Look out for each other, prime minister Mark Rutte said in his televised address about coronavirus, and that is exactly what many of you are doing.
Here are some local activities which are making a difference to people’s lives and some suggestions to help others. You can find plenty more here and via #coronahulp. Please email email@example.com if you have suggestions to include.
Book a ticket for a show
Boom Chicago is asking fans to buy tickets now for their new show that is opening in June. Pick a date now and if you have to move it they say they will have no problem helping with that.
Watch a classical concert
The New European ensemble is livestreaming a series of concerts, so you can watch from the comfort of your own home working station.
Stick your children in the garden
Staatsbosbeheer is thinking of families with children who are climbing up the walls but who do have a garden. It has put together a programme to entertain and educate your offspring in the fresh air about other things beginning with c, such as creepy crawlies, colours and cookies made from daisies.
To help local shops not go under a number of Amsterdam shopkeepers have joined forces to form Support your Locals. They are putting together a grocery box containing bread, eggs, meat, milk and vegetables which can then be home delivered. ‘Supermarkets are overrun while local shops can’t sell their wares,’ the project’s initiator said. Order a box before 2pm and you get a free loo roll.
Buy books from your local bookstore, such as the ABC, rather than international giants. Most bookstores also operate mail order services. Or brush up on your knowledge of the Netherlands with a purchase from the Xpat Bookstore.
Pay your cleaner
If you have domestic help or a regular babysitter but don’t want to use their services for the time being, pay them anyway. They may have no other source of income.
Buy dinner in advance
If you local cafe is not offering takeaway services, buy dinner in advance instead. You can use the voucher once everything has settled down again.
Help your neighbours
There are dozens of initiatives underway to help your neighbours or to get help if you need it. Check out our earlier story.
Rock around the clock
Artist Karlijn Nijkamp from Nijmegen usually sings at small venues but now that these have all closed she decided to sing for the elderly, at a suitable distance of course. ‘Elvis goes down well,’ she says, ‘but I also play my own music.’
Nijmegen therapist Fenno Meijer is helping people who are anxious about coronavirus via Skype. Meijer says the reality of the situation – that at least half of the population will eventually be infected – has not yet sunk in and but when it does anxiety will set in for some. ‘I can counsel people via skype so they don’t end up in a maelstrom of emotions and panic’.
Selma Falk is a yoga teacher and is providing free yoga and meditation lessons via Facebook. ‘Yoga is a good way to relax in this tumultuous time’, she says. It is also good to get off your backside and keep moving.
Reader Fred suggests you take up Latin dance such as salsa or cha-cha. ‘It doesn’t take much space and it’s aerobic and fun and nobody’s watching you in your apartment,’ he says.
Are you doing something special in your community to relieve corona worries and boredom? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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