Panic buying and pandemic-induced hope

by - March 30, 2020


The world is a weird place right now. Every now and then when I start to feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that my parents had their lives torn apart by war. Their worlds were turned upside down, they lost their homes, their family, friends and everything they’d ever known.

A pandemic where we’re asked to stay in the comfort of our home, and only venture out to buy groceries from supermarkets that would be fully stocked if people hadn’t panic bought supplies? If this is the worst event I’ve been through in my life then I am lucky.

I’ve learned two main things from the pandemic so far.

One: I didn’t need to stock up on any high-demand items because, as it turns out, I’ve been panic buying my whole life - I just didn’t know the official term for it so I called it ‘hoarding.’ You see, Mum Pham taught us to bulk buy items on sale to save money in the long-term. Buying full price is for chumps! I have at least 1-2 extra cans, bottles, packets, bags of… well, everything. When items started disappearing from shelves I still had at least a month’s supply of most things. Thanks Mum Pham.

Two: Humanity can work together to manage global issues. Sure, it has been hit and miss as governments and health experts figure out how best to respond to a super-infectious, fast-spreading virus. But entire countries are putting the economy and society on pause to save as many people’s lives as we can. Imagine what we can do when we work together to tackle other global issues like ocean plastic, air pollution, and destructive energy? That, of course, would require politicians to listen to other scientists the way they’ve listened to medical experts. While I don’t hold much hope that current governing powers will backflip on climate change, I have hope the future generations are seeing what we can do together, and when they’re in power they’ll make the tough decisions our current leaders aren’t making.

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