With the coronavirus ripping through countries, being thoughtful of others is needed more than ever

By Nina Steele 

CoronavirusMy heart sank when I realised that panic buying had reached the two supermarkets I do my weekly shopping at. It all started in Australia. My Facebook feed was littered with videos of people fighting over toilet paper. I remember shaking my head in disbelief, not anticipating that the madness would soon be reaching the UK.

Not long after those first videos, videos from other countries started circulating. It soon became clear that a sizable number of people around the world were now panic buying too.

I wasn’t going to join in the madness. No way! I decided to stick to my usual grocery shopping day, even when newspapers in the UK started reporting that panic buying had reached these shores. What I chose to do however, was to go shopping earlier than I would normally. And I guess that that new regime will be the new normal, at least until the virus is dealt with.

Like many people, I am puzzled as to why toilet paper is now such a sought after commodity, considering all we know about the virus. And so, no matter how early I made it to the supermarket, there were none left. Luckily, corner shops still had plenty to sell. It seems that panic buying of toilet paper, at least for now, is confined to supermarkets.

It goes without saying that I welcome the decision by the major supermarkets to crack down on people bulk buying. With the virus causing havoc in all our lives, the last thing we need is for day to day items to run out, not because there is a shortage, but because of the selfishness of some among us.

There are videos circulating of people having to queue to buy certain items and only being allowed a certain amount. I am glad that order is finally being restored. It will be even better if those who chose to profit from the situation by bulk buying and then reselling the same products at hugely inflated prices are also dealt with.

Being thoughtful of others is always a good thing, particularly at this time. I remember a video of a woman maybe in her 40s, trying to wrestle a pack of toilet paper out of the hands of an elderly lady. The woman in her 40s had a demented, end of days look on her face. It was only when others chose to intervene that she let the old lady have it. It was both upsetting and sad. Hopefully, these images are now a thing of the past. That’s my hope anyway.


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