A photo of a severely stooped elderly woman looking at empty shelves in a grocery store has gone viral, and with good reason. As COVID-19 continues to devastate not just the United States, but the entire world, panic buying has set in.
People are going to their local discount stores and grocery stores and buying essential items in bulk, including toilet paper, boxes of tissues, paper towels, and cleaning supplies. Perhaps even more crucial is that people are buying up protective medical equipment like gloves and masks, making it harder for the people who need them to find them.
The troubling photo below shows an elderly woman who can’t even see the higher shelves as she peruses the empty ones near the bottom. However, even if she could see the higher shelves, there’s nothing there to buy.
Comments on social media are showing the distress that many people feel when seeing this poor woman. One woman said this:
“This picture of this lone woman has been bothering me since I saw it the other day. Yes, please help anyone who looks like he/she needs it. Be someone’s good guy, someone’s hero.”
Another person called on the stores to regulate selfish people.
“It’s up to the store to regulate selfish people. One or two rolls a piece of toilet paper, and 1 pack or two packs of paper towels. That’s it. it is necessary for the elderly and the seniors to be able to get the same quantity.”
So far, it seems that the supply chain is still working, so there’s really no reason for people to panic buy. Get what you need, maybe just a little extra to be able to avoid getting out later. But what’s happening here is wrong and it’s hurting people like the lady in this photo.