I had a tour come to an abrupt end yesterday. After hearing President Trump’s announcement, my group were awake, scared, and ready to leave at 3.30AM. The later clarification that the travel ban would not apply to American citizens didn’t reassure them one bit. They wanted out and I could see why. We drove as quickly as we could to an airport, rearranged their flights and got them back.

That leaves me unexpectedly at home with a rather nonplussed husband. I have to say that the experience has led me to take my actions from now on more seriously. First steps have been to stock up in anticipation for stricter measures being put in place (this has somewhat come true in the last few hours: https://metropole.at/coronavirus-in-austria/).

No hamsters here please!

Google warned me that the supermarket would be “busier than usual”. I found it full of the over-50s rather politely going about their bulk-buying. It was not at all the chaos I expected from what is known here as Hamsterkäufe (literally, hamster shopping!).

But what does one stockpile in Austria? As I hunted down tins of baked beans, soups and fruit, I noticed others had slightly different opinions. Austrians like to stockpile:

  • Semmelwürfel: the dried bread cubes used to make Semmelknödel (bread dumplings)
  • Potatoes (lots): presumably to make potato dumplings
  • Beer (even more than potatoes)
  • Dried pasta
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Disinfectant wipes: but only Dettol branded ones, showing the power of marketing there
  • Toilet roll

And the top choice? Yeast!! It is now more precious than golddust…

A colleague from China posted that their top choices included rice, instant noodles and cooking oil.

So I’ll be holding fort eating my tinned peaches in a country surviving on beer and dumplings for the foreseeable future. What are the top stockpiling choices in other countries I wonder?

Safe safe and think of others.  #flattenthecurve

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