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Coronavirus panic buying made me a raging madman. Now I feel guilty. How can I make amends?

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When I heard about the Coronavirus I started panic buying. I quickly stocked up with enough food, toilet rolls and disinfectant to last me a lifetime. Now with my garage stocked to the rafters, I feel a bit guilty about not sharing it, and especially about the old lady I snatched the last packet of digestive biscuits from in Tesco.

Marvin’s answer: It does sound like you are in a difficult place. Guilt can eat away at you, and it will in this case. Panic buying and stockpiling are particular pet hates of mine at the moment and are certainly worth some guilty feelings.

Panic buying leads to empty shelves. It's just irrational
Panic buying is just irrational

You see, it’s this sort of irrational behaviour that’s giving us Brits a bad name. What happened to our stiff upper lip? Our ability to drink copious amounts of tea whilst ignoring raging badness around us? We can’t claim we “keep calm and carry on” whilst at the same time wrestling old people for the last bottle of hand sanitiser, which we won’t probably use anyway.

In fact I don’t understand your product choices. Food I get. Especially dried or tinned. But loo roll? I mean, how much time are you planning on spending on the toilet while the virus ravages your lungs and respiratory system? Yes, I guess if it’s the only place in the house you get any privacy during a Coronavirus lockdown you may want to spend more time there. However you don’t want to encourage soreness by trying to hard too often.

A roman toliet sponge is a good alternative to panic buying loo roll
Romans didn’t use loo roll, they had sponges instead. No panic buying needed.

There are also plenty of loo roll alternatives. A toilet brush, washed and cleaned between uses is amusingly reminiscent of the way Romans used to clean themselves. They did OK using a simple sponge and a bucket of water. What’s more, you can buy novelty ones to make the whole activity even more exciting. Donald Trump toilet brush anyone?

And that’s just one example. It ignores the books you have at home whose pages are wasted as you read on your kindle, the flannels that no longer make it to your face, and even that small patch of lawn whose lush green grass can serve many uses. (If you have a dog, you know what I mean).

As for elbowing the old lady out of the way to grab the last digestives, in normal circumstances I would have been a bit more sympathetic, especially given my love of biscuits.

However, depriving an old lady of what might be her last tea and biscuit session seems incredibly harsh and particularly selfish. You didn’t even offer to share. There’s no excuse for that even if you are having a midlife crisis.

In these tough times we all need to pull together, not lose our heads and start panic buying stuff we don’t need and won’t use. I suggest to alleviate your guilt you spend some time contacting “vulnerables” to offer your excess wares from your garage.

And I don’t mean at inflated prices on eBay.

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[…] As he waited for hours for a fuelled up rescue van to arrive, DL reflected on previous attempts to not inflame panic buying situations. […]