It might seem tempting to go out and buy everything you can possibly fit into your car, but there are actually some really good reasons not to hoard supplies during a lockdown. For one, grocery stores, banks, and pharmacies are open during this time. Second, going out for food, money, and medicine are the only 3 reasons you’re allowed to leave the house! Plus, when we look at the big picture, we can see how hoarding supplies affects everyone else going through this hard time.
Hoarding Toilet Paper
This was one of the knee jerk reactions to the coronavirus lockdown. People panicked and bought a bunch of toilet paper. But if you stop and think, this doesn’t really make sense. For one, cities aren’t shutting down water and electricity and you won’t be going to the bathroom in an outhouse anytime soon. If you do run out of toilet paper, you can simply go to the grocery store to get more. And if you really don’t want to go outside, using a bottle filled with warm water or jumping into the shower are all better options than hoarding toilet paper. If you really want to splurge, get a bidet to solve all your cleanliness issues.
Hoarding Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine
It was mentioned in a press conference that scientists are looking into chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as a way to treat COVID-19. Before you knew it, people started buying and hoarding this medication and one person even died from ingesting chloroquine phosphate (a fish tank cleaning chemical that is NOT the same as the FDA approved formulation). Unfortunately, to this point there has been no proven study that shows chloroquine treats COVID-19. Plus, everyone who actually needs it to treat their lupus and other autoimmune diseases is now out of drugs. So if you are healthy and isolated at home, don’t take the risk to go out to get a drug that may or may not work against a disease you don’t have.
Instead of hoarding food, support your local restaurants and bars by ordering take out or delivery. Many small businesses have been hit particularly hard by the social distancing restrictions and many food industry people have lost their jobs. Hoarding food when you don’t need to means less food for those who cannot afford to buy in bulk and more waste. Not everything is perishable and if you don’t eat all that food you bought, it gets thrown in the trash. Just like with toilet paper, think about your grocery run as a way to get out of the house for a bit.
Diapers are probably more of a necessity for people with babies and kids than toilet paper. It’s understandable why someone would feel the need to hoard diapers. However, once again, keep in mind that not everyone can afford to buy in bulk. A video recently went viral when a mother posted empty shelves of diapers at the local store. She had four kids at home and couldn’t afford to buy in bulk like everyone else. In a time when everyone is under stress, it’s important to remember to take what you need while making sure to leave enough in stores for other people. The supply chain won’t run out if everyone continues to buy stuff at the same rate they always have.
Hoarding Face Masks
Hoarding face masks is probably one of the most detrimental things you can do during this pandemic. With the sudden surge in positive cases and patient influx, hospitals are going through tens of thousands of face masks, gloves, and other personal protective gear every DAY. If you’re healthy and stuck at home, there is absolutely no reason to buy a giant box of face masks. Doctors and nurses are working overtime to help save sick people, they need that box of face masks. If our healthcare system breaks, everyone who needs medical help will be harmed, not just those with COVID-19.