The message to buy responsibly and make sure there are enough supplies for all obviously isn’t reaching everyone.
These photos taken by Frank Leppard in Tesco Westwood today (March 16) show shelves stripped bare of goods such as toilet rolls, fruit, veg, beans and pasta.
The same situation is true for other isle supermarkets.
Retailers call on their customers to support one another during this challenging time. Speaking on behalf of the retailers, Helen Dickinson, OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Retailers are working incredibly hard to keep shops well stocked and deliveries running as smoothly as possible. In the face of unprecedented demand as a result of coronavirus, food retailers have come together to ask their customers to support each other to make sure everyone can get access to the products they need.”
Community pulling together
In light of the panic buying many in the Thanet community are pulling together to make sure help is offered to those who may have to self-isolate due to the coronvirus.
Numerous facebook pages, including New Thanet Chat, have posts advising those in self isolation who have a request for help with shopping or other errands to let the community know so arrangements can be made.
The Broadstairs facebook page has a pinned post where people can ask for help. Dozens of people have posted to the page to offer their services.
Thanet Community Transport already provides a shopping service for anyone who is unable to get out. All staff are CRB/DBS checked. They are happy to help anyone who needs shopping in the current situation. Please call on 01843 602030.
Lewis Pindar, 29, from ramsgate, has bought toilet rolls, pasta and washing up liquid and is asking for help to get supplies such as water, tinned and dry food, hygiene products, pet food and antibacterial wipes or spray so he can distribute them to older residents.
He said: “I’m doing it because there’s a lot of vulnerable people who can’t get out to get the essential bits they need, especially those who are the most vulnerable to the virus itself so they can’t even go out for fear of contracting the virus.
“I’ve seen so many old people out today and they can’t buy anything. It’s upset me. Sometimes it just takes one person to take charge to start a movement to help people and others jump on and make it happen.
“I can’t do it by myself, I’m not well off or anything, so every little helps. It’s just about getting these bits to people who need them. I haven’t enough for a lot yet, I’ve put all I can in, but I’ve got other people now donating bits to me which is good.”
To donate items or let Lewis know about someone in need email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
New help groups offering aid to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak are springing up on facebook -including one for Thanet and another for Kent.
Pinned posts offering help are also in facebook groups including Broadstairs and New Thanet Chat.
Food Warehouse at Westwood Retail Park will open an hour earlier at 7am on Tuesday (March 17) with the first hour of shopping for pensioners only.
Store manager Casey Abbott, who made the decision, said: “This is only for OAPs and it will be at my discretion for them to come in. This will give them the chance to shop peacefully for one hour.”
J Prentis Westgate grocers is also offering ‘contactless delivery’. You can call, text or email they will put your order together and deliver it free of charge. Call 01843 834934.
As of 9am on 16 March 2020, 44,105 people have been tested in the UK, of which 42,562 were confirmed negative and 1,543 were confirmed as positive.
55 people are confirmed to have died from the disease. In Kent 12 people are confirmed to have the virus with a further two in Medway. Confirmed cases in Thanet include one at Birchington Vale, another in Westgate, and a parent of a Chatham & Clarendon grammar student.