For snowstorms, it's milk and bread that fly off the shelves at the grocery stores. For the coronavirus pandemic, It's toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It's more than stores just selling out, it's people who are buying more than they can possibly need and hoarding these items. One reason is the lack of control. There is so much that we don't know about the Coronavirus. How long it will take to contain? How long will you be in quarantine? What's the impact on the economy? Will you have a job? What happens if schools don't open again this school year? Our brain works to make sense of the world. We want to understand what's going on around us because when we do, we have a sense of control. When life is chaotic, you'll pull information to try to make sense of what's happening. You can put the puzzle pieces together, but you might have the wrong picture though.
People who aren't panic buying will feel compelled to buy an extra bag of toilet paper or hand sanitizer because they want to make sure that they have needed products as well. It can be a domino effect.
When people are emotional then they don't tend to think rationally so stores are helping control panic buying. Stores are limiting the number of bags of toilet paper or hand sanitizers that you can buy. Some stores have an elderly hour where only elderly people can go to the store and buy much-needed products.
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