We have all been a bit shell shocked by images of people leaving supermarkets pushing trolleys overflowing with essentials. These images were soon followed by images of endlessly empty supermarket shelves! … and a national sense of panic set in.
Why do people hoard?
Interestingly one of the countries most affected by Covid-19, Italy, has no shortage of these essentials in stores and nobody is stockpiling. This shows us that the anxiety and fear which drives this hoarding is self-made. It shows us that there is no shortage other than what we create by our own behaviour. Hoarding at a time of crisis, experts say, is normal human behaviour. Our evolutionary tendency to stockpile food ahead of a disaster was essential for our survival. As children many of us heard our parents talk about the importance of “putting something aside for a rainy day” and with a pandemic on the horizon many are responding to this primal urge by putting a large amount of essentials away. In some cases, enough for 2 months not 2 weeks!
Because this hoarding response is so natural even those of us who would not normally act in this way will most likely take more than we need. I recently connected with a group of friends online (for a chat and a glass of wine😊) and when the subject of people’s uncontrollable urge to hoard came up, one of my friends admitted that her son called to say that he was standing in their local supermarket and that the supermarket finally had toilet paper in stock. My friend admitted that although she knew that her family didn’t need more toilet paper she responded to that basic instinct and asked him to get some… just in case.
Seeing other people hoard is infectious and can be difficult to ignore. Individually we can recognise this fear of “running out” as a natural primal response and in recognising this, we might resist the need to take what we know we don’t need.
Let’s spread a different infection.
While shopping for essentials or popping into your local pharmacy may never have been an especially exciting event, I have observed that it has now become, to a greater or lesser extent, a hostile experience. Even a trip to our favourite hardware store, which used to be a much loved weekend activity is now dreaded. Staff at these stores are under extreme pressure and on the receiving end of a side of human nature we might not be so proud of. This is something we can change, even with a simple smile. We can take the time to say thank you to someone for their help whether at check-out or for helping us find something we need. I believe that this will be infectious too!!.. and will make a real difference to the challenges we and those around us are facing.
As a company our mission is to help improve the peace of mind and well-being of our community and so our team got together and decided to add a new pre-order/subscription option to our website. Now our customers can rest knowing that they will never run out of essentials, like nappies and baby wipes, without the need to hoard. We will get your products to you on time and in full! We haven’t offered this before and so we would love to hear your feedback on how we’ve implemented this and any other suggestions you have on how we can help you more.