We need to calm down

Empty+shelves+at+Walmart

Image taken from: Rolling Stone

Empty shelves at Walmart

Keertana Gangireddy, Photography Editor

I recently took a trip to the Westford Whole Foods with my family, and the sight I was met with upon entering the grocery store startled me. Fresh produce, bread, milk, baby formula, frozen food, toilet paper, you name it, it was all gone.

People have recently been stocking up on food and supplies in light of the coronavirus, and although their actions and fear are warranted, we all really need to take a deep breath.

Buying seven cases of toilet paper is not only detrimental to your wallet, it hurts your community. Clearing the shelves clean at every single grocery store near us simply creates more panic, aggravating the already tense environment there is in Westford. Residents shouldn’t have the fear of running out of food and basic necessities on top of being quarantined.

This frenzy to get out and buy as much food as possible has resulted in consumer demands that suppliers are struggling to meet, resulting in empty shelves in local stores. Retailers are working quickly and effectively to get products to shelves, however, it takes time for goods to move through the modern supply chain.

 

Source: Nielsen – Taken from the New York Times

Sales of rice have increased more than 50 percent. Canned meat is up more than 40 percent. And sales of other goods, such as beans, pasta, peanut butter and bottled water have ‘risen substantially, with a sharp spike this month’, as reported by the research firm, Nielsen.

According to the New York Times, there is ‘plenty of food in the country’. Although we are perpetuated with the fear of running out of food in our homes, due to people frequently going on shopping rampages, starvation, at least in this nation, is not a reality we will have to face because of the virus. Thus, we shouldn’t be pressured to stock up with the panic of local markets to be exhausted of their supplies, as the nation’s biggest retailers are insisting the supply chain is still healthy.

“Our stores are getting stocked every day,” chief operating officer of Costco, Ron Vachris said, regarding the general fear of stores running out of food. “Transportation is functioning, our suppliers are working around the clock, and the flow of goods is strong.”

This serial hoarding is all understandable, as Westford residents have seldom, or never experienced anything as scary as this. Generally, when people start to panic, they scramble to do anything they can to attempt to control the factors in their lives that they can. In this case, people are excessively buying whatever they can get their hands on to ease the state of panic our nation is in right now.

People are only recommended to stock up for two weeks. Instead of hoarding unnecessary items, we should instead ensure we have enough food and supplies to satiate ourselves for fourteen days, and fourteen days only, going through food that expires more recently first.

We should all be focused to keep ourselves healthy and safe. Thus, we need to educate ourselves on how we should be effectively dealing with the situation at hand, instead of going out, sweeping supermarkets clean on a whim to attempt to alleviate things for yourself and your family. We can get through these few weeks with no panic if we research what we need and what we don’t need, and additionally ensure that our community is strong, and in good condition.