There are moments in life when thinking ahead gives us the advantage. Our careers, for example, require us to think a few steps ahead of a project so we can envision how we would want it to end. During the typhoon season when you know flooded streets are a threat, it’s imperative you stock up on food and other resources. But the on-going panic buying over a virus that has 49 confirmed cases in the metro is most certainly not a time to sweep the grocery aisles like a swarm of angry locusts. In case you still need someone to spell it out for you, here’s why you shouldn’t panic buy.
It creates mass hysteria
Fear can be useful. If you’re avoiding public places, cancelling gatherings, following DOH orders then it is. If you’re hoarding goods, spreading fake news, preaching about the end of the world, not only is that useless, it is harmful. ‘Wag kang kanser. #nCoV #NoToPanicBuying
— Kip Oebanda (@kipoebanda) March 11, 2020
It’s a virus, not a zombie apocalypse. If a city as huge as Wuhan is doing well and residents are not complaining of food shortage, a megacity like Metro Manila will be okay too. The government, while we admit is sometimes incompetent, has not declared a lockdown just yet, but even if they did, there are hundreds of grocery stores in the metro with thousands of food supplies and sanitary essentials. If we pace ourselves and ration those, it might last us a long time but if we buy 20 packs of wipes in one go for one family, come April there won’t be supplies anymore.
It leaves other people vulnerable
— Kaye_23 (@Kaye_23Forever) March 11, 2020
Across the globe, grocers are starting to run out of tissues, wipes, and vitamins what with people lining up at stores at the crack of dawn and sweeping items off shelves. While it’s not that bad (yet!) in the Philippines, you can practically feel the energy of mild panic running through crowds inside supermarkets. But what about those who actually need tissues and vitamins for taking care of sick people for illnesses other than COVID-19? Epidemics like these really draw a spotlight on the poor and marginalized. The privileged can buy as much as they want but remember, we are only as strong as our weakest link.
Panicking is more dangerous than any virus
If you want to be safe from the virus then everyone needs to be protected as well
Food bank donations are down as people are hoarding and panic buying. People with a dozen packets of pasta why not donate some to the people who were already struggling to access food and sanitary products before you cleared out the shelves?
— Raahi (@nusraahi) March 11, 2020
Hoarding all the soap you can get and leaving nothing for other people is counterproductive, don’t you think? You’ll be safe and clean while you steal other people’s chance to sanitize their families, and then what? Giving everyone equal opportunities to stay clean further reduces the chance of the virus spreading. You don’t want to die in your bed surrounded by packets of wipes and rolls of tissue after all.
“But what about me? I just want to be safe and secure?”
South Korea has 7,755 #COVID19 cases while Japan has 1,335 but they never had a citywide or country lockdown like China and Italy. Meanwhile, Philippines has 49 cases and people are shouting for lockdown and are now doing panic buying. I’m just literally SMH. 🤦♀️ #NoToPanicBuying
— Lenlen Dinglasa (@len2dinglasa) March 11, 2020
Yeah? So do a million other people in this country, and most can’t even afford all the gallons of water and produce you’re hoarding. Coming into a store and stacking up your big carts with canned food and instant noodles leaves nothing for the rest. Can you live with that?
There’s a special place for people who try to take advantage of the weak
Instead of panicking, why not try helping?
#NoToPanicBuying yall don’t understand what this means for vulnerable persons. If you’re ~30, healthy, no underlying condition you can catch COVID and recover. Leave the supplies to health workers, the elderly, & ppl w/chronic disease. THEY NEED IT MORE THAN YOU. DONT BE ENTITLED
— Michael (@piencenaves_jm) March 11, 2020
After all, this is over, you’d want to look back to the time you tried to help your fellow Filipinos and not push them down. Before putting that extra 9-pack roll of tissue paper or that giant canned tuna on your cart, ask yourself if you really need it. Will you go stark raving mad hungry without it or can you spare it to donate for other families who need it?
Hoarding is not the same as preparing
Panic buying might fill your shelves for weeks and ease your mind for the time being but the rest of the country will go down the drain pretty quickly. Take the time to calm down and breathe. Assess your situation. Rather than stocking up on tissue paper and alcohol, you need to build your immune system and actually wash your hands regularly. Small measures like this can help you avoid the risk of getting COVID-19.
Got any other reasons why you shouldn’t panic buy? Sound off in the comments below!