Coronavirus might have been taken lightly in its initial stages everywhere else in the world. Here, in Pakistan and especially in Karachi supermarkets, we are now seeing worrying signs of panic. Not a day passes by with people going crazy over their monthly groceries at the local supermarkets.
As the coronavirus pandemic affects more and more people in Pakistan, grocery stores and supermarkets are running out of necessary supplies. In the very beginning, mask prices had gone up drastically and soon every store outlet had run out of masks and protective gloves.
Fear Of #Coronaviruspakistan Apart from its Non availability Prices of Safety Masks in Karachi are soaring. Mask manufactures and suppliers, profiteers will make fortune out of this situation. That’s how we deal these serious situations in (Islamic?) Republic Of Pakistan! pic.twitter.com/7bVdBAgZsi
— Broadcaster (@zulfqaralishah) February 27, 2020
People took that incident as a lesson. And not to be outdone again, most citizens are fleeing to the supermarket in fear of essential supplies running out and prices surging once again.
Rumors were also spread that places like the famous Imtiaz Supermarket will close down due to the virus spread. Though these rumors were later cleared, people thought it was better to be safe than sorry.
All Imtiaz Super Market branches are operating as per standard opening and closing time in Karachi, avoid false alerts spreading!#COVID19 #PublicRelationsCell #ImtiazSuperMarket
Obviously, not all of these marts have an online platform, nor do most elders trust it enough to take care of their emergency needs. Given this scenario, severe traffic jams outside supermarkets such as Naheed, Imtiaz, and Carrefour have become the order of the day.
Imtiaz Supermarket (Gulshan-e-Iqbal) right now
It doesn’t matter how much you ask people to stay calm you can’t change their nature pic.twitter.com/GDgyFVS2xy
— Main Abdul Majid Hoon (@ComicsByMajid) March 15, 2020
Even inside these supermarkets, people are starting to look more like herds. Leaving no breathing space for anyone. Probably not the best way to shop given the safety guidelines for coronavirus.
Dolmen and Carrefour are full of people. This makes no sense. People have not gotten the message!
— Mahim Maher (@Mahim_Maher) March 15, 2020
The Aghas crowd got the msg that they need to stock up! pic.twitter.com/8MuICacv6s
— Sanam Maher (@SanamMKhi) March 15, 2020
Is this really necessary?
While stocking up for at least a week’s worth of supplies seems like the reasonable thing to do, it seems like people are not considerate of the ones who earn a daily wage and can’t afford to stock up on a month’s worth of goods like themselves.
Here is a piece of good advice about combating coronavirus from a nurse that everyone of us needs to hear.
We hope this helps.
Concluding this post, we really think people need to start acting sensible with this. Everyone is panicked, but we only need a week’s worth of supply at a time. For now Pakistan isn’t facing a shortage of essentials. But panic buying may end up blowing the whole situation out of proportions.
Can we please stop turning supermarkets into fish markets? And have regard for other, more disadvantaged people in our midst?