Normally, I would have been a bit dismissive of the term 'fear of missing out', or FOMO, as it's known, but the ongoing coronavirus situation puts this into stark reality.
Some people are blaming the media for all the hype, and consequently driving panic buying.
I don't get this, as I read all this content too, but I don't hoard, and I don't know anybody that does.
The phenomenon of hoarding has had saturated media coverage of late. I am pretty sure I wouldn't add anything substantive to what has already been said. But I do know the way purchasing is done in the country and the attitude to "make do with what you have" is very different to what it is in the city.
The tyranny of distance plays a large part in this. It is just not practical or feasible to head into the shops every time you think you may need something. Most of us were brought up in situations where we were pretty much self sufficient. I know I was.
Related reading:Get serious about keeping your distance, bush told
When I was quite young, meat and most fruit and vegetables were homegrown. As were the eggs, milk and cream.
An excursion into town to do the shopping was quite a big deal, as it only happened once every few weeks. Lots of people had Eudunda Farmers accounts, and there was not a credit card in sight.
Most farmers make do with what they have on-hand. This particularly applies to urgent repairs. Find what you can, and fix the problem. Some people can seemingly engineer almost anything they need out of material that is just lying about.
Where inventiveness comes to the fore is out in the paddock. Some poly pipe needs fixing, the sheep or cattle have knocked over a fence, or the air seeder requires a quick patch up job to keep the show on the road. This is where the back of the ute comes in handy. It's amazing what you can find in the tool box, or rattling around the tray.
Related reading: MLA shuts offices, keeps market reporters from saleyards
We are indeed very lucky to live in Australia, with the abundant resources and freedoms we have. Some people take this for granted, but I think we all need to reflect on this a bit more.
A friend of mine put a post up online this week reflecting on a conversation with his 80-year-old mother. The potential isolation and panic buying that is happening did not faze her at all. Her brother had polio in the 1940s and the whole family was isolated for six weeks, with no Netflix to take away the boredom back then.
Equally, I am sure that most country people are quite bemused by the sights they have seen on television and online, with supermarket shelves being stripped bare of certain products.
There seems to be more time and space outside the city to work out what is important and what isn't. Self isolation is much easier to achieve with no one else in close proximity.
I am sure there will be a few curve balls coming in the next few months. But as someone said to me recently, this could well be agriculture's time to shine. I agree.
- Details: bagshawagriconsulting.com.au
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