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What Went Wrong With… The Public’s Reaction To Panic Buying Following The Coronavirus Outbreak?

An image of toilet roll with the text "have your ID ready"

After the recent spate of panic buying following the outbreak of COVID-19, my first reaction to seeing shoppers filling their trolleys with hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and soap was similar to everyone else but now that I’ve had time to mull it over, I’m ashamed of my initial opinion.

Firstly, what do you expect the public to do after they’ve been subjected to non-stop fear-mongering? Every 24 hour news channel, news bulletin, newspaper, breakfast TV programme, chat show, and official social media account has been guilty of spreading fear, which let’s be honest, is sometimes more dangerous than the virus itself. After an incessant barrage of fear and anxiety created by these media outlets, surprise, surprise… people panicked. But now the same media wants to demonise a situation they helped create? Piss off!

On a side-note, ethnic minorities and people on the poorer-end of the economic scale tend to buy items in bulk. To all my Eastern European, Middle Eastern, African, and Asian brothers and sisters, most of us will have 10kg of rice, 20kg of flour, or a sack of onions in the pantry. But now if we put more than one item of anything in our basket, or a large multipack of anything in our trolley, we have to feel guilty about it as we keep on the look-out for judgemental eyes. This is similar to certain idiots looking with suspicion at any person with brown skin buying “large” amounts of peroxide or fertilizer after an act of terror. That bloke might be a beautician or a gardener. Will seeing their credentials help ease your mind? Want to see his papers? (say that last sentence in a German accent and that’s how you fools come across).

Like a soap and loo roll Stasi, some people are now shaming other people for shopping; posting badly-angled and conveniently-cropped images on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the like. But a photograph doesn’t tell the full story. Someone buying 48 rolls of toilet paper might have 15 children or they may be preparing to self-isolate (as their government or employer has instructed them to do). The cliched image of an old man/woman/couple starring at empty shelves might also be misleading; they may have already bought 100 hand-gels and are now back for more (it’s odd that in a so-called woke society people still rush to stereotype). In any case, what kind of arse-hole starts to record people shopping in order to humiliate them? It’s nobody’s business why someone’s purchasing what they’re purchasing. What do you want; proof of their family, evidence of the number of persons living in their household? Sounds very draconian to me.

Instead of blaming the government or “expert” bodies and their handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, we as a society typically start to in-fight and point the finger at each other. Bottom line: it’s not up to members of the public to judge and validate who’s buying what and in what quantity. These supermarkets know they’ve got more crap round the back but empty shelves creates more panic, more want, and in turn more orders.

The fact that shops didn’t instantly put a limit on certain goods proves that big businesses will use any kind of hysteria to increase their profits. And let’s be honest, even if they did impose a limit on certain items, what’s preventing panic-buyers driving to the next shop and buying more Purell and Andrex? It’s like the pointless limit on sleeping pills or pain relief: if you’re gonna kill yourself, a bit of a trek isn’t going to stop you.

It’s quite simple really: the manager of Tesco’s, Asda, Sainsbury’s (or whichever money-hungry, big-business you prefer) needs to order more bog-roll and soap… and everyone else needs to calm the fuck down.

Shop Until You’re Dropped.

5 replies »

  1. It’s exactly this!

    Typical of our modern day media, over-hyperbole, over-sensationalising and over the top reporting 24/7 the ‘outbreak’ and creating this end of the world scenario.

    They are complete and utter fucktards the lot of them!

    The panic buying would never have started if they had an ounce of credibility to their reporting behaviour, instead they instil fear and dread into anyone who tuned into radio or tv for 5 minutes of the day! Fucking shambles!

  2. Fuck no!

    I agree with you to a great extent, we can all see the CoV outbreak has been badly mishandled, but whatever happens next, be it a damp squib or hundreds of thousands of corpses, the profiteers go to the wall first. The panic buyers will be stripped of their assets and their lives, and their goods redistributed to those that NEED them.
    What this pandemic has shown us is the middle classes and up in this country (the UK here, but any right wing nation will do) will shit on everyone else, and wade balls deep into any pool of shit caked dead to get theirs. They aspire to be better than the rest. I aspire to watch them drown in their own mucus.

    Personal responsibility is all there is. Be in it for yourself by all means. But know that the selfless are coming for you in the aftermath.

    Panic buyers, profiteers, selfish cunts of all flavours… Tories as they are known… cannot be allowed to survive this.

    • I agree with you to an extent too. My article is mainly about people shaming other people. Like I said, a “panic-buyer” could have diarrhoea or there could be people in their family with a colostomy. For all we know, they’re buying multiples for their neighbours, friends, and family who can’t get to the shops. So who is some twat with a smartphone to judge how much toilet roll they’re buying?

      In any case, today we have multiple shops putting limits in place, something any forward-thinking store manager could have done a couple of weeks ago and this wouldn’t have happened. Bottom line: panicking the public non-stop, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week leads to the public err… panicking.

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