Following the announcement of the coronavirus pandemic, most people panicked and began storing food in their homes, causing the market to be completely emptied. Unfortunately, not all people were able to respond so quickly, so individuals, the elderly, came up with empty shelves in the markets.
In recent days, posted heart-wrenching photos of elderly people staring at empty supermarket shelves can often be seen, such as a picture taken of a canned food aisle at the Port Melbourne store.
Port Melbourne Coles.
Canned food aisle.
I’m told she was in tears.
This captures who is suffering from the me-first, unnecessary, trend of panic buying.
— Seb Costello (@SebCostello9) March 19, 2020
According to Nine News reporter Seb Costello,
“This captures who is suffering from the first, unnecessary panic buying trend.”
For Coles director of operations Matthew Swindells, what is happening now is similar to when storing before the start of the holiday season, or for the usual six months of planned activities.
According to him, this is not a supply problem, but a demand problem. He points out that in the three consecutive weeks since the beginning of the crisis, they have made a sale like for the three Christmas holidays, which breaks a large hole in supplies in their supply lines, which they need time to recover from.
Twitter users sharply criticize customers who continue to follow this trend and put older, lonely and poor people in a situation where they cannot get basic groceries because they cannot afford to make bigger supplies at home.
Many people are disappointed with the disrespect of senior citizens.
All these actions of the citizens have initiated that leading Australian supermarket chains join forces and give customers greater caution and treat employees with respect.
This group includes Aldi, Coles, IGA, and Woolworth, who have recently been doing everything they can to get as many products on shelves as possible, often in difficult circumstances, forcing customers to be more careful about their shopping method, to focus on buying only of what they really need.
From all this, it has emerged that supermarkets have imposed shopping restrictions on certain things. Australia’s food production figures say it produces food for 75 million people, or three times its population. The fact that the shelves are empty is a consequence of customers’ fear of closing stores and production due to COVID-19.
At a press conference, Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked Australians to “stop being afraid” of the supermarket closure because it is not reasonable and not helpful, adding:
“It was one of the most serious things I have seen in Australia’s behavior in response to this crisis. It is not us who are the people. It is not necessary. There is no reason for people to cover supplies for fear of closure or anything like that. It is not something that would people should work. “
Woolworths and Coles have introduced a dedicated shopping watch for the elderly and disadvantaged. They will change their trading hours and the first hour of the shopping will be exclusively for customers who hold a government-issued Pensioner Concession Card, Companion Card and Health Care Card, and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
After this hour, other shoppers will be able to complete their shopping. Supermarkets will also close early (around 8 pm) so that their employees have the time and space to thoroughly clean the stores and fill the shelves for the next day.
The fact is that the highest death rate among the elderly, especially those with other serious medical conditions or a weakened immune system. As a result, measures are being taken to protect the elderly with a weakened immune system. One measure is “social distance,” including distance at 1.5 meters from other people, in an effort to combat the spread of the virus.
On March 23, 2020, at 15.00 Australia, there were 1,709 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and seven people died.