Psychologists believe that primarily, panic buying of food in Moscow’s shops is caused by the fact that people are trying to stock up on the most necessary things for a long time. They understand that the situation pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak may change their lives for a while.
Anxiety and Fear are Leading to Panic Buying
First of all, roaring demand in Moscow arose for products that have an extended shelf life: canned goods, cereals, pasta, sunflower oil, sugar and salt. In addition, people buy toilet paper, personal care products, sanitizers, ointments, medicines, etc.
Natalia Kiselnikova, associate director for Scientific and Organizational Development of the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education and Candidate (PhD) of Psychological Sciences believes that in the times of difficult life situations, people feel anxious and frightened. The coronavirus epidemic is exactly one of them. In addition, often an excessive “adaptive response” occurs.
They start discussing the problem with their friends and watch the news. As a result, they take measures to reduce the risk. In this case, it led to the fact that the demand for food, personal care products and medicines spiked.
Evgeny Yevtukhov, deputy minister of industry and trade agrees with this point of view. He believes the demand for food in Moscow City has increased from 5 to 10 times. This information was announced by Yevtukhov in an interview with the Russia 24 TV channel on March 18. He also added that the runaway demand in the Moscow region would end just in a few days when people realized that the supply of goods continued.
Cabinet of Ministers Allows Food Delivery Around the Clock
Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin told RIA Novosti that Moscow allowed the supply of high-demand goods around the clock. Previously, it was allowed only in the daytime. First of all, it concerns foodstuffs. He assured that supplies will be uninterrupted.
Panic Sets at Your Service
Auchan, for example, take actions as follows: in their back rooms, trolleys with the most popular goods are made up in advance. Then they roll them out to the shopping spaces. By the way, the sets are designed for different social groups. They have fixed prices, namely, 2,634 rubles ($33.38) and 3,491 rubles ($44.24.) Russians have already jokingly called them “panic sets.” According to Natalia Kiselnikova, the most important thing is that panic buying is quite difficult to be dealt with because in a time of panic “rational reasons are ineffective.” However, the future prospects of this behavior should be explained. Kiselnikova is confident that people will understand them when they face the fact that some of the products will have to be thrown away because they are past the expiry dates.
For example, the Magnit retail chain doubled stocks of products that can be kept for long periods. All trucks of the company are used to serve the needs of its stores. At present, there are about 5,600 of them.
There is Enough Food in Russia
According to the Kremlin press service, a meeting attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of the government was held on March 17. They discussed issues related to food stocks in the country against the background of the coronavirus outbreak and, consequently, the increased demand for foodstuffs with long shelf life. Dmitry Patrushev, minister of agriculture, confirmed at the meeting that Russia's agricultural and food reserves are sufficient. He also said the prices for such products as pasta and canned food had not grown dramatically. In addition, Patrushev said that the country has enough agricultural raw materials and capacities to ensure the stock of products for at least two months.
If the epidemic continues, the exports of foodstuffs which are in high demand among people are also likely to reduce. Meanwhile, experts believe that the prices for food might increase due to the growing dollar rate, but they are confident that it will not be sharp.
Scammers are Becoming More Active
Tragically, there is a certain category of people who try to make a fortune by any means. Recently, online stores have begun to offer tests for coronavirus and even vaccines against it. It is known that the tests come directly only from manufacturers to hospitals. As reported by numerous media, the vaccine against this virus is only being developed. At present, everything that is offered is fake. Remember this and do not fall for the ploys of scammers. Seemingly, human misery means nothing for them if there is a chance to earn money.
Responsibility for False Information
Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (ROSKOMNADZOR) warned about the responsibility for disinformation creating panic among the residents. The false information concerns the number of infected and dead people from COVID-19 in Russia, as well as the government's sanitary and epidemiological measures. Strict measures will be applied to violators. The media might be deprived of their licenses. Fines between 30,000 ($376.32) and 100,000 rubles ($1,254.39) are expected to be imposed on individuals. A resident of the Amur region spread false information about coronavirus in her region although in fact, there were no infected people there. As Gazeta.ru wrote, an administrative offence report has been drawn up on this case under part 9 of Article 13.15 of the Administrative Code, which has been already submitted to the court.