Cleanup on aisle 5, and a long conversation over at checkout!

One of the many things we’ve learned over the last 19 months or so is that a lot of people around us can end up going a long time without a lot of social contact.

And I don’t mean the people who prefer keeping a low profile, I mean the people who would like to be around others, but for a variety of reasons, aren’t.

There are lots of ideas for how to keep people from getting lonely, even in times like these.

One of them is an initiative from a grocery store chain in the Netherlands, to make shopping a little more chatty.


The government in the Netherlands has launched a campaign against loneliness.

With an aging population, they want to make sure people don’t feel isolated.

One of the partners in that campaign is a grocery chain called Jumbo, which is setting up Kletskassa, which means “chat checkout.”

For those who want it, there’s a checkout line that moves more slowly so that the customer and the cashier can have a conversation, and get to know each other a little.

Some stores also have a “chat corner” area set aside for people who might benefit.

Now, nobody’s suggesting that a chat with a grocery store worker alone is going to end loneliness.

But it’s part of an effort to make space for people to find that social contact wherever they may need it.

And purely on a grocery level, it’s a lot less stressful than trying to hustle your way through the express line!


October is National Roller Skating Month, and whenever you’re next in Lincoln, Nebraska, you can check out the National Museum of Roller Skating.

It has exhibits on classic roller skating, inline skating, roller derby, even roller dancing – like ice dancing, but yes, on roller skates.

Jumbo opens ‘chat checkouts’ to combat loneliness among the elderly (Dutch News)

Here Are 22 Things You Can Only Find In Nebraska (Only in Nebraska)

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Photo by Indiana Stan via Flickr/Creative Commons