toronto panic buying

Doug Ford urges people to stop panic buying in response to lockdown

Friday's announcement that Toronto and Peel Regions were moving into Grey zone level lockdown at 12:01 a.m. this morning was distressing, to say the least, and despite the words of officials, prompted another flurry of panic buying as residents worried how they'll cope.

Premier Doug Ford was among those who asked the public to refrain from stockpiling goods, reminding Ontarians that essential businesses will be remaining open during this difficult time and tweeting out on Sunday that the government "needs everyone to be patient and ensure there isn’t unneeded pressure on our supply chains."

But still, people in the hotspot regions cited hours-long lineups, empty shelves and general chaos at their local grocery stores, reminiscent of the first spate of major lockdown measures back in March, which led to, as we all know, a toilet paper shortage, among other things.

Citizens took to social media to share their hellish shopping experiences over the weekend, even those who don't live in one of the regions being moved into the most stringent level of lockdown.

Many claimed they had to forego essential items or give up on their grocery shop altogether due to crowding and unmanageable lines to get to a cash register or into a store in the first place.

With bars, restaurants and non-essential stores having to move to curbside pickup and delivery only, private indoor gatherings prohibited, salons and gyms shuttered, and other strict measures implemented, the next 28 days are set to be pretty damn bleak, especially for those who own small businesses that were already floundering or who live alone.

The fact that the city's first major snowfall of the season took place on Sunday, the last day of patios, only served to further worsen spirits.

Given people's shopping habits, there's no doubt that there will be a revival of the apps designed earlier in the year to track wait times at supermarkets, LCBOs and other retailers in the city as we navigate the coming weeks.

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