The mayor believes video chat is the answer.  Police issued a warning to crane operator Lieven.  Permission is normally required if you wish to deploy a crane!