Monday Musings: What are you putting in your shopping basket?

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What have you been putting in your virtual carts recently? This past weekend and today saw deal-hungry shoppers descend on the World Wide Web and fill up their carts with all kinds of goodies, while others risked the shops to grab a good deal.

The majority of us, hopefully, would have tried to do our shopping in our loungewear, from the comfort of the couch.

This past weekend South Africa recorded 5,500 new coronavirus cases, as concern continues to grow around the country’s hotspots areas. Western Cape premier Alan Winde shared that a ‘mini-lockdown’ or circuit breaker in the Mother City would work to slow the spread. It’s a last resort – but not off the table. The Eastern Cape is also weighing its options as Government considers easing hotspot areas back into lockdown level 3 restrictions.  

Elsewhere in the world, researchers are in a quandary if the recommended isolation times should be shortened as a desperate means to try and get people to comply. Research has shown that people with Covid-19 are most infectious about two days before symptoms begin and for five days afterwards, according to a new analysis of previous research. However, other studies have shown that people who are more ill can ‘shed’ the virus for as many as 20 days.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines in place that infected people must isolate for at least ten days from the start of their illness. It’s complacency, and feeling gatvol to throw in a South Africanism, that’s as dangerous an enemy as the virus itself. 

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Taking it back to the mega shopping extravaganza many enjoyed this weekend, it will be interesting to see how this year’s Back Friday has performed in comparison to previous years. 

As for us in travel, we’re still figuring things out – developing the Evolving Travel ‘Experience’: Virtual, Actual and In Between – as we go along.

Guided tour companies, in particular, are working on finding that fine line, adapting to stringent regulations while giving their customers the choice to travel. Socially-distanced classes, virtual city tours, daycations, outdoor adventures and augmented reality experiences will remain our normal for quite some time.

And if you’re wondering why you ended up buying a 30%-off handheld vacuum you don’t need, here’s the psychological reason why you get sucked into Black Friday sales.

Forbes guessed the top ten things people would be buying on a Black Friday during a global pandemic. On their list was: local travel vouchers, camping equipment, RVs, TVs and tablets, kitchen gadgets, at-home fitness equipment, games and toys, appliances and furniture, smart home products and an item that perhaps best defines our year in just one word – loungewear.  

Millennials may have ignited the experience economy with their love of minimalism, choosing capsule wardrobes and putting off mortgages in lieu of ample slices of avo toast. Still, one Bloomberg columnist believes the experience economy may be turned on its head in a post-coronavirus, pre-vaccine world. Unable to purchase the experiences they’re craving – dining, events and travel – the columnist ponders whether now “consumers probably will spend more on the trappings of their homes rather than services and experiences involving public spaces and crowds.”

What do you want to be putting in your shopping basket this year? Apart from loungewear, hopefully you’ll leave some room for the things this year has shown us how to treasure the most – family, friends and good health.

What was the world musing over this week:

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Walk amongst the treetops

Made from recycled plastic, work on the new raised Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve boardwalk has begun. The project is community funded with the wheelchair-friendly design providing fabulous views over the beach and lagoon. It’s hoped that that first section will be built by mid-December, just in time for holidaymakers to enjoy. 

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Check in to the incredible

Under the sea or way above the ground? With the world of travel turned on its head, why shouldn’t we go in search of more ‘out of this world’ places to sleep as well? This round-up of unusual hotels includes a cruise ship-style hotel on land in South Korea, Nairobi’s Instagram-famous Giraffe Manor, and an ‘aquarium’ hotel of sorts lying 5 metres below sea level in the Maldives. 

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Social media and your brain

What’s your weekly screen time on your phone? If you’re nagging your teen about the amount of time they’re spending on their devices, perhaps it’s time to check yourself. Researchers at the University of California studied teens’ brain responses to social media content and how you can help them (and you) counteract the ‘side effects’ of being always-on.

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Should I travel?

The New York Times lent their hand to come up with this short “Should I Travel” quiz to gauge whether their readers would feel comfortable taking a trip during the pandemic.

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The cheapest nicest list

Conde Nast Travellers took a swing at rounding up ten of their top trips to keep the budget low and expectations high with their cheapest nicest holiday destinations in the world list. Our very own Mother City was included on the list as a “grape escape.” 

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Pardon the pun

Forty-three times British people just couldn’t resist putting that pun in their business name. Thai-Tanic for takeaway anyone?