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Shopping can be socially acceptable because consumerism is continually pushed on us in the forms of posters, adverts, and signs.
Shopping is also a way of life: You need food and clothing from stores. Even if you try to stop compulsive buying by avoiding the stores in person, there is still a world of online shopping.
The world is seeing panic buying in supermarkets, with items like toilet paper, milk, soda, hand sanitizers, etc. flying off the shelves, especially in places with confirmed cases of the virus.
Panic buying is a psychological mechanism fueled by anxiety along with a herd mentality. People hoard stuff in panic, due to fear of the unknown, according to experts.
..is a principle which makes people do things so that they don't feel regretful later.
People are panic-buying for the same reason too, with social media and news media amplifying the sense of scarcity.