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One year on from when Northampton's shelves were left bare by Covid-19 panic buying

These pictures show no one knew what to expect a year ago when the Coronavirus outbreak began. But with a year's hindsight...was it worth it?

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 11:42 am

One year ago to the day, a woman outside the Aldi supermarket on Northampton's Earl Street told the Chronicle & Echo: "If everyone else is getting stuff in then why shouldn't I?"

Unfortunately, she was running late. Inside, the store was already sold out of pasta, canned goods, toilet paper, long life milk and most meat products.

It has been one year since the UK was in the grip of a panic buying ordeal as the threat of the country's first lockdown quickly grew nearer.

Household essentials were scarce. Bleach, handsoap and antibacterial wipes could not be found. Fresh produce was in good supply, except for eggs and bread which were snatched up. Supermarkets enacted a "three per shopper" for certain items.

Over the weekend of March 14 and 15, 2020, supermarket chains even appealed for calm in an open letter asking shoppers not to stockpile and "be considerate when shopping".

The pictures below were taken by the Chron in Northampton's stores the next day.

A woman in Morrisons, on Victoria Promenade, said she had been to three different stores in search of ketchup.

Another woman reflected on how the news had reported lockdowns in other countries and was worried what would happen in the UK.

She said: "I wouldn't normally shop on a Monday morning - so, yeah, I guess you could say it's because I'm panicking.

"We're being told not to panic but to me that's load of rubbish. I keep looking at other countries like Italy and it makes me wonder how bad it will get here."

In the UK, almost 125,000 people have died with 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus according to Government figures. Over 1,500 of those were in Northamptonshire.

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