Just got back from my local Coles, and yes, the Coronavirus panic buying is real. Most tinned food, hand sanitiser, pasta, and toilet paper (except for the brands reputed to be as soft as sandpaper) have sold out. I have not seen anything like it.
I don’t need to panic buy stuff. Ever since the Venezuelan toilet paper crisis a decade ago, during the prime ministership of Julia Gillard, I have kept a stockpile of sufficient toilet paper to last me six months or more. [My reasoning at the time was that if a communist government in Venezuela could cause the country to run out of toilet paper, I could not push my luck too hard on the authenticity of Julia Gillard’s abandonment of Marxist principles.]
All the same, whilst I was mostly there to buy some mineral water, I decided to stock up a bit on tins and pasta, just in case. The idea of holing up for a few weeks at home, binge watching Netflix and eating pasta and tins of beetroot (assuming that Uber Eats and Deliveroo are not operating in that period) does not hold any major dread for me.