70 tins of tomatoes? For heaven’s sake, this panic buying must stop!

70 tins of tomatoes? Stop panic buying, says Mark Murphy

70 tins of tomatoes? Stop panic buying, says Mark Murphy - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy says enough is enough when it comes to selfish shopping

The phrases “Self isolation” and “social distancing” are now part of our everyday lives but are we all adhering to the government guidelines?

These really are unprecedented times we’re living through and it’s bringing out the best and worst of our society.

The scenes of panic buying in shops have been appalling. The thing is there is plenty of stuff to go around.

I have had so many calls to my BBC Radio Suffolk breakfast show from people complaining about those stockpiling and in some cases it’s been getting nasty.

Shoppers have been aggressively grabbing stuff as if the world was about to end, it isn’t.

People have been fighting over bottled water, why? There’s plenty coming out of our taps, most of which has fallen out of the sky this winter.

Most Read

One of my callers witnessed someone trying to buy 70 tins of tomatoes! There was a bit of a ruckus when the store staff intervened but thankfully they didn’t let them get away with it.

Supermarket staff and delivery drivers have been on the front line of this. The abuse some of them have received has been nothing short of disgraceful. We had our regular delivery of food yesterday and the driver said he’d had no end of abuse if he hadn’t delivered their full order.

These people just need to calm down and not be selfish. I’m all for getting a few extra bits but this is utterly ridiculous. People in genuine need have found themselves unable to get even the basics because of empty shelves. It’s particularly been tough for those of us at work, by the time we nip in on the way home in the evening the shelves have been cleared.

UK supermarkets are now taking action in response to this panic buying. Some are telling their manufacturers to ignore making some products, to focus on those for which there is greatest demand. Most shops now have restrictions on the number of any particular item you can buy.

Some are operating silver hours, but should those special shopping times for older and vulnerable people be extended to include emergency service staff?

Critical care nurse Dawn has pleaded for the public to “stop it” after being faced with empty supermarket shelves following a 48-hour shift. The audio stopped us in our tracks when we played it on air.

It’s not all bad, this newspaper, BBC Radio Suffolk and local social media pages are really pulling the community together and acting as a conduit for people to help each other.

The only way we will get through this crisis is to pull together, look out for friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues.

At BBC Radio Suffolk we’re bringing in an emergency schedule on Monday morning, so I’ll be starting an hour earlier at 6am. We’ve got lots of staff working from home and all guests have been stopped from coming into the building to protect us from the virus.

So God willing we along with the EADT will be able to keep going for the duration, it’s going to be a long haul.

To help break the cycle of grim news we’ve launched “Singa Longa Suffolk” on my breakfast show. At 8.22 every morning we’re playing a sing a long song for the whole county to join in with. It’s even had people singing along in Spain, France, the USA and even Norfolk, so we’re going global!

If you fancy joining in on Monday its “Always look on the bright side of life” so if you’re up for it, why not join in?

We need to look after our mental health as well as our physical health.

Please, let’s look out for each other, keep strong, keep your distance, don’t panic and don’t panic buy! 70

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter