Supermarket shelves are finding themselves cleared of non-perishables, hand sanitiser and, most infamously, toilet paper. This is due to shoppers beginning to stockpile what they perceive to be necessities in the face of the unfolding global COVID-19, or Novel Coronavirus, situation. This panicked stockpiling is being driven in part by a herd mentality driven by both traditional and social media reporting, in preparation for potential social distancing measures and imposed quarantines.
Government and community sources have reminded people that these precautionary measures are excessive, and instead reinforce the importance of hygiene and cleanliness measures in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but to little avail. An unforeseen victim of this frenzied dash to the shops, report social and community groups and advocates, are those on low incomes, pensions, with reduced mobility or disability, and other vulnerable groups.
People living in poverty don’t have the disposable income to afford to stockpile or bulk buy everyday essentials and are very often the ones to directly suffer the impacts of barren supermarket shelves. Shoppers are encouraged to consider the means, ability and needs of others before they needlessly stockpile everyday essentials.
Source: Victoria Council of Social Services et al