Novel coronavirus stockpiling puts supermarkets on watch
The COVID-19 coronavirus has caused fewer than 300 cases in the U.K., but British supermarkets, including Tesco and Waitrose, are already limiting purchases on essential goods and supplies as the population panic buys in anticipation of potential self-isolation and/or quarantine.
Tesco has limited dry pasta, UHT milk, and tinned vegetables both in-store and online according to the BBC, with Waitrose introducing similar restrictions and both supermarkets controlling sales of hand sanitiser and alcohol wipes. What they can’t stop is online profiteering, with Ebay resellers and charlatans on other platforms reselling soaps and sanitisers at hugely inflated prices.
This feedback loop of panic —> empty shelves on social media —> more panic does not constitute an actual shortage of either food or soap; buying bottled water is also a lot, with COVID-19 extremely unlikely to lead to water supplies being compromised. Preparation, vigilance on symptoms, and handwashing to a favourite pop chorus are all solid steps against novel coronavirus: stocking up on beans is not. [BBC]
And in other news...
- Oklava Bakery + Wine’s “spectacular” breads and buns left critic Jimi Famurewa both delighted and perplexed.
- Two of London’s best seasonal restaurants, Towpath Cafe and Singburi, reopen this week.
- London’s best dumplings. That’s it. That’s the bullet.
- Scotland has banned buffets across the land in response to novel coronavirus. [The Times]
- My Million Pound Menu winner and Great British Menu 2020 contestant Ruth Hansom has left Pomona’s in Notting Hill after less than a year. She intends to open a smaller restaurant with her core team. [The Caterer/paywall]
- Good tweet: