Sunday 22 March 2020

Panic Buying Spreads to the USA & Mexico, Continues in London

The Americans are not all that different from us as it is reported that they are also panic buying toilet rolls. Yesterday, 21st March, the land border between the USA and Mexico was closed by the Mexicans which has to be a first of some kind, but until then, Americans had been crossing into Mexico to panic buy bog rolls in that country.

Remaining completely unfazed by all this, my sons in Mexico City told me the other day that Mexicans were buying up bog rolls and taking them to the border to sell to the Americans. That is what I like about Mexico, the knowledge that life is bad and will get a lot worse, so you might as well make an easy peso or two out of whatever shit happens to be flying around. Literally in this case, of course.

Here in the UK, there are regional variations with the madness. You can't get a bog roll in Edinburgh for love nor money, but basic foodstuffs like milk, bread and fresh meat are all available. Elsewhere the situation is very different.

A Facebook friend of mine named Dee tells me that shops in Hereford are stripped bare of everything as soon as it arrives. I looked up Hereford on a map to find out where it is and discovered if anyone cares, that it is about twenty miles north of the M25, so just outside London. It has the M11 to the east and the M1 to the west, so it's probably a dormitory town for London.

Tony in Putney, South London, tells the same story. People buy anything in the shops as soon as it arrives, leaving nothing for the people who were not quick enough off the mark to get in and panic buy.

Why these regional variations exist is anyone's guess. I know that you can't get a chest freezer for love nor money these days so it may be that people in the wealthier parts of the country still have space in their nice, new freezers, and can continue to stockpile. The part of Edinburgh where I live is basically a massive council scheme, so people haven't bought massive freezers and don't have space for vast piles of fresh meats and pasteurised milk. Certainly tinned and dried goods, along with UHT milk and the famous bog rolls are not available, so Edinburgh can't feel too superior to London, tempting though that might be.

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