MAKE no mistake, we are now fighting World War V (for Virus) – and it’s critical our behaviour changes in order to look after our most vulnerable citizens.
That means we need to immediately transform our current selfish behaviour at supermarkets and the chemist that is summing up everything wrong with a “me me me” society.
The need to feed and look after ourselves apparently for many weeks has resulted in drastic shortages of the products – especially toilet paper, long life milk, soap and hand sanitiser – that need to be shared out fairly.
I’ve been heartbroken at the pictures of the elderly trudging around super stores on their own only to be met with the sight of completely empty shelves.
This is a completely unnecessary situation.
There is no evidence from overseas that supermarkets will be shut.
In the worst hit areas of France and Spain and Italy it remains possible to make trips to essential shops in order to stock up.
And for those self-isolating it seems increasingly likely that food delivery services will continue to operate in order for hot meals to be delivered from the restaurants that are likely going to have to shut up shop.
Of course, it’s sensible to have some essential supplies.
But if you are buying more than three items of any one thing, please take a good hard look at yourself.
Whether you like to believe it or not, that IS panic buying – and it MUST stop.
I praise the supermarkets like Asda and Sainsbury’s that have introduced rationing measures from today.
It’s sad that it’s necessary. But for the moment many of the pillars of capitalism have to be suspended – and that includes the usual supply/demand model.
Personally this week I’ve been thinking back to the stories told to me by my two grandmas – Cath Wootton and Sylvia Wheeler – who lived through World War Two in South Shields and London respectively.
Everyone in society knew what they were going through was tough and deeply unfair, but there was a genuine desire to try and put the needs of others first and accept that the negative changes to one’s life were necessary for a greater good.
It’s an old cliché about Londoners and the blitz spirit, but we’re actually going to need it over the next few weeks.
Especially here in the capital, where it appears increasingly certain we will be going into some sort of enforced lockdown in the coming days, with radical consequences to our modern way of life.
It’s going to be tough – more than tough for a generation so used to having everything available at our finger tips whenever we need or want it – but the small steps are actually so easy.
Start the next time you go into the supermarket. Make sensible purchases, knowing that your restraint will allow pasta and soap and other critical supplies to go to the people who need it most.