So with all the panic buying and hoarding due to Corona Virus, here are some tips I have experienced. No scientific evidence to back it up so proceed with caution!
What is the worst time to shop? Do not go at 7:00am opening! You will get the people lining up and jockeying for position. These are your panic stricken, end of the world types who do not trust the kindest face. They are ready to go as soon as the door goes and have researched where everything is so they can maximize based on critical and tactical pathways. Also, they have enlisted their kids to also go down multiple isles so that you, as an individual, can not compete. Also, do not go at the end of the day near closing because the shelves have been picked clean and you might find a tin of beets, extremely hot jalapenos, SPAM with expiry date of Dec 2019 (how daring are you in these challenging times…and does SPAM really ever go bad?) and hot cinnamon flavoured jelly beans.
What is the best time to shop? 7:45am! The panic shoppers have left the premises and are off to conquer new territories…maybe drugstores or gas stations. By 7:45am, you now have casual aisles to shop in. Now, there might be limited or short supplies but there might be useable remnants, I managed to get pasta! Short supply but still got the goods! Same with sauces, limited supply but still there. I also got chicken and, wait for it!!!!! Toilet paper. Purex 60 roll equivalent for only $12! I am not sure what the street value is but now I am going to flaunt it by driving around and showing it off. Just so you know, I was being respectful and only took one package.
How can you tell a panic shopper vs regular shopper? To figure out if they are a panic or regular shopper, there are some tell tale signs. Look at their knuckles, if they are white, they are holding the shopping cart tightly. Regular shoppers do not. Also, panic shoppers will never leave their cart and have at least one hand on it. Regular shoppers usually have a basket or cart and not uncommon for them to distance themselves from it. Also, try smiling at people. Regular shoppers will smile back, and shake their heads in disbelief, they might also say, “keep well and keep safe”…a panic shopper will look at you and if they hold on to their toilet paper tighter, please give them distance.
What if I really need to buy a roll of toilet paper?! Understand that under these challenging times you will be judged! There is no way around it. It is the degree of judgement that is going to be laid down upon you. If you just have one package, you are likely being judged as a ‘scourging’ hoarder. Much like a squirrel looking for nuts. People will think that you have 20 packages at home and just happened upon one package while out. If you do need that one package, buy other unnecessary items so people will look at you, look at your cart and be less judgemental. Unnecessary items might be a bag of chips, , head of lettuce, some apples, small package of tea bags and bagels. The moment you start putting packaged pasta and soup tins, you are now more susceptible to being judged as a hoarder. Finally, heaven help you if you only have a shopping cart with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, Kleenex and disinfectant. You will have to go through a gauntlet of judgement…but you likely don’t care because you are already self-centred and it is all about you and you want to take advantage of the situation.
Moving forward – Keep safe, wash your hands (like you are supposed to), respect social distance, try not to touch your face, smile at strangers and say hello when you can. These are challenging times and we can all be kinder and nicer to each other. Take this time to slow down and appreciate the people around you, the things you do. This shall pass and we can hope that we emerge stronger.
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