How to behave like the Dutch during the Coronavirus pandemic

What a difference a week makes!

Only last weekend a Dutch friend of mine took great pleasure in sending me links to photos of empty supermarket shelves in the UK. He made a point of telling me that “here in Holland, we don’t behave that way. We are level headed and not prone to mass hysteria like you Brits”.

He maintained his rather patronising tone when I expressed my concerns about how relaxed the Dutch government appeared to be about the Coronavirus. In fact, up until a couple of days ago the main advice from the Dutch government had been not to shake hands with people and the horror of horrors, “wash your hands after going to the toilet”. How inconvenient.


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The times they are a changing

Then on Thursday, Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, ended his Bob Marley like “everything’s gonna be alright” approach with the following:

coronavirus policy Netherlands

A post in the Shallow Man Facebook group


How the Dutch have reacted




The rather relaxed attitude has changed and the Dutch are busy with hamsteren.

to hive away
to lay in
to stash away
to put in
to stock up
to store

wij hamsteren
jullie hamsteren
zij hamsteren

we store
you store
they store

Related to Hamsteren



Selfish gits


The ego has landed

Me myself and I


people panicking


First, they come for the toilet paper and then they came for me

In one of the prophecies of Nostradamus he said that as the world was coming to end, there would be shortages of toilet paper and pasta. Lo and behold his prediction is coming true as people in Australia, the UK and now the Netherlands are clearing supermarket shelves of those very items. I expect this kind of behaviour in Brexit Britain but I must say that I was shocked to see that the Albert Heijn XL in the Gelderplein had the same issues. Well, in fact, it’s a nationwide problem throughout the Netherlands. Helpfully, the Dutch government were kind enough to ask people not to panic buy. Which has, of course, led to even more panic buying.

AH Gelderlandplein empty shelves

Here in Holland, we don’t panic at the slightest thing…

How to behave like the Dutch during the Coronavirus

Get your buttocks down to your nearest supermarket and clear the shelves of the following:

  • Toilet paper
  • Pasta
  • Tomato sauces
  • Potatoes
  • Condoms
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Frozen veggies
  • Frozen bitterballen
  • Sandwich spreads
  • Cucumbers
  • Glijmiddel
  • Frozen pizza

Naturally, there’s no shortage of spices, (apart from salt and pepper).


Bread is life and toilet paper is a great investment in a crisis.

I started at AH, then the Dirk, then the DEEN and now the ladies won’t leave me alone

Be lekker asociaal. Remember that YOU are the most important being in the universe and if food banks and people who are unable to hoard vast amounts of food as they can’t afford to run short of things to eat that’s not your problem. Doe maar!

No asociaal egoistic paranoid cowards were hurt during the writing of this post.

Join the Amsterdam Shallow Man Facebook group to discuss this issue with lots of kut expats and incredibly some Dutch people.