Image of a 'Please Only Buy What You Need' notice on a shelf for hand wash at Blackburn South Woolworths supermarket, 18 May 2020.

This photograph was taken during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Melbourne in 2020. It references the panic buying that was happening around the world. From Australia to Asia and Europe to the USA, consumers stockpiled toilet paper and other products in response to the fear and uncertainty about the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic would bring.

In Australia the panic buying occurred largely between February and May.The panic buying blitz led to widespread stock shortages, leaving many consumers without household staples for several months and manufacturers and distributers working around the clock to keep up with demand. Shops were forced to introduce strict purchase limits on products that were in high demand, especially personal hygiene and sanitising items as well as non-perishable food.

Further panic buying happened in June-July 2020 when a second lockdown happened in Victoria due to a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Description of Content

Yellow and black notice on metal shelf.

Physical Description

Digital colour photograph.

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