kid eating a bowl of noodles
Student Life

Fear, families, and fighting: COVID-19

Single full time working mother, two teens and a pre teen, plus food limitations: is this a ticking time bomb waiting to happen? By Hayden Johnson-De Silva @hayden78514009

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many people began bulk buying out of fear of an apocalypse.

But as people were bulk buying, everybody else started too, in the hopes of not missing out.

In a household with two teens and a pre-teen, a staple for lunches is often 2-minute noodles because they’re quick and easy. But limitations have been enforced on products to stop people bulk buying. When 5-packs of 2-minute noodles are limited to one per customer, fights start between siblings about who had the most noodles and who isn’t being fair. When mum gets home she doesn’t want to have to deal with petty little fights about something as simple as noodles.

In an article for US-based ABC News,  The New Science of Siblings, journalist Po Bronson explains that sibling fights are a fact of life. He bases the story on the work of Dr. Laurie Kramer, an expert on sibling behaviour. Dr Kramer found that siblings fight or argue approximately 3.5 times an hour, and make 700 per cent more frequent harsh comments to each other than they do to their friends.

So imagine three siblings locked in a house and not being able to leave, with product limitations. Many parents are finding it difficult to scrape by with all these product limitations and out of stock products. At the supermarket one man lectured my mother and me while we were shopping, saying how he could not buy what he needs for himself and his wife. My mother – being as sarcastic as she always is – told him to imagine having two teens and a pre-teen!

For companies such as Woolworths and Coles bulk buying has its advantages and disadvantages. One supermarket manager said, “although the incoming money is higher than expected, our backup stocks and reserve stocks have run out and we cannot order fast enough to get these reserves back up.” When asked about stock limits he said, “the most obvious products such as hand sanitiser, toilet paper and paper towels have been limited to one per customer and other products such as long life milk and meats have been limited to two per customer.”

The product limits mean that parents often have to take daily trips to the shops to pick up products for dinner that night. When jobs have been put on hold due to social distancing, this results in a lot of petrol being used up and less money for families to buy necessities.

So is this apocalypse just a ticking time bomb for sibling feuds to begin and parental stress to skyrocket?

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