The coronavirus has pushed people into panic mode, prompting them to hoard whatever items they can find. The frenzy has strained grocers leading US President Donald Trump to ask people to take it easy.
During a call with food industry executives on Sunday, Trump discussed the situation in the US. He said the supply chain has still not been affected despite the industry coming under strain because of the panic.
Worry of social distancing and lockdowns have forced people to hoard canned food, water, hand sanitizers and most importantly toilet papers. Shelves are being cleared out of nonperishable foods, household cleaners, and essentials as soon as they are restocked.
Since the situation has been worsening, grocers have started to limit stocks in several places. During the news conference on Sunday, Trump was urged to talk about the situation by the grocers to reduce the panic among people.
Twitterati on the empty shelves
The buying spree has been echoed online with netizens asking hoarders to take it easy. There are several videos and images circulating on the internet showing empty shelves and long queues.
A worrying aspect of the hoarding is that the really needy ones such as the elderly and differently-abled are not able to lay their hands on anything. Trump said that despite no shortages, people are buying twice the number of products they usually buy.
During the call with top grocers in the country, Trump asked them to stock up the shelves to calm people. Leslie Sarasin, president of FMI, the food industry association, said the association agrees with the administration. Kroger, one of the largest supermarket chains in the US, said they are working on restocking their shelves.
Several other countries are also witnessing a similar situation and one among them is the Philippines. The country has adopted one of the most interesting methods to combat fears of low supplies. Since several schools have shut down to make sure that children are safe from the disease, daycare teachers are in supermarkets volunteering in an effort to stop hoarding. This is happening in Valenzuela in the Philippines.