In New Interviews with BBC, NBC, the Vancouver Sun, and TIME, Dr. Steven Taylor Discusses “Panic Buying” Behaviours in Response to COVID-19


Various media outlets, including the BBC, NBC, the Vancouver Sun, and TIME, have sought UBC Psychiatry Professor Dr. Steven Taylor’s perspectives on widespread “panic-buying” behaviours observed in Canada, the U.S. and around the world in response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases.  As an expert and author on the psychology of pandemics, Dr. Taylor states in these latest articles that panic buying is fuelled by anxiety, and a willingness to go to lengths to quell those fears, such as lining up for hours to buy necessities, or buying far more than one would need. “There’s a clear difference between disaster preparation and panic buying,” says Taylor, noting that, since it’s unclear at this stage just what effects COVID-19 will have, it is largely the uncertainty that is driving this spending. He adds that recent scenes of shoppers hoarding food staples, hand sanitizer, face masks and toilet paper are similar to panic buying and price gouging seen in previous virus outbreaks.

Read the BBC article “Coronavirus: The Psychology of Panic Buying”

Read the NBC article “Coronavirus Fears Have Emptied the Supermarket Shelves. Are You Panic-Buying?”

Read the Vancouver Sun article “BC Businesses and Shoppers Juggle Preparing For and Panicking Over COVID-19”

Read the TIME article “Why Overreacting to the Threat of the Coronavirus May Be Rational”