‘Essential’ is a tricky term to define. It may vary from person to person, from culture to culture and so on. Now that the lockdown has been imposed across nations to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, essentials are the only choices by which we can survive. The items to be listed as essential that first come to mind are staples like bread, milk, fruits, vegetables, sanitizers, cooking oil and things like these. But then there are certain exceptional products whose essentialities are area-specific. Here is a list of 7 countries that are offering some unique, out-of-the-box essential services.
1. United States: Marijuana, Alcohol, Guns and Golf
Thirty-one American states, including California and Colorado, have kept their cannabis dispensaries open as the sale of marijuana has been legalized across these places. Liquor services have been allowed in New York to provide some respite from the woes of the pandemic. Golf clubs have been open in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, North and South Carolina, identifying golf as an essential sport. The players can indulge in the game in a solitary manner by socially distancing themselves from others.
2. United Kingdom: Bicycle Shops and Alcohol
The U.K. Government has spelt out a list of essential items, which mentions that bicycle shops and off licences and licensed liquor shops can remain open during the shutdown. It includes the breweries of the nation as well. However, all pubs and bars will remain closed during this time.
3. Belgium: French Fries
Do you know from where the world-famous french fries had actually originated? Well, Belgium is the answer. And the interesting fact is, the introduction of these delicacies dates back to the late 1600s. No wonder, people of this country can’t do without it. And taking this into account, the Govt. has permitted all french fries corners to continue with their services amid lockdown.
4. Netherlands: Cannabis
Coffee shops were initially shut down by the local Govt. here, but a few days later, the idea was reversed. These coffee shops and cafes will remain open and they can also sale cannabis. Also, like the U.K., the country has allowed all bicycle shops to operate at the moment.
5. France: Wine and Baguettes
France is a place that probably can’t do without wines. So the Govt. thought that it would be too much to impose restrictions on them. Also, baguettes are available in the boulangeries. Tobacco shops, cheese delis, butcheries and dry cleaners are also open during this time.
6. Brazil: Churches
While public places all across the world have been shut down in the wake of coronavirus, the President of Brazil has opined that church services need to be open at the hour of crisis. While some states have refrained from following this, some other states have kept their chapels open. It also includes Brazil’s largest church, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
7. India: Sweets and Alcohol
In India, the Kerala Govt. has permitted the sale of alcohol on a special clause. While alcohol shops will remain shut, a minimum share of liquor will be available as essential services, to assist those who are dealing with withdrawal symptoms. Also, the Govt. of West Bengal has legalized the sale of mishtis for four hours a day to cater to the cravings of the sweet-toothed Bengalis.
To keep body and soul together, what else do you think deems to be ‘essential’?