Some stores have decided to dedicate hours just for the pensioners and disabled.
With the spread of coronavirus and the panic surrounding the spread of the virus, many are stocking up their houses with food and essentials. However, this panic buying has left the disabled and elderly in misery.
According to Daily Mail, 79-year-old Anthony Glynn went to the supermarket to get essentials for his neighbors who were in their late 80s. Despite belonging in the high-risk category due to the age and pre-existing ailments, he decided to help his friends. However, he was shocked to see nothing but empty shelves in the supermarket. The heartbreaking image of him standing by the empty shelves sparked a conversation online.
Speaking to Mail Online, the pensioner said, "It’s disgraceful how people in this country have become so selfish and are panic buying." He continued, "We are in the middle of a national crisis, but everybody is just out for themselves. I wasn’t worried about going out because I have a lot of fight in me. I was just trying to help two ladies who are worse off than me. I don’t want any medals for this. It’s just basic human decency," said the man, according to Daily Mail. He further went on to say it does not take much to be kind to the elderly who are extremely vulnerable at this time.
BREAKING: More panic buying! Put sound up🔊📢😂 pic.twitter.com/00fp30zlBs— MrBazza MEMES 🎬 (@MrBazza) March 23, 2020
"It doesn’t take much to be nice to somebody at a time like this. Elderly people are really down at the moment, they’re struggling to get to the shops and buy food because so many things are sold out. We’ve all got to look out for each other, it’s as simple as that," said Glynn, according to Daily Mail.
The heartbreaking image of Glynn standing by the empty shelves sparked a conversation online. The image was snapped by Lauren Taylor who witnessed Glynn's helpless situation.
However, this situation is not one of a kind. Several stories of pensioners unable to buy essentials were reported. Henry Small, a 74-year-old struggled to basics like bread, milk and toilet roll. "It hasn't been easy for us. I was going round the shops and everything was empty, shop after shop. I have had two heart attacks as well and my wife can't get out. It is a real struggle to find things. I don't drive so I have to walk and get the bus," said the pensioner, according to Greenock Telegraph.
His wife, Anne, who watched her helpless husband's pain stated, "I am so angry with people for filling their trolleys and leaving other people without anything. My husband was trying to find food for us and my elderly neighbor who is 88-years-old. People need to stop and think. I get so mad about it," according to Greenock Telegraph.
In countries across the world, shoppers have hoarded large amounts of essentials, literally emptying supermarkets. With similar situations in Australia, a supermarket chain Woolworths decided to find a solution for the elderly who were left with no supplies.
Woolworths has opened its doors exclusively to the elderly and people with disabilities for a dedicated shopping hour. Hopefully this eases some of the stress for some of them who have missed out on essential items due to panic buying. https://t.co/NFZ1gBuZHA #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/YiotNkYvg5— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) March 16, 2020
The supermarket chain created the concept of elderly hours. They tweeted, "We’re launching a dedicated shopping hour in our stores to help support the needs of the elderly & people with disability in the community. From tomorrow until at least Friday, we’ll be opening exclusively for them to shop from 7-8 am, where permitted." Another chain, Coles too followed a similar practice. "From Wednesday the first hour of trade in all Coles supermarkets will be exclusively open to the elderly & disabled. 'Community Hour' will help improve access during this time of unprecedented demand," they wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, authorities in various countries stated panic buying was unnecessary. "Supply chains in the United States are strong, and it is unnecessary for the American public to hoard daily essentials," said a statement by the White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere, according to Ketv.