Panic buying at grocery stores and hoarding of some products, notably toilet paper, was one of the more bizarre things people did when COVID-19 hit in 2020. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Panic buying at grocery stores and hoarding of some products, notably toilet paper, was one of the more bizarre things people did when COVID-19 hit in 2020. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Editorial: Stop hoarding, people! You’re creating a problem

We hoped that people would have learned from 2020

Did people learn nothing from the early days of COVID?

Stop hoarding!

One of the most ridiculous and anti-social things some people did when COVID-19 public health orders and recommendations came into effect in 2020 was go out to the grocery stores and clean off the shelves, like the apocalypse had arrived and they were in a fight to the death for the last roll of toilet paper.

We hoped that people would have learned from that experience, what with their basements and garages still stuffed to the brim with hand sanitizer, masks, tinned beans and frozen meat.

Apparently not.

It was with something akin to disbelief that we heard about the sudden rush to buy in bulk following last week’s flooding, as if society was collapsing in on itself, rather than just largely momentarily inconvenienced. Though we certainly don’t wish to minimize the tragedies faced by some who lost loved ones, or homes, those things certainly did not require the unaffected to rush out and fill a shopping cart to the brim, at the expense of everyone else around them.

This time panic buying seems to have extended to eggs, gas, and bread.

People do realize, don’t they, that these things have a shelf life, even in the freezer? And that it would take even a large family a significant amount of time to eat through dozens of loaves of bread and cartons of eggs?

The run on gas is frankly just bizarre. The only reason there’s any kind of shortage is because of panic buying and hoarding. If folks had just gone with business as usual, there would be no difference in business as usual.

Panic buying and hoarding has just created a problem that didn’t need to exist. We wonder if before people headed out to clear off the shelves of the grocery store they stopped for one moment to consider the people they were hurting. There are a lot of people in our communities who cannot afford to buy large quantities at a time. They depend upon there being products on the shelves that they can purchase as they are able. Someone’s garage full, some of which may hit the table a couple of months from now (but much of which will be thrown away and wasted), has quite possibly taken tomorrow’s supper off of someone else’s table.

People really need to think before they act. Because as bad as last week’s flooding was, it was nowhere near as bad as the disaster could be from a severe earthquake hitting our region. We would hate to see this kind of selfish response again. Perhaps consider offering to help someone else first next time.

Editorials