Coronavirus: The shopping nightmare that won't end.

Wasting Resources During Panic Shopping

Photo by Anna Shvets on

If you have gone to any grocery store in the past few weeks, you would undoubtedly see the bare shelves in the aisles that contain the typical staples we all depend on to survive. While this can be troubling, it has nothing on the realization of why. A brand new virus has people running scared. Instead of running home to take care of themselves, they have headed for the grocery stores to take everything they can possibly get their hands on without caring if there’s enough to go around for the next customer.

People have been panic shopping for things like toilet paper, cleansers, bread, rice, flour, eggs, butter and all sorts of quick fix foods. Even with the warnings that most stores have been forced to place on shelves limiting the amount customers can purchase, there is still barely anything left.

The sad truth is, no one needs more of any item than they were purchasing prior to the current pandemic showed it’s ugly side. Fear has motivated people into scrambling for the last loaf of bread or can of tuna without realizing the food shortage their greedy hoarding frenzy has caused.

Panic Shopping: What’s leftover?

Photo by Ellie Burgin on

When people shop as if tomorrow is the end of the world, they don’t seem to realize or care what they are inflicting on the community around them. When someone purchases eight loaves of bread and six gallons of milk along with four or five of the bulk-60 count eggs, they have effectively taken the most inexpensive things in the store that could have made several meals for another underprivileged family.

For some people, five dollars can be enough for them to purchase flour, butter and canned milk to make biscuits for their family. However, when they have to purchase them separately at three different stores, the added food tax at each store is also three times as much as it would have been if they had been able to purchase their items at the same time. This means that some underprivileged families are forced to go without because of someone else’s panicked shopping spree that ended with them buying a bunch of items they will never use.

This scenario is not made up. In the town I live in, I have seen this very thing happen firsthand. People that do not even know how to cook a basic meal and can afford the items they are now purchasing case after case of are purchasing the items and hoarding them for no other reason than the fear of something that is beyond their control. Obviously, the people hoarding these items are simply panicking and need serious help for their mental state or they simply do not care about anyone but themselves, possibly both. Either way, they are leaving nothing for the people who need it the most- the poor and underprivileged families.

Compassion and Humanity

Photo by cottonbro on

Even with our society in its current state of fear and anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic, there is no need to go overboard on items that will do nothing but sit on a shelf in a pantry until it rots. Believe it or not, the people in charge of handling these kinds of situations really are doing everything they possibly can to make certain that the public has all the information they need and the means to stay safe and healthy.

For everyone that would disagree with that point- if you simply flip your television onto your local news station, you would see it for yourself. Every day, several times a day, there is an update on the coronavirus and/or COVID-19. These updates are specifically designed to keep the public informed and aware of the precautions they need to take to stay safe and healthy.

Above all of that, COVID-19 is called ‘the new pandemic’ for a reason: because its new. Which means that even the people who run the pharmaceutical companies and the testing facilities have to figure out what to do next to get a vaccine that will stop this illness. Obviously, this will take some time but with some patience, understanding and a little bit of compassion for our fellow community members, we will fare just fine.

Technology and medicine has come a long way in the last few hundred years, so there is no reason to panic. All anyone has to do is pay attention to what the updates are saying on the news and sit tight.

To clarify- social distancing means to simply avoid sick people and avoid spreading the illness if you’re already infected. Social distancing does not mean to cut the emotional ties we have with our community.

Remember: We are in this as a community, as a city, a county, a state, a country and a nation. If we look out for each other by caring enough to avoid spending time physically near others while sympathizing with the needs of others, we can survive this as a community, a city, county, state, country and nation.

So, the next time you go to the store, consider the items you already have at home. If you already have a few loaves of bread, a couple dozen of eggs, some milk, coffee, toilet paper and other essential items; it would be more humane and compassionate if you bypass the items you already have in favor of what you actually need.

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