Sunday 02 April 2023

Locals get corona creative: here are some more initiatives

Photo: Brandon Hartley

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 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.

Buy local
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.

Get reading
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.’

Corona counselling
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’.

Do yoga
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.

Dance salsa
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.

What to do when you are self-isolating: DN tips

Are you doing something special in your community to relieve corona worries and boredom? Let us know via

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation. has been free for 16 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.