COVID-19 – Panic Buying

On Friday I went to Waitrose to pick up some bread and bananas.  It was the worst I have seen it in there and I wasn’t able to buy either bread or bananas.  The only veg I could see were onions and there was very little fruit.  It was shocking.  Things didn’t get much better as I walked around the shop – obviously no toilet paper or pasta but they were also running low on other items such as tins and fruit juices.  There was also no bread at all.

At the start of this pandemic it was really just toilet roll, anti bacterial products and soap that it was hard to get hold of.  Then pasta became the item that you couldn’t buy and as the days go on it seems that more and more items are becoming unavailable. I had the time to then walk to a town centre Sainsbury’s where I was able to buy both bread and bananas.  However, they also had very little fruit, veg and bread.

Having a child that is a fussy eater and will only eat a very limited amount of foods really worries me.  This panic buying is going to get to the point where I am not going to be able to feed my son the food that he will eat.  He notices himself the empty shelves and as we walk past he often says “no toilet paper” or “no bananas”.  A child in this day in age living in the UK should not be seeing shelves of empty produce.

I understand that people are scared and this is why they have been panic buying but enough is enough.  How can you justify panic buying?  We have been told if we all shop normally there won’t be this problem.  We haven’t had a sudden influx of people needing to eat more.  There is no excuse.  By panic buying you could be taking away the food from someone who really needs it.  You don’t need 10 cans of soup or 5 packs of pasta. Those extra items could be going to an NHS worker who doesn’t have the time to trail between numerous shops looking for a loaf of bread or some fresh fruit.  How would you feel if the NHS staff were so hungry that they started making the wrong decisions on how to treat you or a family member because they couldn’t think straight?  They are already working extremely hard, lets not make them suffer any more by panic buying so there is nothing left for them when they finish their shift.  Panic buying is a truly selfish act.

It’s not just the NHS staff, it’s all the key workers during this crisis that we need to think about.  They are all working extra hard to keep us healthy and maintain as many services as they can.  I’ve heard of people going into supermarkets and wanting to buy 40 bottles of bleach?  Or when a supermarket limits customers to 4 items, customers will then buy 4 of everything they need.  Why?

Do these people really have enough money to be panic buying and do you really want to be living amongst mountains of food?  Do they stop panic buying when they get to a certain amount?  Is it a game amongst some people, who can get to the supermarket the earliest and buy the most?  I got to Waitrose at 11AM on Friday and the shelves were bare so I dread to think what it will be like towards the end of the day.

We are told to shop normally, which I don’t actually think is good advice at the moment because the thing is you can’t shop normally.  You can’t do a weekly shop because you can’t buy everything you need so you end up visiting shops throughout the week to pick up the things you missed. This means you are in going out more and having contact with more people just to get the essentials you need.

I’m hoping that now the supermarkets seem to have reduced the number of items you can buy that slowly their stock will be replenished and there will be enough for all of us again.  Then we can go back to a weekly shop so we aren’t having to visit lots of different shops frequently to hunt for what we need. You never know maybe hand sanitiser will even come back to in stock.


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