(ReliableNews.org) – When the pandemic started in early 2020, citizens worldwide filled their homes with essentials in case of extended lockdowns. As a result, store shelves stood bare, and it was difficult for retailers to keep items available for purchase. Now, the Chinese government told families on November 1 to keep their daily necessities in stock to prepare for any potential emergency. The announcement caused many to run to local shops and “panic buy” cooking essentials like rice, oil, and salt.
Adding to the commotion, China’s local news outlets suggested citizens load up on instant foods, vitamins and flashlights, adding to the fear surging through the country.
The Government’s Words and Response
On November 2, local media outlets mainly run by the Communist Party tried to soothe the Chinese people by telling them not to overreact. The government only wanted to ensure everyone had what they needed in case of lockdowns. While the ministry issues the same notice each year around this time, this message hit a little differently this year.
Communities in China already see the food shortages happening around them, and they want to provide for their families this winter.
With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, vegetable prices skyrocketing, and floods in October wiping out many of the country’s crops, it’s understandable why the people of China panicked. As the world saw in March 2020, binge-buying the remaining inventory on the shelves can be devastating for those who get little or no supplies.
Still, the Chinese government insisted it has vegetable reserves for release “at an appropriate time,” as the country’s focus on food security increased in response to the pandemic. The government is also working on food security laws to reduce waste and encourage local farmers to replant fast-growing crops.
Shortages and Supply Chain Issues
While no such announcement happened in the US, the nation’s citizens panic-shopped when lockdowns loomed on the horizon, and we’re still not out of the woods. A shortage of workers making, unloading, and delivering goods to stores across the US and increasing inflation across the board could lead to an anxious overreaction among Americans who just want to look out for their families.
There are several issues in play in the US, including current store shelf shortages, the worsening supply chain issues driving up prices in the United States, and the lingering coronavirus. Could citizens here at home begin to hoard what little is making its way to local retailers, worsening the problem for everyone?
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