JAN MOIR: Are you stockpiling because of coronavirus? Just keep Spam and carry on…
Are you panic buying yet? I was tempted to stick another nine-pack of loo rolls in my supermarket trolley yesterday but resisted the impulse.
Why? Because I want to be British about this. I want to be sensible and responsible. I want to do the right thing by society. I’m not vulnerable, I don’t have dependants or pets and I believe in the Gloria Gaynor mantra that when it comes to not bulk buying dry goods — I will survive.
Obviously, I want to have my cake and eat it, but in an orderly, controlled fashion.
Yes, I want my tins of just-in-case baked beans, I want my siege-proof couscous. But mostly I want to not behave like a lunatic on the eve of Armageddon.
When it comes to public spirit, a plague such as coronavirus brings out the best in people and also the worst. One of my colleagues has bought four tins of Spam (£2.20 each), never having bought the stuff before in her entire life, writes JAN MOIR (stock image)
And if that’s the case, I hope I will be spending my last hours uncorking the best champagne and telling the people I love how much I really love them.
Not bulldozing down aisle six in my emergency wellies and surgical mask, elbowing frail pensioners out of the way to get at the last tub of Pot Noodle.
We have been here before, with the panic buying due to the Big Freeze in February 2018, followed by the panic buying of Weetabix and Elastoplast due to the fear of blocked ports and a no-deal Brexit in December last year. Yet we have learned nothing.
The problem with panic buying is that it only creates the shortages that everyone is so worried about in the first place. We all know this. We are not stupid. Yet out there, in the frenetic wilds of the tinned goods section and the bottled water gondolas, all reason is cast to the wind. It is every man and woman for themselves.
Are you panic buying yet? I was tempted to stick another nine-pack of loo rolls in my supermarket trolley yesterday but resisted the impulse, writes JAN MOIR. Pictured: Empty shelves in London
At the huge Tesco superstore in West London on Thursday morning, I note that the shelves have already been stripped bare of hand sanitiser and that there has been a run on dried pasta and long-life milk.
Staff are continually restocking the loo roll and paper tissue sections, while several customers doggedly cram multipacks of Kleenex and Cushelle Ultra Quilted into their trollies. Please! Isn’t the time for sensible rationing now, not later?
A shop assistant tells me that there is another delivery tonight of what polite society calls toilet tissue and then, after that, stocks are exhausted for the immediate future. It is squeaky bum time for West London, in more ways than one.
Despite the tragic death of one person in Britain from coronavirus yesterday, we are very far from crisis point in this country. However — and very sadly — more deaths will almost certainly come. We must not underestimate that a great number of the elderly and those with underlying health issues feel vulnerable and are terribly worried about the situation. They deserve our support and understanding.
Things are so bad that Boris Johnson went on This Morning with Phil and Holly this week, making a point of shaking their hands to prove such contact was not a health problem. Idiot, writes JAN MOIR
That is one reason why I am so furious with chortling Prince William this week, chuntering on during his official visit to Ireland about how the threat of coronavirus contamination was exaggerated, hur hur.
Obviously, it is fine for William and Kate, swaddled in privilege behind the antiseptic ramparts of their big houses and inherited wealth. In the real world, for the old and the vulnerable huddled on public transport and dependent on visits to surgeries and hospitals, the threat seems very real.
Meanwhile, my 85-year-old mother has a freezer full of enough soup and stews and chopped vegetables to withstand a siege, but she is still worried that coronavirus is coming for her and her friends.
However, her generation don’t seem to be the ones clearing supermarket shelves like locusts or forming daybreak queues outside branches of Boots to stock up on emergency wet wipes and zinc pastilles. That is because Mum could feed a family of five on a lamb bone and a turnip for four days, and indeed did exactly that for much of my childhood.
Her World War II generation knew how to survive by making the best of a bad situation — but those days have long gone. Whatever happened to being stoic, to make do and mend, to going without, to bucking up and knuckling down?
In the year 2020, in the land of plenty, should there really be frantic supermarket queues for six-packs of bottled water? Why, if only households in the UK had ready access to a supply of free, fresh, clean water then surely we would be fine? Pray for this miracle, won’t you?
I am so furious with chortling Prince William this week, chuntering on during his official visit to Ireland about how the threat of coronavirus contamination was exaggerated, hur hur, writes JAN MOIR. Pictured: William and Kate in Ireland yesterday
Things are so bad that Boris Johnson went on This Morning with Phil and Holly this week, making a point of shaking their hands to prove such contact was not a health problem. Idiot! We will be fine, said the PM, channelling the giggling Prince William, so long as everyone washes their hands.
But that is the entire problem — they don’t. I am always appalled at the number of women who don’t wash their hands in public toilets and nothing dissuades me that men are not exactly the same.
It’s the sad truth that we cannot rely on our selfish fellow citizens to maintain the hygiene standards we might hold for ourselves, so forget about collective responsibility in the supermarket or elsewhere. That is why we are in this situation in the first place.
When it comes to public spirit, a plague such as coronavirus brings out the best in people and also the worst. One of my colleagues has bought four tins of Spam (£2.20 each), never having bought the stuff before in her entire life. I know.
She is in for a pork shock. Meanwhile, a chum who lives alone has just spent £500 on a stockpile shop in a wanton act of self-comfort. Panic buying helps people feel that they are in control of a bad situation but, ultimately, it makes it worse for everyone else.
I’d like to say let’s all pull together, let’s keep Spam and carry one — but fear it is too late already. Far too late.
This ain’t feminism, Nicole!
Nicole Scherzinger has been defending the provocative costumes she and her Pussycat Dolls wear on stage, writes JAN MOIR
Nicole Scherzinger has been defending the provocative costumes she and her Pussycat Dolls wear on stage. ‘It takes courage to be that vulnerable,’ she says.
Oh God. What rot. Nicole, listen to me. Be a fantastically powerful woman in your G-string and cobweb top. Wear your bustier and bikini bottoms with pride. Strut your stuff in the way that we all love you for.
But please don’t insult us by turning your costume choices into an act of empowered valour rather than what they are — a clever, cold-eyed commercial enterprise. We all know what we see and understand — which is that you are called the Pussycat Dolls, not the Blue Stocking Society.
Many of us are tiring of the claim that posing nearly naked on stage or social media is a feminist act.
Women who sexualise themselves thus are still pandering to the male gaze, however much they try to (un)dress it up. But please, don’t pretend to be victims, too. If you are going to be a Pussycat, be proud of it.
Bake Off Nancy has the germ of a brilliant idea
The Blitz spirit may be in short supply, but not in Nancy Birtwhistle’s kitchen, writes JAN MOIR
The Blitz spirit may be in short supply, but not in Nancy Birtwhistle’s kitchen. You might remember Nancy, who won the Great British Bake Off in 2014.
A grandmother of eight, fabulous Nancy has her own website and Twitter feed full of excellent, old-fashioned remedies for everything from how to de-bobble a sweater to cleaning tarnished silver with just baking powder, tinfoil and hot water.
I am her devoted servant. If she says clean your oven with soda crystals and elbow grease, I do it. This week, Nancy showed her fans how to make their own hand sanitiser — now this is a germ repellent I can believe in.
The recipe is simple and foolproof — 40ml aloe vera gel, 60ml surgical spirit and 3-4 drops lemon or any other essential oil.
Nancy’s only tip is to add the spirit gradually, so the mixture does not split.
I made mine with eucalyptus oil — and it was perfect. Thank you Nancy!
Shame the snoterati
Is it time for a new cough etiquette in public spaces? Yes.
On the train from Sheffield to London last week, I noted one man in our carriage was wearing a surgical mask. Unfortunately, he was not the man sitting opposite me, who sneezed without covering his mouth. I fumed inwardly as usual — but what is now the correct response to this?
The traditional British reaction — a repressed inner tut — is no longer sufficient. I always have tissues with me, and from henceforth will hand them out to the blameworthy and the snoterati. The time has gone for suffering in silence. It is out with the virucidal sprays, sluicing down communal surfaces, calling the guard and cough-shaming these brutes in front of everyone.
Before it was just disgusting bad manners. Now it could be a matter of life and death.
Winning the Lottery is a real trauma
The former boyfriend of £148 million Lotto winner Gillian Bayford told The Sun how she bought luxury cars as if they were toys, writes JAN MOIR
Once more Lotto winners prove that winning a fortune can actually have a detrimental effect on your life.
The former boyfriend of £148 million Lotto winner Gillian Bayford told The Sun how she bought luxury cars as if they were toys, controlled him by threatening to take away everything she had ‘gifted’ him and lost all sense of the value of money.
Their relationship ended, despite the riches and the fact that he gave her a Robbie Williams blanket when they first met — what a guy!
‘Winning was a mixed blessing,’ she said after they split.
Meanwhile, Sally Cloke and her partner Richard won £1 million on the Lotto in 2015 and bought a lovely house — but they never lost sight of themselves and who they really were. Carer Sally has returned to nursing Alzheimer’s patients on night shifts, while Richard has gone back to his job as a carpenter.
Keeping it real means that you can survive the trauma — there is no other word for it — of sudden riches.
The month of March is a particularly low point for the complexion. Winter, central heating, wine, men. All these things take their toll. In addition to this I have Celtic sensitive skin, prone to rosacea and eczema; forever frangible and fragile.
Last week my face looked like a barked shin, like shredded parchment, like a pile of grated parsnip. This week? Oh a veritable miracle of dewy loveliness. This is thanks to the cheap-as-chips, but wonderful, Aveeno Baby range — £4 for a 150ml tube of Baby Daily Care Lotion at Tesco and other supermarkets.
Can I just say that this cream is marvellous if your skin is troubled, dry or in need of some winter care?
I can’t recommend this enough. Early days yet, but I am hooked.
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