Twists and Turns of Panic Buying

I don’t know what it’s like at your place, but here in Oz panic buying is a never ending saga of change. Yesterday, I read this post by Nick Ryan in our Sunday Mail. It was so good, I just have to share it with you.

This is what he had to say:

In troubled times, why are we now panic-buying pets?

When I left home a bit over three weeks ago, I left behind a partner, three kids and a ball-obsessed border collie. When I got back this week after a truncated trip to the US, and the two weeks of self-isolation that earnt me, I returned to that same coterie. and a bit more.

I came back to find that in addition to the aformentioned partner, kids and border collie. I now share my home with 44 sheep, four chickens, four guinea fowl, two bantams called Almond and Super Shot, and a kitten.

It appears my better half responded to a global pandemic the way Noah responds to a congregation of clouds on the horizon.

She panic bought a menagerie. By all accounts, she’s not alone. The world sees a pandemic bearing down and everyone retreats into hasty self-sufficiency.

Chicken breeders report a run on stock not since the days Colonel Sanders was a mere captain and garden centres have been stripped of every single seedling. Even the kale and turnips.

Suburban backyards are turning into market gardens, lifestyle blocks are finally seeing sods turned, and the real farmers sit back and wait for everyone to realise it actually takes a good deal of work to produce our food.

Flour has become another white powder attracting black market interest and people are spending more time caring for their sourdough starters than their elderly parents.

Preserving jars and steriliser sets have been dug out of mothballed cupboards as everyone contemplates a long and locked-down winter and decides the best way through it is with an extensive collection of embalmed fruits and vegetables. We are just days away from scarfs knitted from lint and earwax candles.

This retreat to self-sufficiency is understandable when the supermarket aisles turn into battlefields and bare shelves stand as shining testament to our capacity for stupidity and greed.

I get the comfort that can be found in the old-fashioned ways of simple sustenance. It might do us all some good to live a life that comes from the sunnier scenes of Maggie Beer’s dreams.

(For non-Aussies, Maggie Beer is a much loved Aussie icon of cooking all things delicious produced at her farm here in the Barossa Valley)

There’s a lot we can learn from looking back on the days when the suburban streets woke to the sounds of crowing cocks and hens scratched among backyard vegie patches, but the panic-buying  of pets is another matter entirely.

The family have accused me of sulking, because my attempts to name this new black and white kitten Fos, Russell, Gavin, Warren or Choppy have come to naught, but it goes deeper than that. The last thing our chaotic house needs right now is another occupant capable of crapping on the couch.

I’m fully aware of where I sit in the hierarchy of this house. When I left last month I sat at Number 6. Now I’m ranked somewhere in the 50’s.

So I’m bringing in a new rule that dictates the only living things that can be brought into this house must be suitable for slow braising after drawing final breath.

I’m putting my foot down. And I don’t want to step into something I shouldn’t.

A footnote: My partner often checks over my column before I send it in. After reading this one, she thought it timely to tell me she’d been in touch with the border collie breeder. There’s a new dog on the way too.

Raili Tanska


12 thoughts on “Twists and Turns of Panic Buying

  1. Hahaha, poor man must have been a shock to the system. I like Nick’s column always entertaining. Don’t understand this panic buying of pets and pet foods either. What happens in 6 to 8 months when hopefully this virus will have abated, will the pets then be dumped at the pond?

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