The Reason Behind Empty Store Shelves

Uncertainty causes Anxiety; Anxiety causes Fear, Fear causes Nervousness, Nervousness causes Panic, Panic causes helplessness. Have faith in God. He will help and protect you.

–Author unknown

What else can we do other than counting on a supernatural power to relieve us of this grave situation, beyond man’s control? For all practical purposes, the believers can, and do, find solace in Prayer, hoping for an antidote to be created sooner rather than later. The non-believers may continue to sit in awe and wonder when the world will become a usual place like it used to be, just a few months ago. In either case, anxiety is taking its toll on all of us in one way or another.

Some of us find comfort in diverting our attention from personal misery to a concern for other family members, friends, distant relations, and the like. At the same time, let us not forget those among us that live on a day-to-day basis. For them, survival had always been the biggest question, before this virus hitting us, and keeps taking even more painful toll.

What started as a single act of medical neglect in a remote corner of the world has brought the entire world to its knees in a matter of three months. With thousands of innocent people dead, another hundred of thousands afflicted with a virus that has no cure, the scene presents a dire image of an apocalypse on the horizon. Let us also keep in mind all the over-worked medical facilities, exhausted healthcare workers, and the supply chains disrupted due to sudden rush for everything,

We have millions of the elderly population across all continents living in constant threat of getting left out of treatment in case the need arises.

Life has come to a standstill. Counties, cities, even countries are gradually moving to a complete shut-down. They have no choice but to restrict public exposure to this catastrophe of a disease that seems to have no end, not at this time, at least. Practically all channels of relaxation that we regularly counted on are now out of bounds. There’s no possibility of travel for a change. We cannot arrange any picnic or beach party. Cinemas, games, sports events, social clubs, bars, and restaurants are already out of bounds. For fear of spreading the COVID-19 virus further, hardly any venue is open where we could gather.

The situation we find ourselves in, at this time, maybe more appropriately attributed to the first-above-noted element of anxiety that is eating into the moral fabric of the society. Those with little care for the community have been attacking store shelves with all their might. Armed with every available Credit Card to buy whatever they can gather. It seems they have no respect for any moral values and social norms and do not believe in caring for each other.

From toilet paper to laundry detergent, from dry pasta to canned food, from face-masks to anti-bacterial wipes, they are all taken either by hoarders or the unscrupulous get-rich-quick anti-social elements. In turn, they shamelessly display an utter lack of respect for their fellow human beings. The worst fallout of such an irrational behavior poses an imminent risk of their exposure to the virus itself; in the event, no one around them can take preventive measures.

The hidden force behind this panic-buying mentality becomes evident when we take a long, harsh look at its precursors. These are anxiety, fear, nervousness, Panic, and, last but not least, helplessness. And also, let us not forget yet one forceful catalyst we have always known as ‘rumors.’ The fear-psychosis gripping majority of us has caused an insurmountable amount of anxiety. We are scared about the continued availability of all essentials in both near as well as the long term. No wonder human instinct tells us to buy more than we need.

A trip to our friendly outlet shows us near-empty shelves. The brain waves generate the message of oncoming shortages. So, instead of buying one pack of pasta that would last us a week, we pick up three or four. The same holds for everything else.

A case in point is the toilet paper. The first scare surrounding this commodity, so far as I remember, came from Australia. I have absolutely no idea whose brain-child it was, but it caught on like the wildest of any wildfires we have ever seen anywhere. No one is willing to pay attention to the medical advice by all the experts so far that COVID-19 DOES NOT CAUSE DIARRHEA.

We follow the trend in a blind fashion and create a shortage. Our irresponsible actions expose our fellow humans to immense hardships when they are unable to meet their barest minimum needs.

The nervousness resulting from unnecessary anxiety, though not admitted by the wearer, causes uncontrollable Panic. They can only get rid of this situation after amassing a lot of those products already pushed to the brink of shortage. The real villains behind this artificial shortage are the ‘CRIMINAL BLACK MARKETERS.’

An unimaginable level of helplessness arising from the panic-attack, as mentioned above, must find an outlet. We look for every possible resource, whether a far-off store or online, for someone selling the same item at whatever price. Compare this situation to buying a front-row ticket to a Boxing Championship match in Las Vegas. People pay thousands of dollars for the same. Can you indulge in such a luxury when you can hardly afford your child’s school trip or your wife’s root canal treatment?

The need of the hour is to be reasonable in our approach. We must share these feelings with all we can. We need to exercise restraint and desist from panic buying, hoarding, black-marketing, or profiting from this situation where humanity itself comes into question. At this critical juncture, our survival is dependent upon caring and sharing. We shall be open enough to check with our elderly neighbors and offer them anything they urgently need.

STOP believing in, and spreading rumors that cause unknown hardship to the innocent and the gullible. Show respect, buy what and how much you urgently need, let others also exercise their right to live respectfully.

Let us not forget ‘God helps those that help themselves,’ and add ‘by caring and sharing’ to this worldly wisdom, act as if it was the ‘Mantra’ of Meaningful Living!

Thank You!

Bharat Mathur
Bharat Mathurhttp://www.bharatmathur.ca/
WHERE goal setting and systematically achieving each one of them has been the ‘Mantra’, where earning trust by delivering value has been an uncompromising principle and where deeply impactful experiences have made an indelible impression to look directly into the eyes of toughest problems and tackling them head-on has been a major cementing glue in the foundation, Bharat Mathur fits the bill, hands down! Creating value for others, out of the challenges his career in the “C” Suite kept throwing at him left, right and center, Bharat now finds solace in being a ‘Guide by Your Side’ rather than a ‘Sage on the Stage with An Eye on What You Buy’! Past 4 decades of Bharat’s life have been no less eventful than that of anyone else in similar circumstances. However, the way he lived from one challenge to another and stayed focused on his goal is clearly visible as much in his Coaching as in his #1 Best Seller Book: “you Are YOU-nique: Realize Your True Worth”! His next book project tackles ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) from the viewpoint of a layman and helps understand this fast-approaching revolution in simple, easy-to-understand language with live examples: “SMART PHONE + I o T = INCOMPARABLE OPPORTUNITIES” Nurturing a number of successful businesses, mentoring a lot more towards astronomical growth and helping them identify and eradicate trouble spots, Bharat has rightfully earned the nickname: ‘Achiever’ Send him Bouquets or Brickbats, Bharat loves it all!

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  1. Bharat, as always, you know how exactly describe the human aspects of our daily life.
    Panic, perceived, badly spread, has generated the irresponsible reactions that you describe. And we are not only talking about the genres of daily necessity, but the problem occurred for things (such as masks) that aren’t still in the pharmacy …. but there is someone who was discovered in the act of selling them to other countries !!
    That the crime can take advantage of this situation is not just a possible hypothesis, it is somewere a reality!.
    But it is not panic that drives the irresponsibility of those who still circulate without a real need, causing harm to themselves, to their loved ones, to others, and have no respect for the work that all those who are working, at the risk of their life, to save or alleviate that of the sick or weaker.
    I hope that all this makes us understand all the things that I have already indicated in my other articles on the subject, one at least of all: we have to learn to produce things that are needed, not only those that make a profit!
    Thank you.

    • Thanks a lot, Dear Aldo Sir, for taking the time to give us your valuable insights on this subject! You have rightly observed the most urgent need for a change. The industry needs to realize the life-sustaining impact of Social Responsibility handled the right way. Alas, profit has become the sole criterion of our business tycoons. Their responsibility remains confined to their Board of Governors, at the cost of the consumer out there.

      I believe this change should start at the top. Every politician and each aspirant to the high office MUST wake up to an urgent need for reform so that future emergencies can be better handled, without creating further chaos.

      We need laws to address this void. It is the public, comprising of people like you and me, the electorate, that chooses our government. Let us create an awakening, and mobilize support for accountability from these self-centered ‘leaders.’ The current catastrophe teaches us to prepare harder for future situations where a lackadaisical approach we see today does not raise its ugly head again.

      We need ordinances in each country, demanding that every multi-national corporation MUST devote a specific part of their profit to produce the necessary equipment to handle catastrophes like Tsunami, Pandemic, Wild Fires, Floods, Earthquakes, Acts of Terror, and so on. There should be specific Ministers or Secretaries (like in the U.S.) to monitor the implementation of such laws in full force, and accountability should rest with the Leader of the Opposition. Perhaps, this kind of Legislation brings some succor during future emergencies.

      Warm Regards, With A Prayer!

      • I totally agree with your considerations.
        In these days, between articles and comments on the subject, it has often happened to mention this need that the political power, delegated by us, has the skills and commitment to produce legislation that sets these priorities.
        But we must also overcome the arrogance of omnipotence that often divides states who on some of these issues should share commitment and knowledge.

  2. Great piece Bharat, and so true. There is something called greed, and it is sinful, so much of what is happening shows how people can be seen as either compassionate, caring, considerate or just plain greedy, not caring. AT some point we are all held accountable. God Bless

    • You are absolutely on the mark, Ms. Lynn; it is imperative we realize the boomerang effect of our actions, whether calculative or done in hindsight. Greed at the moment will surely invite a long-lasting rebuke from the community at large, especially thanks to the burgeoning impact of Social Media.

      On the other hand, Corporate Greed is what I am more concerned about, as the current catastrophe starts to die down. Shortages, delayed deliveries, price gouging, opportunists pushing substandard, or even fake products, and so on.

      Let’s hope better sense prevails so the innocent consumer is saved from the evil designs of opportunists.

      Thanks, With Warm Regards, and a Prayer!

  3. Great article Bharat! I agree with your words. I am observing so much, as we all are
    Re. My social media has never been so demanding. We se new characters and feelings unfold from so many. The arguing, mistrust, abuse…but also support, love, compassion. We all have a new job. To protect humanity. Some are able to shine like no other in these times…we need to take action and give the support with compassion. The demands for answers, the fear, the ignorance, the careless actions.
    The leaders now are some we never knew existed. Among the many platforms I am in have shown this.
    Sharing and caring has a new meaning now. It is defined by the need to live.
    Survival has taken priority and it’s our job to do it right. The birthright of dignity is called to the forefront! Hopefully we can lend a hand in its reinstatement here!
    Thank you so much for adding value and I’m sure helping many.
    Trusting the process and having faith in God is most helpful.
    We pray and do what God has told us too. Believe in him and help others!
    The hearts of people need to be caressed with understanding and compassion. Anxiety needs soothing and the trust shown.
    Thank you again
    Paula

    • Thanks a lot, Ms. Paula, for your excellent comments! You have rightfully observed the extent of leadership coming to the fore as a result of this crisis. Each one of us is born with leadership qualities, but only some realize them while most others don’t. It is the need of the hour that we all stand up in unison, with the common goal of mutual respect and make sure we do not over-exert the system that feeds us, whether the grocery stores or the pharmacies. Our selfish acts of hoarding put the supply chain out of sync. Distrust in the system, anxiety, fear, nervousness, and panic follow suit.

      It shall indeed be an honor for me to see your opinion on my upcoming posts as well.

      With thanks, Warm Regards, and a Prayer!

  4. GREAT ARTICLE, BHARAT! There was no way to adequately prepare ourselves mentally for what is happening. The fear, the panic have all become the new norm. Yes, this virus has killed so many and is G-d forbid likely to kill more. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that the media is financially benefiting from all of this. They are selling fear adding a little more each day. Some of our “leaders” in Washington, D.C. are helping the feelings fear. I just wrote a new article that I dedicated to you as without your urgings and outreach would not have come to be. Here is the link to the article:https://www.bizcatalyst360.com/clarity-from-underneath-the-clouds/
    Thank you for everything you did for me! I can’t help but wonder what I did to deserve meeting you, your friendship, getting to know you, your words, your wisdom, your intellect, your voice over the telephone, and last but certainly not least your kind, caring, and open heart. You are as I say you are which is you are a very special man. Thank you for being there.

    • Dear Joel Sir, in all humility, I salute your spirit of selflessness. Not only do you give of yourself so generously, but your diction speaks volumes of your character. I wish I could achieve one-millionth of one percent of your wisdom. You are right about the press making hay while this ‘virus’ shines on their stars. Fear-mongering has always been the bane of ‘for profit’ journalism. On this score, they are no different from the proverbial insurance agents that build their business on this particular talent.

      As I have mentioned before, I shall always remain indebted to Dennis Pitocco Sir, for bringing us together, even if by chance. Now that we have built a relationship of mutual respect, friendship, and care, let us keep the momentum going. I am always available for you, no matter day or night; just pick up the phone and allow me to be your pillar of support.

      I am short of words to acknowledge your dedicating the latest article to me appropriately. I have no idea what entitles me to this unimaginably high honor. I have not had the time to take a look at it so far, but shall be doing it shortly. Short I post my observation, you will get the notification, I am sure.

      In the meantime, please take it easy, relax, and join me in prayer for everyone, so we could all heave a sigh of relief and get back to our routine within no time.

      • Bharat , thank you for your response to my comment. Thank you for being so kind to me. I have no claim to wisdom as am just an ordinary man who has not accomplished anything that would deserve me of your praise. I pray we all get through this soon.

  5. Thank you for this, Bharat! I appreciate your thoughts in the fabulous article. I could not agree with you more. Like most people, I too am home, but I refuse to succumb to this contagious panic, maybe more than the virus, encroaching on our nation. I go to the grocery store as needed and am amazed to see so much missing. In addition to TP and water, the bread aisles, as well as the poultry and meat sections, are scant.
    I continue to be optimistic, practical, and cautious.

    By the way, I love the title of your first book. Unique is the subject matter of the U in my Unstuck acronym of which I emphasize in my book.

    Have a lovely day! Stay safe, and thank you again!💖

    • First things first, Ms. Darlene, I appreciate your continued engagement on my posts from the bottom of my heart. It is always the discerning readers, writers, thinkers, and change-makers like yourself that inspire me to share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences here.

      The fear psychosis we observe in the uninformed consumers’ head is born out of their lack of attention to detail if anything. I wish the big box stores take the initiative NOW and put up signs, send individual flyers (not the weekly special ones) informing customers that there is plenty of everything readily available. Hence, they desist from their hoarding mentality.

      The need of the hour is LEADERSHIP, and there is nobody better than the store managers in an appropriate place to take this step.

      ‘Thanks,’ Ms. Darlene, for the lovely comment on my book. I would much love to read yours as and when it becomes available. Please let me know where to buy it, and I’ll be pleased also to post my review.

      Thanks once again; Warm Regards, and Prayer for all!

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