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Shopping during Covid-19

In case of a pandemic, we want to minimise contact with others but ensure we have enough provisions to survive our isolation. There’s talk of empty shelves in supermarkets around the country, people are especially stocking up on toilet paper.

At the moment I’m self-isolating, on antibiotics for a chest infection. After seeing my doctor, a few days ago, I went in the supermarket and got enough food to last about a week without shopping: long life milk, crackers, tinned food, tissues, veggies to make a lot of soup and freeze it. So I do sympathise with storing up. Or is it panic buying :thinking:


Interestingly, whilst I was at our local shopping centre at Mt Sheridan yesterday, it was quite busy but I noted that I was the only person with a full shopping trolley as I was doing the weekly $70 shop to get a FlyBuys $50 credit.

My trolley was a small Coles one and no other trolley was even near half full.

There were no empty shelves in Woollies or Coles. They were all stocked to the maximum.

I mentioned to my wife that I didn’t see any of the so called panic buying that the media has been talking about.

Perhaps it is just another case of never letting the truth get in the way of a good (or bad) story.

Also, when the SARS crisis occured, I saw numerour persons, especially young female Asians, wearing face masks. Thie time, I have only seen a single person, a young Asian female, wearing one.

No panic up here in the Deep North.


A slightly different view on the level of risk though.

Government plans contemplate successive waves of pandemic reaching Australia and spreading throughout the community. Quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing measures could be encouraged or enforced in order to slow the spread of the virus through the community.

Prof Raina MacIntyre, head of the biosecurity program at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, said sustained transmission may result in anywhere from a quarter to 70% of the Australian population being infected.

Is it simply a matter of time?

The elephant in the room may be how significantly any government response affects the economy.

The impacts on trade (domestic and international) and business might be too much for any government strategy. 20% of Australia’s GDP in 2019 was due to the export of goods. China appears to have shut down.

Internally the Aussie economy has been hit with the bush fires, and now international tourism and study is taking a hit. Current forecast GDP growth is around 2% (depends who you ask for this stat).

Aside from a short spurt as some consumers stock up, will the rest stop spending just in case hitting the retail and discretionary spending brakes?

If there is any upside, the fall in the Aussie dollar might help to balance any loss of export volumes of beef, iron ore, coal and gas.


Went shopping today for normal weekly groceries. Arrived at lunchtime to find some Aldi shelves depleted or totally out of stock. Apparently it had been very busy in the morning. Similar story at Woolies, although not to the same extent. This was in Nowra


I’ll be heading to Coles in the morning (6am opening) and getting some tinned food. There’s an issue with the freshness of fresh veggies there, we seem to get the castoffs from other places. Might get some canned veg as well. Just in case. I should be good for a couple of weeks after that. I have enough Toby food to last him for 2 weeks (except at the moment he’s on a “see-food” diet and eating like a horse)… but I think we can make it.


My dad pointed out the other day (surprisingly to me for a person of his generation, born between the end of World War 2 and the middle of the 60s) “Even if you’re quarantined, why can’t Woolies delivery drivers just leave it at your door?”
And by golly, he has a point.


The media hype seems to be creating a self fulfilling prophesy for panic buying.


Optimism vs The Australian Government?

Shortages initially due to increases in demand followed by an inability to supply look very threatening for consumers, and the broader economy. At least there appears to be some options available to minimise the economic pain, but for consumers with loans to pay?

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Frozen will be better than tinned if one is after freshness or retention of nutrients. Frozen could also be better than fresh, where fresh isn’t so fresh.


Sure. Assuming you have a reasonably sized freezer. I only have the Freezer thats contained in the fridge and its already full of meat, peas, beans and bread. Other frozen veg are usually revolting. Anyway, didnt make it to the supermarket, just could not get my act together today.


FOMO is real. As we see daily motivation often comes not from fact but from belief. Belief is much more communicable than viruses.

The manufacturers are doing their best to cash in on the boom. There will be a serious slump in buying once the pantries are full. If the economy does take a substantial hit, as predicted by many, will the slump coincide and double the effect in the short term? If I was on the dunny roll production line I would be banking my overtime not spending it.

I saw a roll of Sorbent advertised on social media for $1,000,000. Lacking a bidet or space for one I was thinking of the system used by the ancient Roman army who had made latrines in their permanent camps, often with running water but not with toilet paper, of a sponge on a stick. There’s an opportunity for those manufacturers who are feeling the pinch.


Can I use the one I use to wash the car? :thinking:

It’s sitting week in Canberra. Hope they have assured their supply. :rofl:

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Thank you Mr Interlocutor,

I suggest you have two and label them.


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FWIW, I find that Dehydrated Peas are
better than frozen, more tender as the outer skin hasn’t been made tough by
Can be added straight to soups and stews or boiled to be served on its own.
The biggest advantage is that it doesn’t take up space in the freezer :slightly_smiling_face:


I haven’t used them for decades. A good thought though, for emergency rations.


I suspect things (panic, irrational buying of stuff etc) aren’t really going to get under way for at least a couple more weeks with regard to COVID-19, as there are currently very few cases in Oz.

I’m not really planning on doing much in the immediate future with regard food purchases, as I have a freezer full of trout and a load of pumpkins, grammas, capsicums, beans etc, and more trout in the aquaponics. I did order some dried foods from an online store this week, but only because I’ve just about run out of things like flour for bread making, lentils and rice, my last order being in late 2019.

I don’t buy any food sourced from China, and unless people are going to try to stockpile fresh fruit and veg, I see no real reason for major shortages there.


One must congratulate the global media for creating an utterly absurd and unreasonable degree of panic throughout the world. The chances of succumbing to this virus are in credibly small. By comparison, over 16,000 people died in the US last year from influenza.

Yes, we have a virus that is potentially lethal, but if we look beyond the screaming headlines of the media circus, the majority of victims had pre-existing medical conditions that increased the risk substantially. We should do what we can to protect the frail and elderly, but the hysteria and panic the irresponsible reporting has created is utterly disproportionate to the real risk to the average healthy citizen.

The real “virus” in this circumstance is the hysteria driven by a media feeding frenzy, each organisation screaming louder than the other for your attention and increase in advertising revenue.

ALL media is a business, and when panic ensues, business is good. The real alarm is how easily and profoundly these businesses incite people to act irrationally.

That frightens me more than any case of the flu.


And yet, there are some of us who are at risk, having multiple medical co-morbidities and being (god I hate to use this word) elderly. I wont panic buy but I am intent on prepping, just in case.


With expertise suggesting it could affect between 25% and 70% of Australians over the coming 12-18 months, is that low risk?

Prof Raina MacIntyre, head of the biosecurity program at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, said sustained transmission may result in anywhere from a quarter to 70% of the Australian population being infected.

The virus has massive potential for disruption and impact on the economy. If we prepare too little or late the outcome may be the worst of possibilities.

Hopefully the more extreme reactions calm. Our leadership has a role to play there?

You are welcome to do the sums on the current mortality rate. Or perhaps the Previous noted report.

“If 50% of Australians – 13 million people – became infected that is up to 400,000 people dying, almost 2 million people needing a hospital bed and 650,000 people needing an ICU bed.

A few zeroes too many in all of these numbers, and hopefully never realised.


You cannot blame the media for reporting. I went in yesterday and zero rice, almost no pasta, no flour, no paper towels, no toilet paper and hardly any tissues.

Almost no paracetamol left, managed to get one packet as I only had a few tablets left at home

Tinned food, crackers, salt, vinegar and dry goods were low on stock.

Many are already selling toilet paper on ebay. one person is selling a used roll for a few hundred dollars.