Empty shelves

Empty shelves at a Sainsbury’s supermarket. Photographed: 10 March 2020.


There is no toilet paper available at supermarkets, at least near where I live in London, as panic buying began a few days ago and some people have bought all the rolls. It seems that these hoarding customers are also stocking up on other items. For some reason, tinned tomatoes are almost gone, and so are some types of laundry detergents. I’m still struggling to make sense of these acts of panic buying, and why these panic buyers feel compelled to purchase these products in particular. At the same time, I find this bahviour extremely fascinating. This is a huge research area for psychologists, sociologists, economists, etc.