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One Utah woman recently went viral on TikTok by candidly denouncing bulk-buyers who are making it difficult for those who can’t afford to stock up in such extremes during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Though the mom of four has since admitted that she never expected her message to go as far and wide as it has, she hopes the quick clip reminds people to stay calm and think of others during this trying time.
Earlier this week, Lauren Whitney went diaper-shopping for her youngest daughter and felt frustrated when there were none left in her child’s size at multiple stores, BuzzFeed News reports. Inspired, Whitney spoke her mind in an emotional TikTok address that has since gone wildly viral with over 5.2 million views, 894,000 likes and more than 14,000 comments.
“To all you crazy people buying out all the diapers - how am I supposed to diaper my child if I can't afford to buy 20 [boxes] at a time like you can?” the mom asked through tears, showing off nearly empty Walmart store shelves in front of her.
TikTok users were largely sympathetic to Whitney’s plight, and agreed that such scarcities were “literally happening all over the nation" during the pandemic.
"I’m so sorry you have to go through this,” one commenter said.
“There is ZERO reason for everyone to be buying things AS SOON AS THEY HIT THE SHELVES. I would cry also,”’ another echoed.
“People have no consideration for others during this time. Especially for people who have strict budgets,” one argued.
THANK YOU!!!! I mean holy moly, I did not expect that!♬ original sound - browncoatbetty
In a follow-up post, Whitney thanked the supporters for their kind words and offers of help.
“We’re OK, we're not the richest of people of course, but we're not destitute. I just wanted to post that video to bring awareness to the fact that people are going out and panic buying are causing problems for those of us who can't afford to go and do that,” she explained.
Whitney also shared that it had been a “rough week” at work, and that while she was appreciative of people’s suggestions of cloth diapers for her daughter, the youngster was almost potty-trained so it wouldn’t be a wise investment.
Moving forward, Whitney said she hopes the now-viral video serves as a valuable reminder for others to think of the bigger picture.
"I'd love for people to realize that all this panic-buying and hoarding is making it hard for lower income families or families on a budget," she told BuzzFeed.
"Some people can't get to the stores when the trucks arrive. Some people don't have the money to go when the trucks arrive because they get paid later. If we all just purchased what we needed at the time, the shelves would stay stocked," she said.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, many panicked shoppers are stocking up on supplies at an alarming rate to possibly get them through days or weeks of being holed up indoors.
The surge in demand for everyday products is prompting shortages of critical items and leaving store shelves unusually empty. Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, water, non-perishable food and cleaning products, in particular, remain in high demand.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.