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‘Quarantine Is Like A Second Christmas’: Maltese Courier Notices ‘Surreal Spike’ In Nation’s Online Shopping

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What have you guys been doing while spending more time indoors than usual? Well, by the looks of things, a lot of you have been ordering way more stuff online.

Speaking to Lovin Malta about the last couple of months of work, one courier has said he hasn’t stopped driving around the island delivering parcels to people… and it looks like online retail therapy has been the way we’ve collectively gotten through this shitstorm.

“It’s unlike anything that usually happens this time of year,” the courier told Lovin Malta on another insanely busy day. Usually, I’d be delivering 50 to 70 parcels a day. Now, I’m always hitting 100.”

“It’s quite strange when you think about it,” the courier said, noting that most of the parcels are arriving from popular international fashion stores. “We’ve all been buying clothes that for the most part we can’t really wear anywhere, what with all the parties and weddings and events being cancelled. And some of us have been eating more to cope with this all, and not going to the gym to work out. So by the time we get out of this, most of us would’ve gained or lost enough weight for those clothes not to fit us well anyway!”

Beyond the behemoth courier services like DHL and UPS, Malta has a number of other, much smaller companies that have been faced with a sudden surge of parcels the likes of which they’re only used to seeing over the Christmas holidays.

“The chaos usually kicks off just before Black Friday,” the courier explained. “Christmas is of course Christmas, but we don’t usually calm down till after Easter. June and July are usually much, much quieter though. Not this year. These last couple of months have felt busier than Christmas… or just about the same level. It’s like a second Christmas.”

“Just this week, we’re expecting over 1,200 parcels from one single website,” he continued, pointing at one specific online retail store in particular. “We don’t have our own fleet of planes like the major courier services do, so we rely on airlines like Air Malta. And some planes would be full of pallets worth of orders.”

“I have regular clients I see twice, or even three times a week.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m lucky to have been occupied enough during this time,” the courier clarified, clearly not complaining about the extra workload. “In fact, we’ve actually employed more people during this whole quarantine period.”

“But it is quite strange, and I guess a bit funny, to see how a lot of people have dealt with all this through shopping,” he finished. “Of course, it’s also important to remember that these are all millions of euros that have left the country at such a delicate time and gone to foreign businesses instead.”

With non-essential retail stores now reopened and the prospect of Malta’s airport resuming more regular passenger flights just over the horizon, it would be interesting to see how long this latest surge in online retail therapy persists.

Have you bought anything online in the last couple of weeks? Tag someone who probably needs an intervention.

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