BITS n PIECES: Netherlands promotes ‘slow lanes’

Netherlands, home to one of the happiest and healthiest and tallest populations on earth. And, in addition, they are pretty plucky. Thanks to the Dutch, we have something that makes our lives worth living: Wi Fi, and something that makes us suicidal: Wi Fi not working. The Dutch created wi-fi, along with a whole host of other stuff that has been way more popular around the world than wooden shoes.

Something the Dutch care about are all those elderly folks who don’t have anyone to talk to and are tired of just yelling at little kids playing in the street. Jumbo, a Dutch supermarket chain, introduced “slow lanes” back in summer 2019 as part of a wider initiative called One Against Loneliness, launched by the Dutch government. According to Statistics Netherlands, 1.3 million people in the Netherlands are over 75, and 33% have reported feeling at least moderately lonely. The response was so positive to the first lanes like that created, that the company made plans to create 200 of these lanes across the country. Elders can chat their hearts out with the cashiers in such lanes. Plans are underway for lanes to be create for folks who want to “use up the spare change they have in their wallets” when paying for groceries.

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