Don’t Panic, Just Behave Prudently

Prudence, not panic, needs to be the order of the day among Americans. Unfortunately, not everyone seems to have gotten the memo.

During a press conference Sunday, President Donald Trump noted that heads of major retail companies had told him something he never expected to hear: Don’t buy so much, they said.

If you have been to a store during the last few days, you know what the retailers mean. Panic over COVID-19 has prompted too many people to become hoarders. Instead of buying just the groceries and other commodities they need, they are emptying store shelves.

What that also means is that some people who need certain products are having trouble finding them, despite retailers’ best efforts to keep the supply chain moving.

Hoarding is a vicious cycle. Those went to the store planning to buy just a few items see nearly empty shelves — and finish the job, worrying that if they do not stock up quickly, they will not be able to find what they need later.

We urge you not to fall victim to the panic. It has been suggested that buying a week’s worth of groceries and other supplies at one time is reasonable, and that sounds about right.

Think about it: An artificial shortage of needed products affects those most at risk from COVID-19 — the elderly and infirm who may not be able to make repeated trips to the store to find food, medicine, etc. The young do our older neighbors an enormous disservice by hoarding.

And, while you’re at it, check in with older or disabled friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers. Ask them if they have what they need, and if they do not, offer to help out.

That’s what Americans do, isn’t it?


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