People are emptying shelves as fears grow over the spread of coronavirus. However, many buy more than they need, leaving others without everyday essentials.
And while retailers are asking the public to support each other and make sure everyone can get access to the products they need, their pleas remain largely unheard. Over the past few weeks, sales of rice in America have increased more than 50 percent, canned meat is up more than 40 percent, while sales of beans, pasta, peanut butter, and bottled water have also risen substantially.
So while some are stockpiling on gallons and gallons of milk, hundreds of condoms, entire carts of toilet paper, and pretty much everything else you can imagine, those who are too late to get these goods are taking photos of the panic buyers and uploading the images on the Internet, questioning whether they're really making the best shopping decisions.
Personal finance expert John Herington said that the coronavirus outbreak is going to be especially hard for people who may lose their income during it. "I would highly recommend the people whose incomes are affected to really cut down on their spending and sacrifice a lot during this time," Herington told Bored Panda. The tricky part is that we can't be sure when things will go back to normal. "They really need to take a hard look at their budget, cut down on unnecessary spending, pick up side hustles, or sell stuff they don’t need to keep themselves afloat. It's a big mistake someone starts spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need."
According to a recent survey, the coronavirus has already significantly or somewhat impacted the purchase decisions of about fifty-four percent of millennials. For comparison, the same applies to 33% of baby boomers, 42% of Gen X, and 49% of Gen Z.
The same study also showed some differences between how men and women are responding to the crisis. For example, even though more women (71 percent) than men (60 percent) reported being “worried about the coronavirus,” nearly half of the men surveyed (47 percent) said it has impacted their purchase decisions, versus 41 percent of women. Furthermore, 38 percent of men agreed that it had also impacted where and how they shop compared to 33 percent of women.
When asked about what products the respondents were purchasing more, a higher number of men reported buying more grocery products (22%), personal care items (14%), health and household products (13%) and beauty products (7%) compared to women, who are buying more in smaller numbers: grocery products (17%), personal care items and household products (13%), health (11%), and beauty products (6%).
However, guns and ammunition soar amid coronavirus panic buying, too. There have been reports of long lines and 'massive rush' at gun stores all across America. On the west coast, people were queueing up to stock up on deadly materials. For example, at the Martin B Retting gun shop in Culver City, California, the queues throughout the weekend were so long, they stretched around the block.
Larry Hyatt owns one of the largest gun shops in the country, Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina. He said that the scenes of mass buying at his store were virtually unprecedented. “This is only the second time in my 61 years of business that we’ve seen anything like this,” he told The Guardian, clarifying that the first occasion was the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012.
So there you have it, folks. We're safe. The Americans will shoot the coronavirus dead.