Coronavirus Panic v Reality: Croatian Supermarket Shopping in Varazdin

Total Croatia News

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March 13, 2020 – Experts say that panic surrounding coronavirus can be more dangerous that the virus itself. Amid news of panic Croatian supermarket buying, TCN visits three supermarkets in Varazdin to see the realities on the ground.  

Even though TCN is enjoying record traffic at the moment (who would have thought mid-March, out of the tourist season and with no football happening, we would have more traffic than Croatia reaching the World Cup Final in July 2018), I will confess that I am not enjoying my job at the moment. I am also realising the ease and the power of fake news in a time of international panic. The conditions for clickbait and short-term Adsense gain are huge. As someone who has always been relaxed about my style of writing, I realise that this is a time to be careful about every word we publish. And with people searching for trustworthy sources of information, providing non-sensationalist, reliable information is what we are aiming for. One of the aims of this approach is to provide some kind of buffer against the understandable panic and hysteria that the current situation can easily create.  

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Stories of panic buying of items such as toilet paper have done the rounds all over the globe, with Australians distinguishing themselves in this particular sport. 

Stories of panic buying in Croatian supermarkets have started to circulate, so I decided to see what the situation was on the ground this afternoon here in Varazdin, a city close to the Slovenian border. Varazdin has four confirmed cases of coronavirus and, along with the rest of Croatia, it was announced today that schools would be closed for an initial two weeks from Monday. So how was the panic buying in reality?

First stop, Spar.  

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At least if there was no food, we would be able to drown our sorrows.

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But food was indeed plentiful.  

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And, for from panic buying, trolleys were not overloaded, and queues were short.  

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Bread was plentiful.  

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As was the selection of fresh meat.  

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And then the most important item, it seems – are you watching, Australia?  

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So much toilet paper, in fact, that there as an extra pallet in an aisle, with discount sales. Who would have thought! 

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Off to Plodine. 

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Toilet Paper Heaven! 

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Nothing out of the ordinary about those queues.  

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And plenty of tissues and other sanitaries.  

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Plenty of choice to stock up on.  

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Including a healthy meat selection.  

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Off to Lidl. 

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A nice welcoming bread selection.  

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I fought my way through the panicked crowds.  

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Mercifully, for any visiting Australian tourists, there was still some dunny paper for sale. 

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And the sort of waiting time that this impatient shopper can deal with.

Keep Calm and Carry On. Croatians know well how to survive hardship and crisis, as their recent wartime experiences will attest to. If hard times come, Croatians will adapt, as they always do. The situation here in Varazdin is very calm, and as long as we all stay calm, we will avoid the panic. And if we avoid the panic, half the battle is won. 

For the latest on the coronavirus crisis in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section


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