Once again, I feel the need to begin with a qualification. Here goes. I totally support the idea of supermarkets opening early for elderly and vulnerable people to do their shopping. That’s happening at some supermarkets already. Hooray to the supermarkets. Now to pour a large bucket of shit over my hooray.
I paid a visit to a well known supermarket in South Gloucestershire today. The supermarket, which shall remain nameless – I have no intention of revealing the identity of Tesco in Yate – was packed to the rafters with desperate shoppers. I have never seen anything like it, apart from yesterday when I was in Tesco in Bradley Stoke. I chatted to a few knackered looking staff members and, to my surprise but not theirs, they had been subject to abuse and a lot of it. Shoppers were appalled at the thought that they might have to think of others and shop sensibly. Let them all die. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the ghost of Margaret Thatcher, the woman who poisoned our country with the idea that greed was good, breezed through the doors and told shoppers to rejoice.
Not only was the supermarket packed – and the security guard said it was quiet compared to when it opened this morning, when literally hundreds of people queued outside – it was packed with old people. And why wouldn’t it be, since everyone else was at work?
When it comes down to it, when it comes to panic, middle aged people and older people do it better than most. There were few young people present, but then most of them do their shopping on-line.
As ever, the sight of people panicking, of clearing shelves of everything from bog rolls to lager (the only lager that was left was Fosters: even the Carling had gone) was depressing. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like when everything else, apart from the supermarkets, is closed, when the kids are all at home and when many hundreds of people are dying every single day?