Is Panic Buying Really The Best Way To Combat A Coronavirus Outbreak?


As of yesterday, we’ve had 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with a reported 22 of these cases having recovered. Still, the outbreak has caused a lot of panic. The best advice given to those who feel the symptoms or feel unsafe, is to self-isolate. And the fear of encountering anyone who might have the virus has made many take drastic measures.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been bombarded with pictures of empty supermarket shelves. The toilet paper roll, of all things, has become highly valued. On average, people use 100 toilet paper rolls in a year – which comes down to three or four rolls per person over the 14-day self-isolation period. In this time of uncertainty, people are stocking up – but why?

 Nitika Garg, Associate Professor of Marketing from the UNSW Business School discusses this issue.

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