Timing is everything.

With a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, Governor Yuriko Koike’s recent announcements have prompted fears that a full-scale lockdown is on the horizon. And with it a fresh wave of panic-buying spread through the area.

However, luckily it seemed to calm down relatively quickly, and by some eyewitness reports, it hasn’t been as bad as certain media outlets would have us believe.

“At the supermarket a certain TV station was asking clerks ‘Is anything sold out? Are any shelves empty?’ They were disappointed they couldn’t get footage of panic buying. I hate rotten journalism trying to twist the facts.”

But it’s still enough for people to continue engaging in some cautiously measured stocking up, not wanting to get caught with bare cupboards when the other shoe drops. One such person was Twitter user Natarinu (@nataline_mao) who though it’d be safe to pick up a few items from the local convenience store.

However, when they arrived…

“I was relieved to see that the convenience store was normal, but the baked goods section was completely empty!! Gah! Just as I wondered if it was all bought out… [floored emoji] Wow! All is forgiven.”

The rack in the photographs is usually full of an array of pancakes, cheese buns, donuts, and more, but this time was completely barren. Although it would have been a welcome sight for TV camera crews, Natarinu thought the worst, until they read the paper taped to it.

“We’re very sorry. We forgot to order more.”

In any other time, such a message probably would have made customers angry, but in light of recent events it’s strangely heartwarming. Even for others online it helped put things into perspective.

“Haha! That’s okay.”
“I’m sure the staff are working very hard.”
“That’s a nice shop.”
“Well, you can’t help it if you forgot.”
“Of course, people would be crazy to panic buy at convenience stores with their prices.”
“I wonder if those baked goods could even be frozen.”
“I saw how people acted at a supermarket in Spain. We’re very lucky here.”
“It’s a reminder of how overwhelmed the staff can get these days. Be sure to remind them they’re doing a good job next time you see one.”

That last point is definitely good advice. Hopefully, everyone can keep this level of civility and compassion towards staff and each other if things do start to get much worse in Japan.

Source: Twitter/@nataline_mao, Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@nataline_mao
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