“It is rational to prepare for something bad that looks like it is likely to occur,” says David Savage, associate professor of behavioural and microeconomics at the University of Newcastle in Australia, who’s written about the rationality behind stocking up in a crisis. However: “It is not rational to buy 500 cans of baked beans for what would likely be a two-week isolation period.” (source: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200304-coronavirus-covid-19-update-why-people-are-stockpiling)
That’s the difference between panic buying vs. just getting enough!
If you know how the law of demand and supply works, you will clearly understand why you are encouraged to buy just enough for your needs, not more than what you need for a certain period of quarantine.
You see, there are things to consider here:
- Not all people can buy like you do. We are a country with a proportion of 21% poor Filipinos ( as registered in the first semester of 2018. Source: https://psa.gov.ph/poverty-press-releases/nid/138411). Most of them cannot even afford to eat a decent meal of 3 times a day!
So do you realize how those 21% would spend to provide for their family? If we buy more than what we need during the lockdown period, prices will go up due to limited supply, hence will make it more impossible for these people to buy their share. I don’t want to sound like we are becoming selfish and greedy because of some irrational buying here, but can we not think of others too?
- We are causing others to panic too. It is our nature to influence and be influenced by others, that’s how social media works its magic. So when we panic especially in times of crisis, how would you think others would react? We are living in a world where ones act affects the other.
- I don’t also intend to sound religious to you, but do you think panicking like panic buying is a way of trusting God’s power to stop the virus? We always utter “Lord Have Mercy on Us!”; “God will stop the virus!” but we forget to become merciful for others. We forget to trust Him more by not stopping to worry and panic.
When you buy more than enough, it’s like you are saying nobody can help you out that’s why you need to stock up more than what you need just in case no help or good result will take place for a longer period. Where is God’s space there in our speculations? Will that strengthen our faith or are we just keeping safe at the expense of others? As Corrie Boom says it well” “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” –Clippings from My Notebook”
As we always encourage everyone, we can take note of few things:
- We need to develop a habit where you plan and buy our needs during regular days (if we have the means), not just during crisis, this way we will get used to buying things ahead. My husband and I stock up things our 2-week needs. This gives us ample supplies to use and even give suppliers ample time to produce another set of their stocks. We even have our list to buy for our incoming baby, but we opted to buy as planned (on April) instead of buying it now, trusting that God will end the pandemic soon. Our Government and Health Care entities are doing their best to stop the virus, and God is on our side, we just need to TRUST while doing our part.
- We need to stop the scare and scarcity issues. Suppliers will always find a way on how they can produce their items. When we buy what we only need, we give suppliers ample time to prepare for another period’s needs. Thus, takes everybody to buy their share. EQUAL DISTRIBUTION takes place.
- If we think we cannot do a thing to stop the virus and help those who are working hard to prevent the pandemic, we must at least shut our mouth or Facebook accounts on spreading unverified news or even verified news that will only add fear to people. Let the spreading of news be done by the people in charge, the newscasters, TV networks and other certified agencies. You may say that some news do not even report the truth, does that mean that what you share in social media or to other people is the verified truth? My point is, if it will not help and will only spread fear instead of hope and inspiration, let it not spread at all. The world had enough fear and anxiety, it will not need another one from us. Inspiration and hope is what we need.
Let’s all pray together that this crisis will end sooner than we think. This too shall pass. Let us remind ourselves that God is still in control, as my favorite bible verse says in Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
May you receive your blessings,