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Prudence, not panic with COVID-19

By Staff | Mar 21, 2020

Prudence, not panic, needs to be the order of the day among Americans. Unfortunately, not everyone seems to have gotten the memo.

During a press conference Sunday, President Donald Trump noted that heads of major retail companies had told him something he never expected to hear: Don’t buy so much, they said.

If you have been to a grocery store during the last few days, you know what Trump and the retailers mean. Panic over COVID-19 has prompted too many people to become hoarders. Instead of buying just the groceries and other commodities they need, they are “stocking up.” That means some store shelves are virtually empty — of food, sanitizing products, even toilet tissue.

What that also means is that some people who need certain products are having trouble finding them, despite manufacturers’ and retailers’ best efforts to keep the supply chain moving.

Hoarding is a vicious cycle. Those went to the store planning to buy just a few items see nearly empty shelves — and finish the job, worrying that if they do not stock up quickly, they will not be able to purchase what they need later.

So we urge you not to fall victim to the panic. Federal officials have suggested that buying a week’s worth of groceries and other supplies at one time is reasonable, and that sounds about right to us.

Think about it: Creating an artificial shortage of needed products affects those most at risk from COVID-19 — the elderly and infirm who may not be able to make repeated trips to the store to find food, medicine, etc. The young, vigorous and mobile do our older neighbors an enormous disservice by hoarding — quite possibly putting them in peril.

And, while you’re at it, check in with older or disabled friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers. Ask them if they have what they need, and if they do not, offer to help out.

That’s what Americans do, isn’t it?


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