Sunday, February 09, 2020

Shopping Frenzy in Singapore due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus!

Alex suspected a week ago that food hoarding would be an issue once Singapore's Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON)'s level is elevated and he is so darn right! 

I was near AMK hub for dinner last Friday when the announcement of elevation to orange was made, and the situation was crazy with insanely long queues for payment and empty shelves! Panic is such an interesting emotion as even i thought it might be good to buy a bit more food supplies for my parents the next morning.

Rationally, there's only so much we can buy as food items do expire and i don't believe in hoarding food unless there's a dire reason to do so. It's still shocking, however, to find almost cleared out shelves at about 10am! 

Traditional favourites like canned sardines, hotdogs, instant noodles were seen as hot favourites but it's obvious that only the cheaper brands were preferred. 

It was the toilet paper that got me thinking; why is there a need to hoard up on toilet paper?! My family has been using bidet sprays for quite some time and to be honest, my 30 rolls of toilet paper (10-piece pack, usually promotion for 3 packs) can last me almost a year.

Highly perishable products were not as popular even though i heard that in some places, vegetables and fruits were sold out. Seriously?! How much can you eat before they start rotting!? 

Finding empty shelves are nothing compared to the snaking long queue! I hate to wait and while i have my games to accompany me; i forgot to bring my ear buds! There's an advantage though.

Without listening, there might be a lot of assumptions and implied misunderstanding; like this lady ahead who had a trolley full of rice and other household products. I overheard her saying that she operates a restaurant and is worried that her supplier would delay her supply. Well, i wouldn't know if she is telling the truth but it wouldn't harm to give her the benefit of doubt.

Anti-bacterial hand wash which had its stocks replenished while i was queuing. With hand sanitizers almost sold out in the market; the next target would be the handwash as the government take is that we should always wash our hands with soap! 

Rare to find less than 10 trolleys available for shoppers.

What i got for my parents; items i know they would eat and in limited quantity should the need arise. Am i being kiasu? Maybe i am but i can understand some of the anxiety that people are feeling, especially when they see what is happening to China and Hong Kong. 

Having said that, severe hoarding is selfish and it doesn't make sense to just take as much as you could. It's no sustainable and illogical unless your main aim is to operate a central kitchen to feed everyone. Let's all do out part to fight this out together! 

p.s. i feel more sorry for the lady in front of me; she just wanted laundry powder, oil and rice and poor her had to queue for more than an hour for payment. 

For updates on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (including clarifications on rumours, misinformation), click here for the website that's managed by the Ministry of Health. 

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