Panic-buying: a critical care nurse gets real about the big problem with stockpiling

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

As people across the UK continue to panic-buy, a nurse has shared an emotional video asking them to stop it.

We’ve all seen the empty shelves in the supermarkets and local shops. People have been panic-buying over the last few weeks, due to the coronavirus pandemic – and they’re just not stopping. 

Consumer psychologist Kate Nightingale recently explained the psychology behind stockpiling to Stylist, saying: “When people are reminded about their mortality, they become more impulsive. This can result in overspending.”

You may also like

Panic-buying tampons will only make them less accessible to women who need them

This of course means that toilet roll, period products, cupboard food and fresh goods are just not available to everybody – because people are clearing the shelves before others even have a chance. The reality is that foodbanks are reporting shortages and people are left without.

The situation has compelled one critical nurse to share an emotional but incredibly important video message with people online.  

You may also like

How can we help NHS workers? This is the biggest thing you can do

BBC Breakfast shared the message from Dawn Bilbrough, a critical care nurse who couldn’t buy any food in the supermarket after a 48-hour shift.

She said: “I’m a critical care nurse, I’ve just finished 48 hours of work. I just wanted to get some stuff in for the next 48 hours. There’s no fruit, there’s no vegetables. I just don’t know how I’m supposed to stay healthy.”

She continued: “And those people… people are just stripping the shelves of basic foods. You just need to stop it. Because people like me: they’re going to be looking after you when you’re at your lowest. Just stop it. Please.”

Yesterday we reported that the most helpful thing we can do for NHS workers right now is stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus. But, as Dawn points out, it’s also worth remembering that stripping the supermarkets of food means we’re taking essentials away from the very people who are helping us.

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Getty


Share this article


Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…