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COVID-19: Why are we panic buying?

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A shopkeeper, left, is questioned by police officers as packs of bath tissue papers block a road in Hong Kong, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.
A shopkeeper, left, is questioned by police officers as packs of bath tissue papers block a road in Hong Kong, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.   -   Copyright  Kin Cheung/Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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With people increasingly concerned about how the outbreak will develop, we're seeing more and more cases of panic buying - even as governments reassure their citizens that they don't need to stockpile goods.

To help understand why that's happening, Good Morning Europe spoke to Professor Neil Greenberg from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London.

"It's very common when crises happen that people begin to plan on how to keep themselves and their families safe," Professor Greenberg says.

I think what we're seeing is a balance between people trying to not get over-anxious but at the same time prepare for what might be a difficult situation
Professor Neil Greenberg

Just the facts

Greenberg says it's important that people turn to trusted sources to learn the facts about the situation, rather than worrying about what the mass media or their friends might be saying.

"Only with good facts can people make sensible decisions."

To listen to the full interview with Professor Neil Greenberg, click on the media player above.

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