FILE – Premier John Horgan speaks during a press conference at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

‘I’m profoundly disappointed,’ Horgan says of COVID-19 panic buying

As grocery store shelves empty across the province, Premier John Horgan asks people to be considerate

B.C.’s premier has some pointed words for those who have been stockpiling toilet paper, hand sanitizer, face masks and other goods amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m profoundly disappointed with people buying and hoarding, then re-selling online. I think that’s just offensive and most people would bristle on that,” Premier John Horgan said during a news conference on Friday.

“Let’s be thoughtful and reflect on the consequences of people buying everything. What does that mean for the next person in line that needs that product?”

READ MORE: COVID-19: Province bans large gatherings in B.C.

He went on to say there is a “special place” for those who exploit essential goods to those who might need it.

Over the last week, grocery store shelves across the province have emptied – specifically down the toilet paper aisle, as people load up out of precautions of being quarantine.

Some have taken their stock to buy-sell websites, such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, to post their items for a hefty markup.

WATCH: Langley stores struggle to keep up with demand for toilet paper

Steven Taylor, a clinical psychologist from the University of B.C., told Black Press Media earlier this month that there is no need to clear out grocery stories out of panic.

“Fear is contagious. Imagine you’re on the Titanic and you see everyone rushing for the [life] boats. You’re not going to stop and twiddle your thumbs – you’re going to follow the crowd,” he said.

“Urgency, scarcity and anxiety are the big three players in the initial panicked buying, and from there I think it snowballed.”

Taylor said that’s likely because of well-meaning advice from Canadian health officials to stock up on a two-week supply of food, household essentials and medication.

More to come.

ALSO READ: As shelves empty, South Surrey shoppers say they’re ‘not panicking’ over COVID-19


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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