Cats, porn and pandemics: what is the internet good for?

"Who would’ve expected a pandemic and the internet such great allies?" Toon Vos, magazine editor in Brussels, thinks it might have been the person who came up with the term “going viral".


While the Italian lockdown is being soothed by the likes of Pornhub, the world wide web is showing off its best sides all over the globe. The undisputed breeding ground of disinformation, many people are also using the internet’s unlimited capabilities to share info and entertainment in the battle against boredom and face-to-face interaction.


A wide array of museums are figuratively opening their doors to the public. Brussels has been doing their part as well, sharing a list of 23 museums (of which 3 are in Belgium) to digitally wander from the comforts of your home.


Picture credit: Unsplash


But people are getting more creative, opening up their living and bedrooms as theaters or concert venues online. One of my Brussels-based Facebook friends shares a daily livestream in which he performs stand-up comedy, plays around with his new fog machine and takes his stuffed dolphin for a bath.

'People are getting more creative, opening up their living and bedrooms as theaters or concert venues online'

In the Netherlands, two artists are creating a one-off corona-themed magazine to support artists and freelancers whose work is being canceled. They strive to raise €500 in order to create, publish and print “Kunstenaars in Quarantaine,” or “Artists in Quarantine.” Naturally, they’ll safely mail you the fruits of their labor—so you don’t have to go out and cough on the charming bookshop owner to get your copy.


This ingenuity hasn’t been limited to the arts only. Dutch hairdressers have been said to sell coupons for future haircuts and the same might be applicable to other lines of work. Why not stockpile on some prospective self-care instead of pasta?


I’m hopeful examples like these will go “viral” too, and that people will keep using their creative faculties to entertain and support both themselves and others. What about a collaborative storytelling project, chain letter style? Now that I think of it, a project that soon might sprout up in Brussels.


Toon Vos works at KANO Brussels, a work and event space in Brussels, and is an editor at Are We Europe magazine.

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