Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

81 thoughts

  1. Oh dear, this virus has certainly shown both the worst and best traits of human nature …Thank goodness there has been no stockpiling here…Stay safe and well, Hugh .

    1. It seems things are pretty much back to normal in the supermarkets now, Carol, with most items back on the shelves. Most supermarkets now have a new policy of only allowing so many customers into the store at any one time. Then it’s one out, one in. We Brits like queuing, so it seems to be working.

      Stay safe.

  2. Amen! If people would do (have done) that, we could have bought the one bottle of hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes that we so desperately need! Oh well… We will keep using water and soap. Thanks for spreading the word, Hugh!

    1. Things have got better here in the UK supermarkets, Liesebt. Yesterday, there seemed to be plenty of stocked shelves. However, now the country has gone into lockdown, I’m wondering if the stockpiling will begin again. Let’s hope not.

  3. Having been to Tesco only an hour ago and managed to get exactly what I needed for the first time in a week, I’m hoping the worst of it is over now, Hugh. Hope you’re sufficiently (and no more!) stocked for now.

    1. I think many of the supermarkets were back to normal yesterday, Graeme. I believe the hoarders had run out of places to stockpile their goods.

      Given we’re now all in a lockdown situation, I wonder if the supermarkets will be busy again with people stockpiling. Hopefully, not. Luckily, we did a shop yesterday before the announcement.

      Stay safe.

  4. And I thought Yanks were the only ones hoarding toilet paper! Oh well. I still can’t find a single roll. It’s a difficult time for so many countries and toilet paper is the least of my concerns. Folks not being careful to avoid large groups? Scary.

    1. I could not believe seeing news reports of so many people gathering in groups over the weekend. Yes, the weather was good, but many obviously didn’t know what social distancing meant. Now our Primeminister has warned that if people continue to gather in groups, he’ll bring in more controls to keep people apart.

      1. Yeah, I read his comments. Interesting how both countries are experiencing this problem with distancing. And obviously Italy, Spain, and France are struggling to keep folks separated. Probably many others.

        1. The UK has now gone into a lockdown situation until April 13th because too many people were not social distancing themselves from each other. Looking out of my window, the roads are not as busy as they usually are, but I do wonder how many people in their cars really need to travel.

        2. I hope you are safe and that this lockdown is helpful. We’re still seeing photos of folks over here partying and ignoring pleas to social distance. We have a long road in front of us.

        3. I agree. I’ve seen photos circulating of groups of people drinking and having barbeques because the weather is rather lovely. Likewise, people not social distancing themselves from others. The lockdown hasn’t fully worked, but once the laws are passed today in parliament, police will have the powers to start prosecuting people for not obeying the news laws. Stay at home and safe lives.

        4. It’s an unfortunate use of that group when they certainly have better things to do. On the other hand, I was reading that the mafia in Italy has had difficulty getting drugs to their markets. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this reduced some levels of criminal behavior?

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more. The virus is showcasing the best and worst of humanity right now. My only fear is the panicky people will manifest exactly what they fear.

  6. I agree with your advice, Hugh. Some shelves in my local supermarkets have been bare (e.g. pasta, toilet paper, beef, etc). People who stockpile on TP may have confused Coronavirus with Norovirus which is is the most common cause of gastroenteritis. I hope elderly people and families with young children have what they need to make through this challenging time.

    1. So do I, Natalie. I’m pleased to say that some of the stores here in the UK seem to be a little more stocked up and most items were available to buy. Let’s hope common sense has kicked in and that people are now shopping as and when they only need to.

  7. My grocer says if people laid off for a week this gives them time to replenish and then if limits were set – and self restraint- it would work.

    1. I’ve no idea why there has been a run on buying toilet paper. Even though the manufactures who produce the stuff have told us that they have plenty of the stuff, people are still panic buying it. The world seems to have gone mad. Let us hope the madness soon retreats.

  8. I wish the stores had instituted policies on limits from the onset Hugh – it would have helped to eliminate some of this hoarding. We have so much price gouging and by reputable stores – toilet paper and hand sanitizing gel mostly. They have learned their lesson with fines and their names being dragged through the mud. Safe safe.

    1. I agree, Linda. The stores were far too slow in reacting to demand, but I think that is the case with many governments too. They don’t seem to have taken the threat of the coronavirus serious enough. Given all of this started happening in December, some of them just sat back and watch what was going on instead of planning for it. And now we’re all witnessing the results of that lack of planning.

      Stay safe.

      1. Yes indeed Hugh and someone sent me a video of a TED talk where Bill Gates warned of a pandemic back in 2015. It was eerie to listen to his words and realize it has come to fruition.

  9. Very wise advice. It is so disturbing to see the shopping carts filled with more than one family could possibly use. No consideration for others. I agree – it does multiply the fear. I went shopping (quickly) today and the freezers were mostly empty. It felt very weird. It just necessitates more trips to the store. The toilet paper craziness…I wonder what will be said about this in years to come…how it will be analyzed as a human behavior gone wild. Or something like that.

    1. My sister said that we’re all witnessing a piece of history that will be remembered for many years to come. The toilet paper craziness is very weird, especially considering that much of it in the UK is made in the UK. But even though the toilet paper manufactures say they have stockpiles of the stuff (because of Brexit), people are still panic buying it. Panic buying only fuels fear and make some people do things they’d never do under any other circumstances. Let us hope that many of these people soon find common sense and stop stockpiling.

  10. Our markets are declining purchases of anything in bulk. Early measures could have prevented the hoarding, but at least some of the people who did it are being punished and publicly shamed. I think it will begin to ease up a bit soon. Clearer heads and all that…

    1. Yes, our news reports this morning claimed that many of the hoarders now have nowhere to stockpile anything else, so we should see the shelves in our supermarkets becoming more and more full. I hope they’re right, Suzanne.

      Stay safe.

  11. Most stores in Northern Cal are fully stocked. We had a huge snowstorm (8-10 feet) in the Sierras and some trucks couldn’t get through due to temporary road closures due to the snow. Of course, everyone panicked and thought COVID-19 was to blame. Then the day before California was told to stay home, I went online to Costco and Amazon to purchase a couple of staples, (a bag of coffee, two bags dog food), Costco’s website crashed as I was trying to check out. I quickly added dog food to my cart in Amazon and that flew away. Crazy. On a positive note, today lots of folks were out at the home stores, easy to maintain social distance! Hubby is working on some outdoor projects, so off we went. In our area, the trick is to get out early. Some well-meaning friends keep texting and messaging random fake news that I immediately delete.
    Hope you are staying safe and maintaining your sanity, Hugh!

    1. I’ve had those fake news text messages too, Terri. One claimed that sunbathing killed the virus, while another said gargling with mouthwash helped kill the virus. Delete, delete, delete. I check the World Health Organisation site and our National Health Service website for all information and follow the advice on there.

      Of course, we still have to take our dogs for a walk, but it’s good to see that most people are social distancing themselves from each other. However, many people still gather together as if nothing is happening or because they think they’re too young for this virus to kill them. Maybe so, but don’t they realise that they could pass it on to somebody who may die if they become infected? I think the UK government have been far too slow in reacting to this world medical emergency. They seem to be drip-feeding what needs to be done, and now there is talk that we’re in the calm before the storm.

      We’re only going out when we have to absolutely go out. We’re making the most of using our subscriptions to streaming services and, of course, I’ve got the blog (although reading too many doom and gloom posts has made me lose my writing mojo). I even cleaned out some of the kitchen cupboards this morning and was shocked that I found some tins of food that had ‘use by’ dates of end of 2011! 😳

      Stay safe, Terri.

  12. I am just sickened by all this. So many ordinary people can’t get the basics! It creates tension. And negativity, fear erc makes ones immune system weak.
    People need to be altruistic think of others!

    1. I agree, Bella. One tiny glimmer of hope I heard today is that those who have stockpiled soon won’t be able to stockpile anymore, so the shelves in shops will quickly begin to look a little more normal. I’m holding on to that glimmer and hope it comes true.

        1. It’ll be those who do not go out shopping several times a day. Given that many shops are now limiting how many of some items you can now buy, it should also help.

  13. I’m getting by using my local village shops which include a chemist and a nearby farm shop, walking there and back with a wave and hello here and there to like minded folk instinctively walking on the other side of the road – though I guess we risk being run over! Take care out there, I am.

    1. For some reason, WordPress sent your comment to my spam folder. Not sure why, but good job I check it every day.

      Good to hear that you’ve got a local village shop where you can continue to get supplies. I’m still going out every day for walks with our dogs, and it’s good to see that many people are taking the advice and social distancing themselves from each other.

      Stay safe.

      1. WordPress do this all too often and randomly to me – thanks for checking, I do the same.

        The local shop happens to be a Sainsbury’s ‘Local’ store which helps – too small to attract hoarders but big enough to keep us going most days. Enjoy your walks and long may we be able to do so. All the best, Hugh – Eric.

    1. It’s one of the leading causes of fear and uncertainly that is affecting many of us, Erika. I’m positive that if panic buying stopped, it would go a long way in helping the mental state many of us find ourselves in. Even I am still getting the urge to go out and buy toilet paper despite knowing that we have plenty to last us at least a month. If it were not for the panic buying, I know I wouldn’t be feeling like that. I asked somebody who was panic buying why they were buying so much, and the answer I got was ‘because everyone else is.’

      1. That’s true. People area panic buying because they are afraid those who are panic buying take everything. Over here the situation seems to normalize since stores are filled and people are doing their usual shopping again.

        1. That’s good to hear, Erika. There were news reports in the UK today, that the hoarders will soon have nowhere to put anything else they panic buy, so the shelves should soon start to fill again. I hope they’re right.

  14. You are so right Hugh. A friend saw on Facebook that if you need that much TP you need to see a GI doctor. A bit of needed humor these days.

    Be safe, and be well.

  15. I hope people will listen Hugh. In our part of the world the shops have imposed restrictions on the number of items anyone can buy to ensure there is a fairer share for everyone. They’ve also introduced special shopping hours for NHS and other front-line staff so that they don’t arrive at empty shelves after a long shift. Another set of shopping hour slots has been reserved for the elderly and extra vulnerable. Working together and looking out for one another is the best way to get through this. Hope you and yours stay safe and well.

    1. I absolutely agree. It’s good to see that many of the shops are now holding special opening hours for our medical staff, the elderly and vulnerable and that they are restricting how many of certain items you can buy. There’s more than enough to go around, so let us hope that people will start seeing sense and stop stockpiling.

      Stay safe.

  16. Thanks for the common sense, Hugh, although the people who need to hear it won’t pay attention. Here in the USA they’re losing their minds over toilet paper. Many stores have implemented special shopping hours for the elderly & disabled. I am staying positive and hoping this whole mess blows over faster than expected and we can all go back to living like normal people.

    1. The same thing is happening here in the UK about toilet paper, Chris. It’s good to see some of the stores responding to the call to help elderly and disabled customers.

      I’m certainly trying to stay positive about this whole thing. In fact, this will be my only post that is Coronavirus related. From next week, I have some new ideas for my blog, which I hope will make readers smile.

      Stay safe.

    1. Absolutely. We’re being told to stay at home unless we need to go and buy food or go to work, yet I still see people gathering together and socialising as if they’re immune to the virus. Even now that a lot of places where people can socialise have closed in the UK, some still gather in groups, hug and kiss each other, and go about their lives as if nothing is happening.

      Stay safe, my friend.

    1. Thanks for sharing my message, Jacquie.

      I can understand why some people would think all the food stores are going to close. However, we only have to look at Italy (the worst-hit country at the moment), and all the food stores are still open. Plus, there’s no panic buying in Italy, so there is plenty for everyone. I’ve no idea why the people of the UK feel they have to panic-buy. Despite numerous appeals on the TV and radio not to panic buy, many still do. I only wish the panic buyers would take note of the stock that food shops in Italy have. They are such a great example and the perfect example of how it should be done.

      Stay safe.

    1. Thank you, Donna. Yes, we’re all safe but are dumbfounded by what some people are still doing. Not only are some panic buying, but many still gather in large groups to socialise without any care in the world. It’s as if they think they are immune to what is going on.
      Stay safe.

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