With all that is going on in the world, we are all feeling uneasy these days. There has been much in the news with how we are coping. In many places in the world, people are required to stay indoors. People are baking bread, reading books, knitting sweaters, exercising in small places.
Some people are shopping. In Japan, we are not locked down. The government requests that we stay at home if we can, but there is no penalty if you don't. In the last couple of weeks, I have been reading more and more about elderly hoarding. Younger and middle aged people have to work and have more family responsibilities, especially with children out of school, but many elderly people don't have these responsibilities and have a lot of time. Maybe they have lived through leaner times and are afraid of not having what they need.
Retired people are able to start lining up early in the morning, hours before the stores are open, to buy available masks, hand sanitizer, and other hard to get items, in addition to toilet paper, rice, and other readily available items. They are able to go to multiple stores during the day. Working people are complaining that by the time they are able to shop, the stores are sold out of that day's allotment of items. Things have gotten worse in the last two weeks since the Prime Minister declared a State of Emergency.
This sounds dangerous to me. Not because some people will do without food or toilet paper, because the stores just put out more the next day. I think it is dangerous because the elderly are at higher risk if they contract the coronavirus. Standing in line and going to crowded stores for items that are not really needed is crazy. Japan doesn't seem to have embraced the social distancing idea like other places.
I don't know what the answer to this is, or if there is an answer. Some people will continue to shop and hoard and others will continue to be upset that they can't buy what they want. Previously, I grocery shopped every other day or so to get fresh food and to not have to carry so much at one time. In the last month or so, I have change to shopping only once a week to avoid the crowded grocery store. I have been able to get what I want and have no complaints about what is available.
Is elderly hoarding an issue in other places? Are you able to find the things you need and want when you are shopping?