“I think people got a bit crazy”: Panic buying amid coronavirus pandemic

Hand sanitisers in many stores in Cardiff are out of stock amid the panic-buying atmosphere.

Certain kind of senitisers in Wilko are out of stock

So far, there are 19 people diagnosed with coronavirus in Wales, leading to the phenomenon of panic buying essential goods including toilet rolls in Cardiff.

Some customers faced the dilemma when they wanted to buy hygiene products and sanitisers.

“There is absolutely no reason to be doing any panic buying of any sort or going out and keeping large supplies of things,” the Government’s chief scientific adviser said as the Government’s battle plan was launched.

An empty shelf of food in Tesco

In order to tackle the panic buying situation, some supermarkets and pharmacies in the UK launched purchasing limitations.

“Products like anti-bacterial sanitisers and tissues are limited to 2 per customer,” said Floss, who works as Customer Advisor in Boots.

Customer service of Marks and Spencer stated that the store has reduced hand sanitiser sales to 2 per customer and it is continually reviewing customer trends and followed all the guidelines by the WHO.

Daniel from head office of Sainsbury’s said: “A decision has been made to restrict the quantity of certain products customers can purchase online and instore.”

When faced with public health issues, we lost control of information about time and intensity, with the pushing of media, people go into panic mood.

Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos , an expert in consumer and behavioural science at University College London told Sky News that it is a general panic, different from a disaster panic such as a natural disaster.

“Because toilet paper has a longer shelf-life than many food items, is prominently featured in aisles and is big in size, we are psychologically drawn to purchasing it in times of crisis.

“The bigger they are, the more important we think they are.”

“I think people got a bit crazy. It is not fair for some people who need it,” said Jennifer, who shopped at Marks & Spencer.

“Just look at facts and research, don’t need to panic in Wales right now.”

Empty shelf of toilet rolls in Tesco

Different from local people in Cardiff, Ziyi, a Chinese student studying Human Resource in Cardiff University, believed it is time to stockpile in a proper way, instead of panic buying.

She said: “I think the attitude of proper stockpiling goods is right. People in China have already experienced the situation of widespread virus. It is not making a fuss.

We have stockpiled some anti-bacterial hand wash gel but it is enough for now.”