Elderly Man Staring At Empty Supermarket Shelves Shows Us Why We Should Not Panic-Buy

Elderly Man In Australia Stands In Front Of Cleared Supermarket Shelves With Empty Trolley

As countries start implementing quarantine measures, many citizens around the world are actively stocking up food supplies for the next few weeks.


Be it driven by fear or necessity, the panic buying phenomena has led to empty supermarket shelves all around the world.

This heartbreaking Facebook post, however, sheds light on the consequences of panic buying.


The netizen, Helena Ellis, shares her encounter with an elderly man standing in front of Australia’s empty supermarket shelves.

Elderly man stares at empty bread shelves with unfilled basket

On Monday (16 Mar), Helena was at the supermarket grocery shopping when she met an 84-year-old man.

From the image, there was evidently nothing left to buy in the bread section. Helena recalls the elderly man staring at the empty shelves with his black trolley unfilled.


This encounter not only broke her heart but the rest of the internet’s too.

Kind netizen offers packet of hot dog bun to elderly man

Seeing the plight the elderly man was in, Helena generously offered a pack of hot dog buns to the elderly man.

In her post, Helena said it was “the least she (I) could have done for him”. In response, he laughed and thanked her, before taking pack of bread.

Referencing this incident, Helena urged others to take care of the elderly around them during this trying time.

For illustration purposes

Specifically, Helena suggests others to simply ask if they need anything or offer something from their own trolley that’s already out of stock.

While it is easy for others to return to purchase goods the next day, senior citizens could have struggled to get there, only to see empty shelves.

For illustration purposes

Helena ended off the post, encouraging all to extend a helping hand to elderly neighbours or strangers in times of difficulty.

Countries are giving elderly priority in supermarkets

Fortunately, nations are quickly recognising the potential issues arising due to the Covid-19 outbreak and panic buying.

In Malaysia, Jaya Grocer has introduced a 30-minute period exclusively for senior citizens aged 60 and above to shop for the goods they need.


Similarly, an outlet of Iceland Foods in the United Kingdom will be opening their store from 8-9am just for the elderly.


This would allow them to get their supplies without having to get into a physical scramble with others, which could also expose them to Covid-19.

Panic-buying robs the most vulnerable the chance to buy supplies

Panic-buying leads to unnecessary anxiety and robs the most vulnerable members in society the chance to stock up on their supplies, as shown by this story.

We hope panic-buyers will show more restraint the next time they feel the urge to over-buy and hoard.

Because while they get to serve their own selfish interest, they are at the same time denying others their chance to buying necessity they need.

Featured image adapted from Facebook and Dailymail

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