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Has this pandemic compelled people to buy hygiene products?

Countless buyers are lining up outside malls and marts but is this pell-mell rush only for buying necessary products or the motive is a darker one?

It might have occurred to you during the past few months that your neighbor has been making quite a few trips to the local mall, even more than the usual monthly cycle or that your maternal uncle now calls you up frequently to help him with his groceries.

Though you think that both of these acts are unnecessary but can you blame them for what they are doing? Were people really tricked or as one can say ‘coerced’ into panic buying or was this all a result of basic human survival instinct?

Different answers

There can surely be different answers to this one question but acquisitiveness and greed isn’t out of the question because of what we saw during the early days of pandemic. People stocking up on things that they didn’t even need, buying toilet paper rolls in humongous quantities, hoarding not only hand sanitizers but also life-saving medicines created turmoil and unrest among the masses.

Even grabbing snacks from a convenience store ended up as an hours long ordeal. The aim to complete your pandemic pantry coupled with hoarding o hygiene products led to empty shelves and long queues for many. This unruly behavior affected senior citizens or those with special needs, in the worst manner. However, where this unscrupulous and immoral attitude was evident, there numerous examples of empathy and selfless acts were also seen.

“The cleaning products aisle used to remain empty during early march but now the store has done a good job refilling the shelves frequently”, said John,38, who was out shopping for multipurpose cleaners. Approved cleaning solutions such as all-purpose cleaner and disinfectants were one of the most in demand products because everybody wanted to keep their place clean and germs out.

The recommendations

Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) asked people to wash hands for 20 seconds with bar soap and water in order stop the virus from spreading and deemed it the most effective method but people rather thought that alcohol based hand sanitizers were more effective.

Though it has been claimed by famous brands that their hand sanitizer kills 99.9% of germs but it was not proved that whether the product killed COVID-19 or not. Here, fear came into play. CDC also recommended to buy only those sanitizers that had 60% isopropyl alcohol because else they won’t be that effective, still people were looking for sanitizers of any composition and from any brand. What does this tell us?

Washing your hands with liquid hand wash timely and frequently is also a good method but did we pay heed to the authority’s advice? The resultant effect of widespread panic and unregulated supply of all sorts of products lead to this situation. So though it happened during the pandemic but that was not the sole reason behind this state of anarchy, human greed and selfishness were more probable causes.

On the other hand, you also can’t blame someone to prepare beforehand, its only rational thinking but stocking up on 400 cans of bean for a two-week isolation period is not only irrational but also unethical.

A multi-factorial analysis

Another important factor to analyze is that humans live in society and societal behaviors tend to influence people living within one society and following one culture. It’s only natural of you to be a fashion freak if your roommate walks the ramp in fashion week – just an example.

The unintended spillage of information within your ear shapes your behavior and if everybody is running to save their lives, you’d run too. This points us in the direction that in some way or another, a global catastrophe was responsible for this unrest too.

People kept on buying surgical masks in bulk until government and authorities pleaded people not to. Not because of the fact that surgical masks don’t have same efficiency against the virus as FFP series but also because health care providers were short on their supply. In any situation, you have to weigh out the pros and cons and here a collective effort is required to make better and informed decisions.

For those of you looking for better answers, a wide angle approach to observing critical aspects is important for one often misses certain things while looking closely.

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