Cautiously venturing out…

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This is the second week of my self-isolation. It’s impossible to book an online grocery shop as all delivery slots are taken for weeks ahead. My husband and I had to venture out today as we had to pick up some items from our storage unit to bring home. We also dared to try our hand at replenishing our supplies from Tesco. Some hope!

No bread, cleaning products, meat, toilet rolls…just rows and rows of empty shelves. My friend who works in our local Tesco told me that long before the store is due to open, the queue stretches way down the street. Panic-buyers with shopping trolleys are lining up to purchase in bulk what other people need. No-one else can understand why people aren’t doing their normal, weekly shop, there’s plenty to go around!

On our way into the store, we saw one young woman leaving with a trolley full of water; there was no water at all left on any shelf in the shop. The same with beer, lager and shop’s own spirits.

It makes my blood boil that people are buying in bulk the shop’s own value products, probably spending a fortune, while people like us who can’t afford brand names have no choice but to buy what meagre items are left, branded or not.

There were no frozen vegetables, fresh fruit and vegetable stands were empty, it’s a world gone selfishly mad! I knew this was happening, but it’s another thing to see it for yourself. I’m disabled as well as in the vulnerable category, and it’s people like myself and the elderly that are suffering if we can’t buy even the basics that we need because greedy shoppers have cleared the shelves before we can even get there.

We did manage to purchase two packs of kitchen rolls and some floor wipes, but little else. There were not even any boxes of tissues left. I genuinely hope that when this crisis is finally over, the selfish people who cleared the shelves every day feel stupid and ashamed for what they did. Thank goodness for the actions of the other kind of people who made sure the elderly and vulnerable were taken care of as far as possible.

It’s still very surreal to me that this is happening. We’ve had another sunny, spring day. People still seem to be going about their business, and when you look out of the window and see cars and people going about as normal, windows being cleaned, hear the sound of lawn mowers, it’s difficult to believe we are going through one of the toughest times most of us will ever remember. Even so, things seem very subdued, even in the supermarkets. The normal shoppers look like they always have, but things don’t feel quite right.

The government today announced that all bars, restaurants, gyms etc. will be forced to close tonight. Most schools are already closed. The cities will be deserted, but I wonder if people will still be gathering together even though they’ve been told not to. A lot of people still don’t seem to realise just how serious the situation is – the virus is something that affects other people, not them.

Businesses are being seriously hammered, and though the government has promised financial relief, it’s going to be the end for some, and others may take a long time to recover. But, at the end of the day, it’s lives that matter. People need to follow government guidelines if they are to survive this pandemic. I, for one, will not be leaving the house any more for as long as our supplies last.

Hopefully the steps the government are putting into place will halt, or at least slow down, the spread of this virus, giving most people the chance to avoid it altogether.

Take care and stay safe!

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