So South Africa is officially in a lockdown! And the fear of catching the virus isn’t the only thing that’s making South Africans lose their minds – across the country we’ve seen people panic buying and stocking up on food to last for months rather than just until the end of April. If you’ve seen the videos on social media, you’ll understand the madness!
Here’s the thing: It’s OK to be concerned and cautious. But there’s no reason to panic and go and clear the grocery store shelves every time you go shopping. Here’s why, and how you can be responsible.
Stores are open and it’s unlikely they will run out of stock
It was confirmed that grocery stores would be open during our lockdown, albeit with reduced trading hours to enable staff to travel. Many supermarket chains confirmed that they have more than enough stock to keep the shelves stocked during the lockdown.
When you take more than you need, it means less for everyone else
Although there’s enough stock, shops are struggling to repack the shelves quickly enough. When you fill your trolley with every last bag of macaroni, there’s a chance that other families won’t be able to buy ANY macaroni until the supermarket can restock the shelves.
How much do you ACTUALLY need?
The lockdown was scheduled to last for 21 days, however, an extension to 1 May pushed this out to an additional 13 days, but you really don’t need any more than you would usually consume during this time period.
If you want to ensure that you don’t need to make too many trips to the store, stock up for five days to one week at a time. If that’s not possible, try to ensure you have enough dry and frozen food for at least 14 days – the standard quarantine period should anyone in your home test positive for Covid-19.
So what should you be stocking up on
There are two aspects to this: food that will not go off quickly, and healthy eating that boosts your immune system.
- Pasta, rice, dried beans, bread, and cereal – these keep for a long time, are inexpensive and are a healthy source of energy.
- Long-life milk – essential if you drink lots of tea and coffee.
- Canned goods – these keep for months and months without going off.
- Frozen meals- frozen meats, pizzas, veggies etc are great because they’re easy to cook and won’t go off quickly. Frozen veggies are especially important to keep you healthy. These may not be quite as good as fresh veggies, but frozen is the next best thing if you’re stuck at home.
- Nuts and dried fruits – these make a delicious snack and are a great source of nutrients and energy.
Don’t give in to the madness and stay safe!
This lockdown is going to be hard for everyone in South Africa. When shopping for groceries, don’t give in to the panic. Think realistically about what you will need, and be considerate about the needs of others in your community.