• Susan Stubbings

Think globally - Act Locally

Updated: Apr 30

The anxieties of a pandemic


The challenge for all of us here and now is that the coronavirus will be hitting a street near you in the next few weeks with the infection spreading rapidly now in England. We all now know what to do, if not please go to the NHS website which will offer the latest information on this unknown and unpredictable threat. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/


Panic buying


It is normal to start panicking and panic buy – panic is a survival mechanism which is activated when a person feels under extreme threat from something. This is part of our human condition it is built into us in order to help us survive death.


Panic is fear and anxiety the more we panic the more fear we build and the more anxiety the more the panic. We are likely to just panic even more when we go to the supermarket and find the shelves empty of what we wanted. This then sets up a cycle of panic and anxiety so we buy whatever is left on the shelves; whether we are going to actual use it or not. Does this sound familiar?


Even if it does it doesn't make sense does it!


Even if we have 50 loo roles some part of our psych know that toilet tissue will not save me!


What is productive however is to stop buying food and essential items if you have already stocked up; so, others who have not been able to get out or have a delivery of essentials due to the cost, financial restrictions, mobility impairments and not been able to get to the shop or if they have are unable to carry any more than a small bag full. Or worse still the shelves are now empty because some people have overloaded their vehicles and carry on doing so.


No one needs to feel guilty though if they already have secured large amounts of food and essentials for their family’s needs.



This is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation and one the puts us all at sever risk.


Ask yourself “do I have enough food and essentials to last us two weeks”? If so, do not buy anymore essential things so others can have the opportunity to buy a few extra food and essential item. This will give the retailer time to fill the shelves up and to allow others who haven't got what they need to get what they need!


I know I’ve not been able to buy any hand sanitizes, loo rolls, paracetamol and tinned fruits and the like for the past 3 weeks ….. yesterday I entered a shop and asked the assistant for hand sanitize she told me I’d just missed the last delivery it all went as soon as the palette came onto the shop floor. She relayed a story of the arguing, pushing and downright rudeness of several people all clambering over each other including shop assistants trying to limit their purchases.


I was lucky however someone gave me a small bottle because they’d managed to get a few, so that one will suffice as I travel about on public transport. Otherwise the guidance is washing your hands for 20 seconds and do so frequently to help stop the spread!


Please don't blame the shop assistants who are still working for all our well-being whilst putting their own lives at risk.


What we are doing in our panic is trying to grapple at control we feel helpless and powerless in the face of this threat but arguing and fighting over items which if we are to believe the retailer are in abundance. The only problem is people are buying everything in sight because they feel the end of the world is upon us. It isn't, sadly for some it will be, but not all -


If you have stockpiles



Our supermarket chains have reassured us they have enough food and essential items so please use common sense when out shopping.


Take back control in other ways, take a deep breath and count to ten, think before you buy, hand washing to the 20 second as advised, isolating if you are vulnerable, taking care of your personal needs, and caring for self is more likely to help ward off the virus.


Using compassion and empathy for your fellow human beings.


The anxiety which is around is of global and local reactions rather than a response to the virus and the need for all of us to survive.


Assuage any guilt if you feel that and do something to help your immediate neighbours. Check in on them and the people in your street. Share a little of what you have if you excess or a lot .


Take back control by offering the hand to the people in your community,


Respond resit the urge to react and go out of control.



Sharing is caring - so care each other and one and all.


Think globally and act locally for the safety of your immediate community.


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