Alongside the COVID-19 pandemic has come a lot of fear, panic, racism, and, of course, stockpiling. No matter how hilarious toilet paper craze memes are, in real life, the hoarding of essential items is having a really bad effect. Right now, the most vulnerable group to the coronavirus is also the same group that cannot compete in the panic buying craze. All over the world, with toilet paper, rice, pasta, and other items flying off the supermarket shelves, many elderly and disabled people are left without basic goods.

Recently, the Woolworths supermarket chain announced that one hour every morning only elderly and disabled people will be allowed to shop at their stores

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In Australia, despite multiple warnings that there’s no food shortage, people continue to ravish stores, leaving the employees unable to stock the shelves fast enough to satisfy the growing demand for groceries.

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The government is asking for people to be more conscious of others, yet to no avail. “Customers, check yourself before you check out. Don’t lose it over a loo roll,” SDA National Secretary-Treasurer Gerard Dwyer said.

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To help elderly and disabled people stock their pantries, one of the biggest supermarket chains in Australia, Woolworths, decided to takes matters into their own hands. The grocery store chain decided to dedicate an hour each morning to this vulnerable group of people. Most Woolworths supermarkets across the country will open their doors from 7am to 8am only for elderly and/or disabled citizens and those who are caring for them.

The decision was made after panic buying affected the most vulnerable groups of society

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“The move has been prompted by the unprecedented demand in supermarkets over the past week, which has seen many elderly and vulnerable people in the community missing out on vital items they may need when they shop,” Woolworths announced on Monday.

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“While we’ll continue to do our very best to restock our stores during this period of unprecedented demand, we know many of our elderly customers have been missing out on essential items when they shop,” managing director Claire Peters said.

Here’s how people reacted

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