Coronavirus and panic buying
March 8, 2020
Over the weekend I have been shocked at the reports of major panic buying by the population.
We are all worried of course we are but why are people going mad in the supermarkets?
Since when did the urge for 20 rolls of toilet paper occur. What is it with the public. Do they need so much pasta they then need to use the loo – hence the purchase of 20 packs of loo rolls!
Below are some images I took in 2 major supermarkets today. Shocking.
Yet who is to blame for this panic. Yes the media are part of the problem. Yes they must keep us up to date as of course it is worrying – however, they are making people panic and then rush out to stock up in case they have to ‘self isolate’ Also why are the supermarkets not ordering a lot more products. They knew like the rest of us this was happening. Why did they not limit how much each person could purchase. I know I have seen a sign today limiting 5 items or less but this is too much too late.
We need to think how did the people manage during the war. There was (I imagine) none of this being selfish they all worked together as all in the same boat. This is not the case now in the 21st Century. Why is this. What is wrong with everyone.
So why are people doing this
Research shows that it is due to the fear of the unknown. This makes sense – we are all concerned that we may have the symptoms and fear is installed into use. We believe that a major dramatic event like this demands a dramatic response. Even if in this case it is simply washing your hands (which you can do with soap and water)
According to David Savage who is the Associate Professor of Behavioural and MicroEconomics at University of Newcastle in Australis he has said ‘It is rational to prepare for something bad that looks likely to occur but now rational to buy 500 cans of baked beans for what would likely be a 2 week isolation period.
So we will have shortages and this can cause further anxiety in people.
Due to the shortages I have been shocked at looking on Ebay and Amazon and people making money out of this major crisis.
Let us hope that we all take stock and review how our behaviour is affecting others. We are all in this together and lets hope that this epidemic is resolved soon.