Asda, Luton.
Customers queueing up outside Asda, Luton.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus has been a cause of concern for more reasons than one. However, the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought with it has caused many people to go out and panic-buy from supermarkets.

Ever since reports of the Coronavirus emerged, people have taken to supermarkets to stock up on the essential items that they need.

According to the Financial Times the UK’s supermarkets had their best month on record as panic-buying shoppers spent an extra £1.9 billion on supplies in March.

Supermarket Statistics
This graph demonstrates the rise in sales in supermarkets.

Boris Johnson announced in March that the people of the UK should only leave the house to make essential journeys and released a list of “key workers” who were required to still go to work while the rest of the country was on lockdown.

The people who work in supermarkets have been named as key workers by the government and are therefore required to remain in work, to keep shelves stocked and to deliver food to the homes of millions.

However, because there are more and more customers relying on supermarkets to remain open and fully stocked, this puts a lot of pressure on the staff of the shops.

“I don’t 100% feel safe working at the store at the moment.”
Annie Nicholls, Iceland Employee

As a consequence of the vast number of key workers who are on the front line needing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the safety of the workers has also been called into question.

As the severity of the pandemic increases, supermarkets are being called on to do more to protect their staff.

The online supermarket Ocado recently purchased 100,000 Covid-19 testing kits for their frontline staff.

Annie Nicholls, who works in Iceland, has described her experience of working at a busy supermarket during the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Even though supermarket staff’s work is important, many people are wondering whether their work is important enough to risk their lives in the midst of this pandemic.