Belgian Mom Did Not Have a Car to Take to McDonald's Drive-Thru—So Built Her Own Out of Cardboard

A woman and her daughter in Belgium came up with an imaginative solution when their plans to visit a McDonald's drive-thru were frustrated by the fact that they didn't own a car: they built their own car from cardboard.

On May 1, Nathalie Moermans and 16-year-old Marie set off from their home in the city of La Louvière, in southern Belgium, in the homemade vehicle to queue behind cars at a nearby drive-thru.

The idea came to Moermans after Marie spoke about wanting a McDonald's. Moermans initially said they couldn't go to the only McDonald's that was open, a drive-thru, as they didn't have a car. And because the country is still in lockdown they couldn't borrow anyone else's car. Then she came up with a solution and proposed the pair make their own instead. It took some persuading, but Moermans was able to get her daughter onboard with the plan.

"I took boxes of furniture that I had at home and I made the car," she told Newsweek. "My daughter was embarrassed, but I told her that she would have good memories later and she got ready to go out of the house"

The result was a four-seater made of cardboard with a number plate reading COVID-19. On the outside they wrote: "Sorry, I want a McDonald's but don't have a car."

Cardboard car 1
Mother and daughter took their cardboard car to the McDonald's drive-thru on May 1. Nathalie Moermans

After a challenging start getting it out the house (the cardboard replica was a little larger than the front door) the Moermans were on their way.

On their journey, they came across a policewoman who questioned them but laughed when told the pair didn't have a car but still wanted to get a meal. Other cars honked and gave them the thumbs up, according to Moermans. While people, including the police and McDonald's employees, stopped to take pictures. In the end, their mission was a success and Moermans and her daughter got their McDonald's order.

Cardboard car 2
Nathalie and Marie leaving the house in their cardboard car. Nathalie Moermans
Cardboard car 3
Nathalie and Marie queuing up at the drive-thru: "We are in line the cars honk and love our idea," said Nathalie. Nathalie Moermans

Belgium celebrated Labour Day or May Day on May 1, while the country remained in lockdown amid the outbreak of COVID-19. The government has introduced measures, beginning Monday, to start easy the country out of quarantine.

According to The Brussels Times, some non-essential workers have been allowed to return to work if they are employed by business-to-business companies, while restrictions on certain outdoor activities, such as fishing and kayaking, have been lifted. Social distancing and the mandatory use of face masks while in public will be enforced in some areas. Activities like picnics and sunbathing remain banned.

According to the Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 50,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 8,300 confirmed deaths. It has been reported that the mortality rate is higher in Belgium in comparison to other countries, including the U.S., because of differences in the countries' counting methods. Belgium's authorities have said they are including deaths in hospitals and care homes, and counting deaths in care homes that are suspected rather than confirmed, the BBC reported.

The below infographic from Statista shows the countries with the highest number of COVID-10 cases confirmed as of May 6, 2020 4:30 EST.

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Total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by country. Statista

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.