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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.
Experts point out that panic buying can be a result of a lack of trust in the government.
If public fears are not addressed on time, fake news can induce panic. Better preparedness at all times for possible emergencies can be a way to reduce this among the public.
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This is known as 'zero risk bias' by risk experts and it describes a person's behavior when trying to eliminate a superficial risk entirely rather than just reducing a big risk, everything in order to feel safer.
While we are all facing the biggest challenge of our life, the 2020 pandemic, our behaviors are slowly starting to change. For instance, hoarding toilet paper is not something common, at least not in modern societies. Still, it is happening worldwide these days.
Among the most efficient ways to handle shortages of any kind, shops could introduce rationing certain products or even individuals could try and convince each other that there is no real need to hoard staff, such as toilet paper, as we are not talking about unlimited resources here.
Hoarding is a serious psychiatric disorder which has been witnessed by doctors for centuries, and is not some behavioural trait of otherwise normal people.
Symptoms of this...
Apart from mental issues, hoarding increases the chances of:
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You can never accurately predict what's going to happen. Some efforts come close.
For example, models looking at the weather can achieve more than 90% accuracy. But crises are about change, and a model working from historical data may miss a dramatic and new change.