To Panic, or Not to Panic?

I’ve discovered another of those irregular verbs like I was talking about a few weeks ago (I’m eccentric, you’re mad, s/he is round the twist). In these days of Brexit and Coronavirus one doesn’t know which way to turn: obviously panic buying is selfish, but is it wise to stock up a little? Will there be shortages in the future? Should we make sure we have sufficient stocks? And is there in the end a difference between panic buying and stocking up or does it go like this: I’m stocking up, you’re hoarding, s/he is panic-buying? It’s quite amusing in a way; OH decided in their infinite wisdom to stock up on a few things just in case. This was back in March 2019 when we thought we were leaving the EU without a deal. So we bought some basic items: flour, rice, pulses, pasta – the sort of things that can form the basis of a meal and provide adequate nutrients. Without wishing to develop a bunker mentality, it seemed sensible to take precautions. Mind you, I was surprised as OH is usually the sort of person who likes to ‘wing it’ and has previously thumbed their nose at supermarket deliveries, but there you go, ours is not to reason why…

Well as you will have spotted we did not leave the EU then. But later in the year it looked as if we might – so OH stocked up again, on similar items (ignoring the fact that we still had loads of rice and lentils left and that I’m not particularly keen on either.) We now had rather a lot of stuff. But not to worry, we’d get through it and if the fateful day ever came when the markets ran dry, we’d survive. Enter Covid 19 – and off OH goes again and puts in another order, thankfully this time focussing on things other than lentils and rice.

So here’s the thing: is that sensible stocking-up, hoarding or panic-buying?

A similar question occurs when thinking of the dreaded lurgy. Do we: a) decide that it’s all a media panic and ignore the whole thing b) take some precautions such as washing hands and capturing germs when sneezing or c) stay home and barricade ourselves in? It’s hard to know. On the one hand, this virus kills fewer people worldwide than flu; on the other hand it’s highly contagious and could end up infecting billions. It’s the unknown that’s scary, and in the face of the unknown we all have a tendency to panic. So here’s a little gif for you (warning – flashing lights):


I’m just going down to the pantry now. I may be some time…

Kirk out

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