The Other Pandemic taking over the UK: Panic Shopping

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic currently sweeping the globe, shoppers are resorting to panic-buying of groceries, causing mayhem in the UK and around the world.

The Covid-19 virus, commonly referred to as coronavirus, is practically all anyone is discussing in 2020. The illness which originated in Wuhan, China, seems just as infectious as the fear it has induced internationally.

It is this fear that has sent shockwaves through the UK, with government advice being to remain indoors in a policy that is referred to as ‘social-distancing’ – effectively quarantine.

In preparation for this, many anxious Brits have taken to their local supermarkets to stock up on items such as food and drink, oftentimes in a frenzy. This has led to a huge increase in business at supermarkets nationally, with panic buying and ‘hoarding’ seemingly just as contagious as the virus itself.

Lucy MacDonald, a 20 year old employee at UK supermarket giant Tesco, described her experiences of working at the chain during this crisis as “crazy” saying that she’d “never experienced anything like this before” in the 3 years she has been employed there. Tesco have recently promised 20,000 new jobs to try and combat the demand for supermarkets, as well as offering a 10% bonus for all staff on top of their current wages, in an effort to boost staff morale amid these unprecedented events.

Lucy also picked up on the impoliteness of customers and the lack of courtesy she has received due to the anxiety of the public, saying that “more people have been kicked out of the store (because of their behaviour) than ever before”.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor for the UK, discussed his concerns at some of the public’s attitudes towards one another in this current period of uncertainty in a press conference on the 20th March, saying “we want to look back on this time and remember how, in the face of a generation-defining moment, we undertook a collective national effort – and we stood together”.

About the Author

Olly Bradley
Leeds Now Student Journalist

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