Everywhere in the world people are hoarding. Why? Because people are panicking about pandemic disease. People are thinking COVID-19 disease can go on for many weeks and months and we might end up starving and not having enough items to survive!
How disgusting it is to see people buying many oil cans, stocking toilet papers, hand sanitizer, soaps, grains, rice, pulses, flour… what not? Reports say store employees stock up items on the store shelves overnight and morning within two hours all shelves turn empty!! Stores are reporting, same people coming back often to buy stuffs that they already bought even after stores change the policy “one/ two item per person/family”.
With COVID-19 pandemic going on, it is difficult time for everyone. People panic about jobs, economy and food. During this difficult time, we hope everyone come together, stay calm and work together to help each other so that community and society continues to run smoothly. Unfortunately, it is not happening that way. People are hoarding… hoarding whatever they can. The result is – on eBay toilet paper price went up! Facial masks are not available and people stealing masks from hospitals! A man in Tennessee bought 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to sell at high price to make profit!! Many groceries hiked prices to make money (and some of them got fined too)!! People are standing in ‘Q’ well ahead of store opening time -the way they do on Black Friday sale.
Where the kindness has disappeared? In this critical situation, we must think about those who work hourly and buy day to day food. Labors cannot afford to stock up things. We must think about elders who cannot fight to get items by competing with the huge crowd and handicapped people who cannot afford to go out to get things.
Hoarding is a bad act!
Buying supplies is a responsibility but hoarding is not. Hoarding is nothing but panic buying and is a selfish act. If we are socially responsible, we will not do such thing. People hoard things because of fear or greed. Fear of not getting the items like soap, hand sanitizers, bread, grains and other foods is making people to buy things in excess. There are many who are buying stuffs in huge quantity from various stores, stock them and selling them for higher price and it is nothing but greed. Fear – we can relate to. Individuals who are afraid could be socially responsible but, are concerned that others will not. These people might share the items with others who are in need. Greed – it is bad act and making use of others weakness and will not share anything without benefit.
How can we stop hoarding?
Socially responsible attitude and putting positive thoughts could help. Perceiving fellow shoppers like ourselves leads to cooperation. Media should lower the concerns about empty shelves. Shops should –like COSTCO did- put notice saying, “List of things (names) during this period (dates) bought cannot be returned”. This will stop shoppers to stock up things and make them think twice before buying extra stuffs. Stores should allow small number of people or group at a time and restrict number of items per family. Stores must have specific hours dedicated to physically disabled and elders.
The act of generosity positively influences the behavior of others. It generates a greater number of care givers. We should not forget that there are healthcare and front-line workers who might not even getting chance to shop or to meet family and time to even prepare food. It is community’s responsibility to step in and help elders, front-line workers and those who need help.
People should know and realize that they will not be in this situation for long. Bad time will end, so also COVID-19. The hope of seeing the light at end of the tunnel will give a great relief and we all are soon going to see end of tunnel.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: April 3, 2020