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Panic Shopping Persists

Local News 16 Mar, 2020 Follow News

Shoppers in Grand Cayman have been over-purchasing goods, according to officials

Despite authorities assuring the steady arrival of essentials such as hand sanitizer, toilet paper and other cleaning products, stores in Grand Cayman are still seeing a ‘run’ on certain items, due to the panic caused by the Island’s first case of Corona Virus (Covid 19).

In an effort to curtail some of the hysteria, many stores are now limiting the amount of items each customer is able to purchase. However, some persons in the community told the Caymanian Times they were still devising ways to get as much of certain products as possible.

“I send my husband to buy certain items and then I go back to the store myself to pickup the same stuff,” noted a young woman exiting a popular shopping location on the West Bay Road. Other shoppers explained that they had to seek out items, which they would normally get at the supermarket at variety stores instead and locations that were not usually the first option for those particular products.

At Valu-med Pharmacy in Bodden Town shoppers were surprised to see a line outside and customers being called into the store by intercom/loud speaker to limit the amount of people inside the store.

With the first death of someone confirmed to have had the Corona virus confirmed in Grand Cayman, the public concern has been ratcheting up and the government’s ban on gatherings of more than 50 persons is now being enforced with the threat of a fine and even imprisonment.

Since the announcement of the very first case and the subsequent fallout at the Health City facility in Grand Cayman, those whom have been in the vicinity of the institution have been asked to be extra vigilant and some employers are contacting their employees to ask if they or any of their immediate family and/or contacts have been to the Health City.

Proprietors of popular retailer Reflections noted that people were also panic buying cigarettes and stockpiling anything they thought would need in the event of an Island-wide shortage of goods.

According to a statement from Deputy Director of Hazard Management, Mr. Simon Boxall, “…panic buying is not necessary, as the supply of goods remains strong and steady,”

Mr. Boxall added that residents should be aware that stocks of most products are normal and ships with more products are en route to Grand Cayman.

However, some in the community are growing more concerned, as news of the United States now extending their travel ban to the United Kingdom and Ireland has been announced.

“Persons are becoming more concerned, as the situation remains fluid and the prospect of all ports closing does not seem far-fetched; considering the novel nature of the times,” said Stacy-Ann Wilson, who was stood outside Valu-med Pharmacy in Bodden Town.

In fact, even funerals have not been exempt from the CI Government’s with Bodden Funeral Services issuing the following statement on Saturday, March 14th:

“Yesterday CI Government placed a 50 person limit on social gatherings. This includes funerals. We, as undertakers do not have the authority to refuse admittance to people entering a public church, however the Pastors of the Meshach Mugabe Myles and Perla Bush funerals have indicated they will be, as delicately as possible, enforcing this governmental policy. The same adherence to government policy should be expected for funerals in the coming weeks.

“Very few, if any things in life are as painful as the loss of a loved one. I, we, understand that. However the mitigation of the spread of COVID19 is a responsibility of each and every one of us. I would ask the funeral going public to consider that responsibly when deciding to attend funerals until things are back to normal.

“Until this storm passes, we will be assisting some new ways at funerals:

• 1 guest book monitor will be positioned at the guest book, take the funeral goers names and write it in the book. No physical contact will give the virus one less place to be passed.

• we will position one person at the entry to open and close the door, again limiting cross contamination opportunities.

“These small measures, along with diligent daily sterilization of our facilities and proper usage of personal protective gear are a part of our dedication to the people we are so very honored to serve.”

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