Turns out the panic buyers were right

 

The Aussies who were ridiculed for stockpiling food and medication by members of the community and sometimes even their own partners now get to say "I told you so."

Last month news.com.au reported on self-confessed "crazy" Aussies who were preparing for the coronavirus pandemic by stocking up on food, vegetable seeds, and swords, among other things.

But now, just over a month later, they're the ones having the last laugh.

Carol was called crazy by everyone around her — including her own husband. This is one of her freezers, which she has packed to the brim.
Carol was called crazy by everyone around her — including her own husband. This is one of her freezers, which she has packed to the brim.

 

NOT SO CRAZY AFTER ALL

Carol*, from Wodonga, Victoria, started taking the coronavirus outbreak seriously in mid-January.

"I got heavily involved mentally, I spent all my time on the internet," Carol told news.com.au.

"My husband thought I was having a breakdown. He said I needed counselling.

"People just thought I was completely mad."

 

But the 70-year-old would not be dissuaded. Carol cancelled a weekend away with her husband on February 11 - much to his anger.

"By the third week of February, I had all my shopping done," she said.

"I bought PPE, food, medicine, cleaning equipment.

Carol was called crazy by everyone around her for stockpiling supplies — including her own husband.
Carol was called crazy by everyone around her for stockpiling supplies — including her own husband.

 

"I've got enough food for six months."

Carol has two freezers, a larder and a fridge - more than enough to store all the food she needs for herself and her husband.

Her husband no longer treated her as insane, she said with a laugh.

Carol provided news.com.au with pictures of her preparation.
Carol provided news.com.au with pictures of her preparation.

 

LIMITING TRIPS TO THE SUPERMARKET

"I sounded like a crazy lady in those early stages," Jane* told news.com.au, describing shopping sprees where she bought $400 masks, hand sanitiser and grocery staples in late January.

It meant that while the rest of the city had to jostle through supermarkets and elbow fellow shoppers to grab much-needed supplies last month, Jane could sit back and relax at home.

"I haven't had to leave the house in 37 days," the Sydney mother said.

Taryn* from Tasmania is also glad she started stockpiling well before she needed to.

"I couldn't imagine the stress of having to go to the supermarket every few days at the moment," she said.

Carol is glad she prepared, as she is 70 years old and is more at risk of dying from the virus.
Carol is glad she prepared, as she is 70 years old and is more at risk of dying from the virus.

 

When Taryn spoke to news.com.au in February about her precautionary measures, including hunting animals and living in the bush, readers mocked her. But she has no regrets.

"My supplies are still holding strong. I have done a couple of smaller shops at the supermarket since we last spoke to help keep up supplies," she said.

"It makes me incredibly nervous going there though.

"I'm so incredibly glad that I took the measures that I did. It definitely makes me feel much safer."

Each box is filled with non-perishable goods.
Each box is filled with non-perishable goods.

 

SAVING MONEY

Australia's homegrown hoarders reckon they saved a lot of money in the long run, too.

"Looking at prices at the shops now, I can turn items down because I know that prices have jumped at our local Coles and Woolies," Jay Proctor said.

She explained how she bought items on special in the lead-up to COVID-19, sometimes finding items that were 50 per cent off.

"Days like now, with inflated prices, is some of the reasons why we did it (the stockpiling)," she said.

 

"WE'RE NOT RISKING IT"

Empty toilet paper shelves at Coles in Glenelg, Melbourne, just two days ago.
Empty toilet paper shelves at Coles in Glenelg, Melbourne, just two days ago.

These preppers all seem to have something in common (other than their penchant for planning) - shortages would be much more dangerous for them than the average Australian, due to health issues.

"We're not risking it," Jane said, speaking of her daughter who has severe asthma and a low immunity.

Taryn has epilepsy and a heart condition, so she made sure those medicines were the first things she stockpiled.

Mother-of-two Tracy felt shamed for stockpiling early, even though she has two kids with allergies and had no other choice.

"I have two children, one of which is allergic to nuts, and another who is allergic to dairy," she said.

"As one of my children has an allergy which results in life threatening anaphylaxis, I could not take any chances.

"I bought in advance, but I bought and stocked up on the items that my food allergy children could have as I was worried that in the end they would not be able to eat anything.

"Not risking any accidents having to go to the ER at a time like this."

*These people asked that their names be removed due to privacy concerns.

Originally published as Turns out the panic buyers were right

A look inside Carol’s pantry.
A look inside Carol’s pantry.

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