CORONA INNITIATIVES | CLUB ATELIER AMSTERDAM

Club Atelier, a creative place for culture, sports, work and events, would have opened their new second larger location in Amsterdam in mid-March. Due to the Corona pandemic, the opening has been delayed. Instead they’ve partnered up with a number of partners, with initiatives to make a completely selfless contribution.

team Club Atelier
Team Club Atelier

The new website has been re-designed especially for this new platform of ideas. To pass the time, enjoy music, join in, but the website is also for people who need help, especially now. Club Atelier helps by offering live music and concert streaming, an online talk show, online product auctions, a drive-in cinema and food packages. The call is that people sign up to help or report it if they need help! Correspondingly, people can donate via the website. The donations go to the (future) benefit festival and the Red Cross. Find out what you can expect:

Clubbing  at home

During the coming weeks, Club Atelier will provide streamed dance and live music concerts every day from the Club Atelier location in Amsterdam. Of course without an audience, because those are the dance lovers at home. The line up with dance and live music is announced daily via the facebook page.

Club Atelier DJ

Talks

Online talk shows will be created from the location with various hosts and topics in the fields of entertainment, events, hospitality, fashion, creation, media, real estate and other social topics.

Product auction

Products that make brands and people available are auctioned via the specially developed website www.heroesagainstcorona.com. You can bid on various great products and services. Choose, click, bid, donate and support. 50 procent of the proceeds from the auction go to the Red Cross, which provides support to GGDs and hospitals. The remaining 50 procent of the proceeds go to the benefit festival, it’s a win-win!

Drive-in cinema

Club Atelier will also create a drive-in cinema in their large car park as soon as this is permitted again for safety reasons. The drive-in cinema and the live streaming of music and concerts are of course free to visit.

Drive in, Club Atelier

Food packages

In addition to giving a creative twist to fun activities, Club Atelier also thinks of the elderly and people in healthcare who need help now. The elderly often cannot do their shopping and hospital staff have limited time to prepare a meal. Club Atelier makes it possible to collect food packages for free on location, or to have them delivered free of charge.

Find your hidden talent with these low cost hobbies you can practise from home!

Stay Safe,

Elke

HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT STAYCATION AT HOME

We may be a few months away from taking off on an adventure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge ourselves and bring vacation-like experiences into our homes. One of the best things about going away is having access to things we usually wouldn’t grant ourselves on a daily basis.

But fear not. There’s plenty you can do in your own home to make the mundane feel exciting and fresh once again, just as if you were on vacation. Here’s how to create a the perfect staycation, at home.

The atmosphere should evoke a love nest environment.

THE BEDROOM

Close your eyes: think about checking in at your favourite hotel and the excitement that builds as you walk towards your chambre. When you open the door the room is clean, it’s tidy. The bed is inviting with fresh linen and plump cushions. There’s minimal clutter. So, what can you do within the next 10 minutes to make your bedroom look the best it’s ever been? Change your sheets, light a candle, put jazz on the radio and put away whatever might be on ‘the chair’. Turn the main light off and illuminate your bedroom with lamps. Find out how to turn your house into a hotel!

Staycation, bedroom

THE LIVING ROOM

Your living area should inspire creativity and calmness at the same time. It’s a room that will provide escapism during your staycation. If you’re getting board of your surroundings, change things up. Swap the pictures around on the walls. Move furniture to maximise the space and provide more ‘zen’. Rearrange your bookshelf and rediscover books that haven’t had your attention in a while. A re-fresh every couple of weeks can do wonders if you’re spending so much time in one space.

Staycation in your home, living space

WHAT’S COOKING

If you’re working in your kitchen every day, hunched over your laptop on the table, think of the best hotel lobbies you’ve ever walked through. They’re places you want to hang out. Why? Because they have buzz and ambience. Try to recreate this by buying fresh flowers to keep beside you. A living thing to admire daily is good for the soul. Again, get the lighting right. Sit near an open window when you work for natural light, it’ll boost your energy. Make sure you’ve got yourself a cocktail or mocktail to look forward to at 5pm, with the ingredients sitting just in sight to tempt you over at 4.45pm.

Staycation, kitchen

SPATIME IN THE BATHROOM

Lastly, let’s visit the bathroom. AKA the staycation spa. Start off by cleaning everything, washing your towels and de-cluttering. Dig out your favourite bubble bath and body lotion that you were saving for a special occasion, there has never been a more important time to invest in yourself, you are worth it. To create a sanctuary, add a plant to bring a bit of nature inside. Light a match and indulge in the smoky smell, it’ll also clear away any other unwanted odors. Lastly, hang up your cosy dressing gown and pop your slippers underneath for a final touch of luxury.

Staycation at home, Spa bathroom

Happy staycation! Stay stay, relaxed and happy.

Stephanie

11x LOW COST HOBBIES YOU CAN DO FROM HOME

Suddenly it is no longer a possibility to go to the cinema, to eat out, to go to the gym, or to have a drink on a terrace. We need to stay at home, but how do we get through those sudden oceans of time?

Well, it’s the perfect moment to discover a new hobby! Here are 11x Low Cost Hobbies you can practise from home.

Paint

Regardless whether you have an artistic talent or not, it is very relaxing to scribble something on canvas. Order or buy some brushes, paper and paint at your local craft or hobby store and let your creativity run free! No idea what to paint? Have a look on Pinterest and gather images for inspiration.

paint from home

Photography

We always have a camera in our pocket since the arrival of smartphones, but not many of us actually pay attention to lightning, composition and subject. Furthermore, photography is a technical but also a very creative hobby. There are many blogs and videos on the internet that will help you get started!

Cooking

Go experimenting in the kitchen! Try out different recipes that you like and give your personal twist to it. How cool would it be when you serve an extra-ordinary culinary experience to friends that is made by you? If you are a parent, ask your kids to join in! (here are some tips to keep your kid(s) occupied during lockdown)

Hobbies from home, cooking

Writing

Writing is a broad concept and can range from blogging to writing stories or poetry. Besides; writing down your thoughts clears your head. You can use it as a personal outlet to share what you find interesting. Ever wondered how Wander-Lust grew out to be a successful travel platform? Find out how to create a (travel) blog.

Clean & Order

Even though this may not be the most fun hobby, it’s a very rewarding one. Clean out your wardrobe and get rid of all those garments that have been lying there for years and only take up space. Tip: sell your clothes on United Wardrobe and earn some extra money! I personally love second-hand and vintage shopping as you find unique pieces and it is a more sustainable way of shopping.

Reading

People who read a lot can enrich themselves enormously with insights and knowledge. You don’t have to limit yourself to fiction, you can also look for informative books that interest you. Get inspired by a good book about a topic you like! We’ve lined up 8x books that will inspire you!

Gardening

Did you know that gardening is one of the most popular leisure activities among the Dutch?  Being surrounded by flowers, plants and seeing something that you’ve planted grow with your own eyes – isn’t that wonderful? Consequently you can also create a little vegetable garden and use your own herbs / vegetables for cooking!

Hobbies, gardening

Learn how to play an instrument

Perhaps you still have that old guitar or keyboard in the attic? Otherwise you can score an instrument at a thrift store or marktplaats.nl. In this digital age you can easily teach yourself music skills by watching videos on YouTube.

Learn a new language

Mastering extra languages always come in handy. Admit it, how nice would it be if you could order your pizza in Italian on holiday in Italy? There are countless blogs and videos available on the internet that can teach you another language. By the end of the Corona crisis you may be speaking a new language!

Start sewing!

In the first place, sewing isn’t just for grandmothers anymore. Sewing has been proven to be relaxing for the mind, plus it’s actually fun to create something from scratch. Perhaps you can send your creations to family or friends as a gift during these lonely times. Sewing machines are available online for as little as €59.

Hobbies from home, sewing

Work on that summer body

Let be honest, this is going to be a challenge to say the least. Being at home often means less movement (depending how big your house is), and we tend to eat more when we are bored (welcome to the club). In order to keep our bodies in shape, you can join plenty of online workouts. Some classes are live, some on YouTube. Try and set a goal for yourself. Instead of going to the gym three times a week, try to workout everyday from home. Even if it’s only 30 minutes. TIP: if you sit behind the laptop, try to take a break every 1,5 hours and do some jumping jacks, squats or walk around the block quickly to get some fresh air. 

In either case, there are enough options! Let us know in the comments if you are going to try a new hobby or if you already have one!

#stayhome #staysafe

Iris

DIY SOAP | CREATE YOUR OWN ORGANIC SKIN PRODUCTS

There are so many products and brands out there that promise you a soft skin but we’re not a big fan of all the chemicals that are added. 

Gladly I discovered this briljant store called DIY Soap, a store in Amsterdam where you can create your own scrubs and creams made out of natural and organic ingredients. Even better, they deliver at home, so you can make your own products, suitable for your skin type.

DIY Soap

Pure Ingredients

At DIY Soap you can shop in two ways; you can buy a ready-made scrub or cream, or create your own from scratch. The last option is more fun so that’s exactly what I did! In the store you can find a rack where you can find cans of oils to create your product with (coconut, almond, olive). Next to that you have a table where you can find salts, sugars, coffee and concentrated oils such as lavender, orange or roses. Pimp your product with some flowers, dried fruits or lavender pieces. Every product is vegan except the honey. (but rest assured it comes from a local and organic beekeeper).

diy soap products
The corner of ingredients!

DIY Soap Oil
Adding some oil

DIY Soap
Final touch

Sustainable Packaging

One of the great things about creating your own product, is that you can bring your own packing materials. DIY Soap highly encourages to re-use your old shampoo bottles or cream containers. The packaging at DIY Soap is made out of glass and is always re-usable. This way, you only need to come back for the ingredients! You can also buy sustainable products like re-usable make-up removal pads. If you don’t live in Amsterdam, you can shop the products online (www.diysoap.nl) and in several stores across The Netherlands and Belgium (concept store Hutspot being one of those).

DIY Soap, coffee scrub
Trying my DIY Wanderlust Coffee Scrub

People behind the products

besides the ingredients and packaging, they also have a great behind-the-scenes-story. The people who make the ready-to-buy products are created by people with a minor mental disability, at the Gemiva centre in the city of Leiden. How beautiful is that!

diysoap-kerst

Elke

DIY Soap
Van Woustraat 48, Amsterdam
Website

THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS DURING LOCKDOWN

Parents in lockdown, we feel you. This lockdown situation isn’t easy for anyone. But if you have kids, it can be a little bit more tricky.

Whether you share the house with babies, toddlers or teenagers, most kids have attention span of a maximum of 15 minutes. This means parents are in need of some creative ideas to keep them occupied so you can do some work from home.

Create a schedule

This mainly applies to kids older than 4 years old. A daily routine and rhythm is the key. This doesn’t mean you need to play the strict parent, but getting up at a decent time of day and follow a reasonable routine can be quite good for kids. If you home-school (well done, by the way!) you can try to do so at the same time each day. Discuss the schedule with your kid(s) so they understand. Needless to say that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to schedule every kid. “Some children find security in following a school-like timetable, others thrive on a more child-led, free-flowing approach, but all children need some predictability in their lives”. Source

Bake something

It doesn’t really matter what, kids love to bake! That being said, as long as they can lick the sugary spoon, watch their creation bake in the oven, and eat it afterwards. But there is a bonus to this; your kid will love the interaction with you, plus you are teaching them something without them realising it. In all honestly, I’m not the baking-type person, but this lockdown has certainly opened the gate for some new skills! This week I baked a banana cake that we now eat for breakfast, lunch and dessert. Who knows what next week will bring to the table.

Baking with kids during lockdown

Netflix is great but it isn’t always the solution to keep your kids entertained without them becoming too passive.

Digital storytime

If you need to join a conference call with your quarantine colleagues or you simply need some you-time, this is a great temporary solution. Children love stories, especially when images are involved. There are several businesses that have (partly) free book stories available such as Bol.com for the Netherlands where books are being read by local celebrities. For English we refer you to Freechildrenstories.com where you can pick stories for every age and pick your theme! If you have headphones around you can also check out onlinebibliotheek.nl. All you need is a smartphone or tablet. Bol.com offers books for 1 cent and you need to download the app.

Go on a Bear Hunt

If you live in the Netherlands, you may have heard of this new phenomenon. If you look behind the windows of people’s houses, you may spot a teddybear. This is no coincident. The Facebook group Berenjacht in NL called all people to put a stuffed bear by the window. This resulted in children going on a bear hunt whilst going for their daily walk around the block. Have you spotted the bears yet? Note: always remember to keep 1,5 meters distance from other people.

Things to do with your kids during lockdown, bear hunt

Let them clean their toys

I’m not sure about you, but my kid loves to clean his toys. Whether it’s his bicycle (which he calls his motor), animal toys or something else that can stand water. If you have a garden or balcony it’s the perfect thing for kids to keep them busy for a while. Grab a bucket or low basket, fill it with lukewarm water and a few drops of detergent. Don’t forget about a towel for drying of course.

Crafts for the people they miss

With no cuddles from the grandparents or friends, you can imagine that it’s not a nice feeling after a few weeks. In order to keep the connection you can ask them to create a card, drawing or craft for their loved ones and bring it to the mailbox. Tip: ask your family members or friends to video call you when they receive it, your kid will most likely be proud of the work they’ve put in.

Things to do with your kids during lockdown, drawing

Digital learning 

Obviously, we don’t want to ignore the maximum screen-time for kids, but there are loads of fun digital learning platforms where children can be educated in a fun way. First of all, create a learning space. Use this space for learning only, a place where they can concentrate. This could be a small desk/table, or the same spot on the dining table. This can also be the place where they can do schoolwork. Here are some websites that offer digital learning games:

  • www.zappelin.nl/kinderspelletjes
  • kids.nationalgeographic.com/games
  • www.sheppardsoftware.com
  • pbskids.org/games

Travel the world, virtually

With Google Earth for Chrome, you can fly anywhere in seconds and explore hundreds of 3D cities from your browser. Let your child be adventurous and discover something new, they can take a tour with Voyager and create their own maps and stories. 

Order a new Toy

You don’t have to shower your kids with gifts, but something new is always interesting. It can be a game, new colouring materials or a book. We bought a tipi tent, filled them with stuffed animals which resulted in hours of fun and imagination! This may buy you some time for, let’s say, a few days! 

Build a house!

Build a what? We mean a dollhouse, a house for children, whatever you want to call it, this is fun! Use cardboard and paint/cut a house which they can then paint. When it’s dry they can use it to play with.

Crafts during lockdown with kids

Exercise together

Stay fit is one of the things doctors and professionals advise us during lockdown. Try to involve your kids! (My little boy now knows what a Downward Facing Dog is). Plus, exercises can help kids to release their energy plus you can get your workout done. Be the trainer yourself or use YouTube for a training session. This can be fun!

All in all, we hope the above shown examples can make it a little easier to get though the days of lockdown. Good luck, you can do it!

Distantly yours,

Elke

Why Listening to 8D Music is the best during quarantine

The things you discover when you have some time on your hands. Priceless! If you are missing out on the music festivals this year, wait till you hear 8D Music Technology.

The other day a friend of mine sent me a whatsapp message with an audio/music song and some instructions. It was a dance song composed with 8D Music Technology and it was like something I’ve never experienced before. And quite frankly, it is the perfect thing to discover while in quarantine!

What is 8D Technology?

With this awesome music technology you don’t listen with your ears but with your brain. At least, this is what it feels and sounds like. You can compare it to as if you were standing on a music festival or live show. Best of all, you don’t even realise that you are wearing headphones!

“At its core, the 8D effect tries to mimic the sensation of hearing a binaural recording, which places sounds in space relative to a human’s head (rather than normal stereo recordings, which can only direct sound to the left and right speaker channels)”. Source: melmagazine.com

It’s all about feeling the music

Important note:

However, in order to really feel the music and get the whole experience of 8D technology music, it is very important that you do listen to it with headphones. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are plugged in.

Let us know what you think! (and remember, put your headphones on!)

Enjoy dancing in your living room or garden!

Elke

8X NEW NETFLIX TIPS FOR APRIL

After hours on end at home, we can imagine that you have turned Netflix inside-out. Thankfully, new series, movies and classics are coming up this April!

Here are our 8 favourite Netflix Tips for April!

Netflix Series Tips

La casa de papel – season 4

Luckily, La casa de papel is here to safe us from boredom! The highly anticipated 4th season is finally coming to Netflix on the 3rd of April. The Professor thinks Lissabon has been executed, Rio en Tokio have split up and Nairobi is fighting for her life. Yes, season 3 left us with a huge cliff-hanger. vecht voor haar leven. Can’t wait!

Community – All seasons

Kicking off on the 1st of April is Community, a comedy series new on Netflix. The series is about grown-ups that return to school and form a study group. Perhaps it sounds a bit dull, but Community actually ran for five seasons on NBC, between 2009 and 2014.

Outer Banks

This exiting series follows a group of teenagers that live in a fictive city on the East coast in the US.  After a destructive huricane they are left without power and internet (disaster for all teenagers obviously!) In Outer Banks you can see how these youngsters deal with the situation. Available from the 15th of April.

De Twaalf

For the Dutch and Belgium readers, this series is a treat. The Belgium serie De Twaalf is about school principal Frie Palmers, who is accused of murdering her daughter and best friend. During the 10 episodes you’ll see the story unfold between the jury and find out hat happened..

After Life – Season 2

It took a while but Ricky Gervais returns as Tony, de widower that actually hates his life but promised his late wife to make the best of it. It’s realistic, funny as hell and now and then touching. On Netflix from the 24th of April.

Netflix tips for April, popcorn


Netflix Movies

Once Upon a Time In… Hollywood

It seems like this movie was just released due to all the positive attention it has been getting. And let’s not forget about Brat Pits first ever Oscar win as an actor. Bonus: He takes his shirt off in this movie. We rest our case. Once Upon a Time In… Hollywood is available on April 13th.

Jaws

Time for a classic! Jaws has always been one of the most memorable Hollywood movies that you watched under a blanket as a child. grab the popcorn, this isn’t just any shark movie.

Meet Joe Black

Another movie with Brat Pitt is never a bad thing. This romantic film also features Sir Anthony Hopkins and gets those tears flowing. Go buy some tissues (but don’t hoard please).

Need other tips how to get though April? Try these vegetarian recipes or join a virtual After Work Drink!

 

 

VIRTUAL AFTER WORK DRINKS

Usually, when the clock hits five ‘O Clock on Friday, it’s time to get the beer cold and open the snack cabinet. If you currently miss the casual chitchat with your colleagues, there is a solution.

Thankfully, we live in the age of computers and boy, do we need them now. The solution? Virtual After Work Drinks. They are free, fun and will make you forget, even if it’s just for an hour, the situation we find ourselves in.

Virtual After Work Drinks

So how does it work? If you want, you can set it up yourself, it’s easy peasy. Just download Zoom and tell your co-workers to do the same. You can add up to 100 people and see each other if everybody turns their camera on. Bring a drink (and optional snacks) and enjoy! Being stuck a home doesn’t have to be boring.

No pad on the back or handshakes, but there are many ways to say hello!

But what if I’m a freelancer?

No worries, we are freelancers too, so with no tot none colleagues in the first place, it’s nice to connect with other freelancers now and then. Let us introduce you to Qommunity. As a freelancer you often miss out on the fun office drinks. That’s why they host various events where freelancers get the chance to connect and network. Usually, you pay a fee for the event but with the Corona crisis going on, they decided to host free virtual after work drinks available for non-members. We joined in and it was epic. The dresscode was strict though; a bathrobe and a drink. Qomminity hosted a karaoke bingo where you had to guess the song while sipping on your cocktail, so much fun!

virtual after work drinks, qommunity
Elke joined the first Qommunity’s virtual after work drinks last week

If you want to join in, sign up here and do it before Friday 12pm (CET). If you made it to the guest-list, you will receive an email with instructions. Next to the fun, they also hosts virtual lunches where you can ask questions, exchange info or give tips.

Other Virtual After Work Drinks

There are more of these of course. If you live in the Netherlands, you can join virtualvrijmibo.nl for some fun after work drinks on Friday at 4pm. Fun fact: to start off with you can download their after work drink pack that includes café sounds, a café screensaver, songs and even some bad jokes. For this one you use Skype, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams or Linkedin. 

If you live in England and you miss the afternoon Pub sessions, you can go to thestayinginn.co.uk and enjoy twelve minutes in a virtual pub in London!

So grab your Quarantini this Friday and enjoy!

Stay Safe,

Wander-Lust

8 X BOOKS THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU

Maybe you’re not a reader but you finally have the time to start picking that up. Reading will help you relax but can also feed your brain.

With more time on your hands we’ve selected a bunch of timeless books that will inspire you to become creative, dream and learn. A picture says a 1000 words so we’ve also added some amazing photography books.

1. Once in a lifetime

This book is a part 2 but even better then the first one. Once in a Lifetime Vol. 2 celebrates exceptional hotels, lodges, and other locations.
Whether readers use the book to plan their next trip or to simply enjoy a marvellous visual journey from the comfort of their own homes, it reminds us that there are a host of places out there that are worth the trip –and that our personal paradise might be closer than we might think. Buy it at Amazone for 40 euro’s or check your nearest bookstore.

2. Weg ermee by Dennis Storm

The book we all need right now. About minimalism and getting back to the source. Why do you need 12 dressed, 25 pairs of shoes in every colour, new stuff? Dennis was a successful TV presenter and was travelling a lot for his work. He discovered by staying in many, simple hotels, that he didn’t need anything else that the basic needs. Buy it here. It’s in Dutch only unfortunately.

inspiring books

3. The new Nomads

Nomads are coming back and if you feel that itch to try a nomadic lifestyle, we have just the book for you. New Nomads: Temporary Spaces and a Life On The Move, written by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann and Michelle Galindo, is a book about freedom, liberation and enjoyment. Sleeping in your own bed just got boring.

THE-NEW-NOMADS-1024x450
We all seek that Nomadic lifestyle..

4. Before they pass away

This photography book made a lot of people talk. Positive but there is also a lot of criticism towards photographer Jimmy Nelson.
“The pictures are staged and look like a fashion shoot” Whatever you may think of it, I think the most important thing is that we respect the different culture. Every picture is beautifully taken and makes you think about, well, life and the world. Widely available from various online bookstores and online.

MASAI-13
Amazing but criticised, the pictures by Jimmy Nelson

5. Hide and Seek

Follow-up to the bestselling title Rock the Shack. The highly individual cabins, hideaways, and summer homes featured in Hide and Seek offer their owners exceptional, yet convenient ways to escape urban routines and embed themselves into the land. The photographs exemplify how to create remote shelters that bring calm and balance to our hectic lives. With the right concept, furniture, décor, and atmosphere, even small or basic designs become stunning sanctuaries. Although the individual cabins and hide outs are very different from each other, all of them respect nature and focus on the essentials. 

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
The ultimate hiding place

6. National Geographic – The Covers

Since I can remember, I used to read the National Geographic magazine. My dad used to read it to me when I was a little girl. This is when my love for travel was born. I needed to see the whole world and I wanted to know about the people, habits, animals and cultures. National Geographic is famous for it’s realistic pictures and brings worlds together. My dream was to work for them one day. They published a lot of books but this is one of my favorites and a Photography Book that you can enjoy time after time. The Covers edition. Shop it here.

National Geographic book

7. Below sea level

I must highlight this new book because I’m from the Netherlands. Below Sea Level, The Netherlands in Photographs.  Almost one quarter of the country’s surface is made up of drained inland lakes and land reclaimed from the sea. In Ewout Huibers’ stunning photographs, the ever-present water plays a natural leading role.  For many people, it’s strange to think that we, the Dutch, live below sea level. This book represents both the simplicity yet a complicated and dangerous relationship with water. Buy it at the Amsterdam based bookstore Mendo.nl

March in Amsterdam

Turn right where everyone goes left

8. Off the Beaten Track by Wander-Lust

A little self-promo never hurt anyone right? 😉 Yes, we’ve written our first ever travel book. Actually, it’s not even in stores yet! Off the Beaten Track is for those who are curious and love adventure.  During our many years of travelling, we’ve discovered that the best places are the hidden ones. Told by a local or discovered by chance. By going off the beaten path you also avoid the ever growing mass tourism and you often support local communities. Together with 32 travel bloggers, journalists, photographers and creatives, we have bundled our best tips across the world, that you may have never heard of. Unknown islands, unique places to sleep, amazing restaurants and much more. You can pre-order of wait patiently until May 12th. Dutch only (but may be translated in the future!)

Off the beaten track by wander-lust

Enjoy reading!

Love,

Elke

WHY HOARDING AT THE SUPERMARKET IS DANGEROUS FOR YOU AND OTHERS

In the wake of coronavirus confinement measures, people across the globe have started “hamstering” goods, as the Dutch call it. In other words, hoarding of food and hygiene items.

Important note: let’s preface this with a reminder that hoarding is unnecessary. Food retail groups internationally such as Dutch supermarket lobby group CBL reported that there is enough stock for everyone, but they simply cannot meet the tempo required by the burst of demand. While an understandable human instinct, hoarding goods is actually quite dangerous for public health and is counterproductive to virus containment, plus you are not helping others. Here are some reasons why.

Empty shelves supermarket

Panic buying enables viral contamination

The virus will not stop spreading unless we ALL put in the work. By buying 12 tubes of antibacterial gel, keeping 11 of them unused in a drawer, you are ultimately causing more damage than by buying none. Your hands might be clean but if your neighbour couldn’t buy any because you took it all off the shelves, the virus keeps spreading. 

What’s more, because the virus spreads so easily, by letting others carry the infection forward, you increase your own chances of getting in contact with it later and infecting you and people around you. If only a percentage of the population is keeping the means to stop the infection locked in a closet, they are putting everyone at risk.

Man with facemask in supermarket

Help yourself and all of us by giving your neighbour the means to stay safe.

Panic buying reinforces social inequalities

This pandemic is highlighting major societal flaws because it has no hidden agenda. The virus doesn’t discriminate based on social class; even Tom Hanks has it, what more proof do we need. But WE carry on enacting inequalities, and panic buying is a prime example.

In a press conference given on Friday, Dutch prime minister Rutte qualified the surge of hoarding behavior as “unbelievably antisocial”. Not only is it fundamentally an individualistic act, it also once again benefits the top strata of society: those with the flexibility to go shopping on a friday morning, those with a car in which to stack groceries, those who are young and fit enough to rush to the bread aisle, those who have the money to buy a month’s worth of food at once. The elderly and disabled didn’t fight a chance.

Hamsteren supermarkets

All the while it is unnecessary; again, stocks are sufficient and aisles wouldn’t go empty if we shopped as usual. All that was achieved is that your grandma now has no toilet paper while some have enough to build a fort.

Panic buying cultivates fear and anxiety

So you over-shopped. No shame. It is a natural and instinctive reaction as a way to cope with the feeling of helplessness and insecurity that an event like this creates. But let’s stop. Professor and clinical psychologist Dr Taylor explains : “When you’re presented with a pandemic, a big new, scary thing, and the government is telling us that we don’t need to do anything special to deal with it — just wash your hands and so on — people feel the need to do something to prepare. So people are stocking up as a way of preparing themselves. When people do that, it’s inevitable that some people are going to over shop.”

But the act of overshopping, worsened by watching others do the same and the media reporting scarcity in stores just cranks our anxiety up. We see people be scared, we get scared, everyone panics. And this is not to say there are no reasons to be concerned, because there are. But we are going through enough as is without adding avoidable stress.

For the sake of our health, be it mental, social or physical, let’s take a breath and cease panic-hoarding. There is enough for everyone. Let’s be kind to each other.

Distantly yours,

Mathilde

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