Panic Buying- What you should know!

Author : teriann

By now we have all heard about the new Corona virus, COVID -19, and its subsequent spread throughout the world that has resulted in the WHO (World Health Organization) classifying it as a pandemic. The  lock down of several countries across the globe has been as a direct result of the virus. Here in Jamaica, we were not immune to the outbreak and it has arrived to our shores.

Notwithstanding the various measures that have been put in place around the world to try and keep the virus in check, the predominant saga shared all over social media are the images of consumers emptying shelves both overseas  and locally. The virus has spread panic and fear as everyone come to grips with the new reality in which they find themselves whether it is social distancing, isolation or quarantines.

Pleas for Normalcy

Consumers have been asked not to stock up and buy all the goods for a simple reason. If you purchase all the hand sanitizers, hand soap and other cleaning agents, then that means others will have to do without. Since the likelihood also exists that they will not be able to protect themselves, because they have nothing with which to do so, your actions would have put you and your family at risk   The worst part is that the supplies which would have been initially been more than enough to cater a vast section of the population is now stockpiled  behind the closed doors of the very few who could afford to buy them in bulk.

Some persons have even resorted to making their concoction to cleanse their hands.  Be careful though some cleaning agents, such as bleach and ammonia, are not supposed to be mixed and can cause more harm than good.

What about food items? Should we be worried?

The chief executive officer of Grace Kennedy Group, Don Wehby, has calmed public fears by stating that “…Grace Foods has sufficient stock to serve its customers and consumers.”  In an article published by The Gleaner dated March 17, 2020, he stated: “GraceKennedy’s, and in this particular instance, Grace Foods’ planning protocols are very robust, especially because we know that situations such as the one we’re facing with COVID-19 are possible. While we understand that it is an uncertain time, and we encourage preparedness on the part of the public, we want everyone to know that there is no need for panic or stockpiling of products.”  Read the full article here:
That being said, there are some persons who really don’t care about preserving enough supplies so that everyone can benefit. They must remember though, that if the society is to be preserved, we must be our brother’s keeper.

As a response to the excessive demands on some products, pharmacies and supermarkets have instituted a rationing of supplies available to individual consumers. Many stores have signs which state that only one bottle of hand sanitizer will be sold per customer, while others took the item off the shelf entirely.

Health and Safety

To sum up buy only enough of what you need and follow the health protocols by practicing social distance while at the supermarket as well as an sanitation procedures. I noticed on one recent shopping trip, that initially an elderly patron objected to having her hands sprayed at a local supermarket, but eventually she complied after the situation was explained to her. As consumers, it is important that we follow all the safety recommendations so as to safeguard our health.

So what’s your take? Did you panic buy or buy just enough to fill your needs? Let me know drop a line below!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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