What is more contagious than the coronavirus? Fear, panic, and paranoia. While it’s natural to fear what we don’t know, we want to make sure we are reacting in a way that will help us, not hurt us. Not just for our own sanity, but for those around us. By panic shopping and hoarding items, you are doing a disservice to others. When people see empty shelves, the panic spreads. There is no need to overreact, there aren’t any food shortages in the food supply.
Of course, many families will need to buy more food to feed their kids lunches everyday now that school is online, and yes, it’s harder to find dining options with restaurants closed. Both of these circumstances combined will make the typical household purchase more food than usual. But the food supply is still functioning at normal capacity, so you can still shop as you typically would. Get enough lunches and snacks to feed your kids now that they’re home for school, but please don’t go overboard by buying the entire row of lunch meat. And remember, many families rely on WIC foods, which are common staples such as beans, bread, and milk. When these items are gone, they don’t have other options to feed their kids. In fact, look for the WIC icon on the shelf (usually next to the price) and if it says WIC, please make sure you are not stockpiling so there is enough for these families.
Additionally, the panic buying leads to price gouging and shortages to those who really need it, including food pantries. Panic buying doesn’t help. If you want to feel like you’re in control of the situation, try these:
- Stick to a routine. Even if you’re working from home, continue to wake up to the same alarm, get dressed, and go about your morning as you usually would.
- Take care of yourself: Get enough exercise (150 minutes per week of moderate intensity), get enough sleep, and eat nutrient-dense foods.
- Take a break from the news. Remember, if it bleeds, it leads. The news knows that the more fear they report, they more likely you are to stay tuned, so don’t keep it on several hours a day.
- Do what relaxes you: reading, yoga, calling a friend, writing in a journal, etc.
These are all things that you can control. Stay calm and levelheaded, and we will come out stronger once this ends.