Life

Panic-buying home truths: what your shame hoard says about you

While panic-buying your way around your local shop, did you opt for basic medical supplies? Frozen food? Or… toilet paper?

It’s official: the UK public has taken to panic-buying like credit card-clutching ducks to water. According to a survey from Retail Economics, as many as one in 10 UK consumers are stockpiling goods, based on a sample of 2,000 shoppers.

All of this means that, if you walk into any supermarket, you’ll no doubt see it has been stripped bare of toilet paper, pasta, anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitiser, milk and… well, all sorts of things people deem “essential” in a pandemic, actually. And the hysteria is catching, as this writer knows all too well: I recently walked into my local shop for butter and eggs, and came out unexpectedly clutching eight cans of macaroni cheese. I’ve since hidden them at the back of my cupboard and refused to look directly at them, because I’m so embarrassed (I don’t even like macaroni cheese, damn it).

With this thought in mind, I couldn’t help but wonder: what do our individual shame hoards say about us? Take a look through this list of “coronavirus essentials” to find out.

Remember: stockpiling products leaves vulnerable people without vital products. So please think about your fellow (wo)man and only take what you need going forward. Thanks.

Paracetamol

Paracetamol is used to treat many conditions such as headache, muscle aches, colds, and fever – all of which are symptoms of the coronavirus. Which means you’re a savvy survivalist; the sort of person who looks disaster in the face and laughs.

However, it’s worth noting that you do so maniacally – often while rubbing your hands together with unbridled glee. A lot like the Wicked Queen in Snow White, actually. So stop with the Disney villain act, put those armfuls of blister packs down and play fair, OK?

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UHT milk and cereal

If your excellent fashion sense is overshadowed by your love of all-day pyjamas, you wear your hair in a messy bun at all times, and you prefer things easy, breezy (never sneezy), you can guarantee you’ve been stockpiling long-life milk and cereal. Because of course you want to see this pandemic through with a bowl of Coco Pops in hand. Of course you do.

Toilet paper

Unwilling to stop stockpiling until the entire Forest of Dean has become intimately acquainted with your (ahem) intimate areas, luxury – for you, at least – looks like 100,000 sheets of toilet paper.

Naturally, we have questions. Are you genuinely that worried you’re going to be caught short? What would Greta Thunberg say? And, most importantly, what on earth does bloody bog roll have to do with the coronavirus?

We can only presume that you’re going to wrap your entire body with the stuff, mummy-style, in lieu of a mask. Which makes you resourceful, we guess, as well as mindlessly wasteful. Well done.

Panic-buying home truths: What would Greta Thunberg say about your stash of toilet rolls, hmm?

Chocolate

Are you the person who’s been loading up your cupboards with bars of Dairy Milk? Prepare to feel seen. You prefer the finer things in life: long WhatsApp conversations with friends, M&S sandwiches, luxuriously long hot showers, hardback books, millennial-pink stationery, superfast broadband.

You refuse to spend your quarantine nibbling on crackers and cardboard. And so, unwilling to let coronavirus fears get you down, you plan to spend this self-isolation period catching up on all the books you haven’t read, binge-watching every single Netflix Original series, and eating delicious chocolate. We’re here for it.

Hand sanitiser

For years, you’ve never even thought about washing your hands. Now, it’s all you can think about. Every single moment, you’re squirting sanitiser all over your palms and fingers, rubbing them together viciously like you’re scrubbing up for surgery. And yet, despite this, I bet you’re still taking your phone to the toilet with you for company. Priorities, eh?

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Frozen food

Your mum phoned you in a panic and told you to stock up, so you did the only thing you could: rush to your nearest freezer aisle and pick up bags and bags of nursery food (fish fingers, waffles, chicken nuggets and, inexplicably, smiley potato faces).

Very clever, but just one little question. If the electricity does cut out, how are you going to keep it all frozen?

Tinned food

You have a bunker, don’t you? You have an actual bunker. We see you, doomsday-preppers… and we fear you, too.

Toilet rolls
Panic-buying: No, you don't need 20 more toilet rolls.

Potatoes

Any hobbit worth their salt knows potatoes are the most versatile of carbohydrates. Think about it: you can boil ‘em, mash ‘em, and stick ‘em in a stew. But be careful where you store yours: we wouldn’t like to see you buried alive in an avalanche of Maris Pipers now, would we?

Rice and pasta

Every friendship group has one – the “mature, responsible adult” that can be counted on to keep everyone alive against all odds when happy hour turns into an all-night shit show. You remember everyone’s birthday without the help of Facebook. You buy thoughtful gifts for no reason. And you’re stockpiling basic necessities like pasta and rice. Of course you are. But maybe stop worrying about how you’re going to feed all your pals when they come tap-tap-tapping at your door during the quarantine, and start thinking about all those poor sods who can’t get their hands on one bag of dried goods (let alone 20).

Dettol wipes

Ah, we know you. You’re the one who lives and dies by Marie Kondo, makes up their bed every single day without fail, spends a lot of time scrolling through the home decor section of Pinterest, folds up blankets after use, and fixes the pillows on the couch. So, when you go to work in your busy office, you do so armed with antibacterial wipes. Ain’t nobody leaving germs all over your desk, damn it.

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Lentils

A true “gym bunny”, you treat your body like the temple it is. As such, you’ve filled your cupboards with dried fruits and pulses, and you’ve lined up about 80 home workouts on YouTube to crack on with if the government opts for social distancing measures. It isn’t self-isolation if Joe Wicks is there to keep you company, we guess.

Nuts

Only a squirrel would do this, so we assume you’re a squirrel. Where did you get your tiny computer? Who is supplying you with technology? And what consortium is behind this anthropomorphic movement? 

Ahem. Anyway… good on you for learning to navigate the world wide web with your tiny clawed paws. Stylist thanks you for your patronage.

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Images: Claire Mueller/Unsplash

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