Naples, a Whatsapp voice invites you to stock up on food (but it’s just a fake): “Well-stocked markets”

middayMarch 5, 2022 – 8:17 am

There are those who insist on psychosis. The owners: no need to run

Of Anna Paola Meron

Here we go again. As at the beginning of the Covid, the alarms reappear, bounced from cat to cat, to push people to stock up on food. The voice is always the same: dialect cadence, reference to the children of the house, call to stock up on pasta, flour, preserves, preserves… The woman in the message says she has already done so, even going as far as a central purchasing office for those subject to VAT. He used his sister’s and so the whole family – a cross-generational approach – bought food by filling a series of carts. A tour of the supermarkets does not actually refer to any group of families possessed by the demon of hoarding. On Fridays there are those who run the weekend errands, shop for dinner with friends, at most someone buys an extra packet of flour or biscuits after hearing news about wheat stocks that are dwindling due to issues not related to the conflict but to a rise in commodity prices long before the invasion of Ukraine.


The market that no longer exists

The managers of the Neapolitan supermarkets refer to the public relations offices, they are not authorized to make statements, but they share a reassuring approach. There are stocks available and the warehouses are full. And, confirming the fact that the alarm triggered by the chat in fake chat, there is the verification carried out in the supermarket mentioned in the message, which also invests school chat groups on time. It is a supermarket in Pianura where a cousin of the lady worked, well informed of the exhaustion of stocks and quick to give the alert. The supermarket no longer exists, or rather has changed hands and belongs to another large food group. This is explained by the director who refers all concerns of spending and accumulation to the sender.

The price increases

A visit to small shops, those in the neighborhood, shows that the merchandise is there but – as a sign at Birdy’s Bakery cafe, a branch in Naples, one in Portici explains in black and white – there could be increases due to rising commodity prices. Someone steps on it, others have no choice: certainly also the price of coffee, which has risen in many bars by at least ten cents. Not a fake says the message. But it is impossible not to remember that an alarm similar to that of those days exploded in Naples also on the occasion of the Gulf War: supermarkets full and rows at the pharmacy to buy medicines to face any emergency.

iodine pills

And the current demand in pharmacies concerns iodine pills, but above all the curiosity that arose while listening to the news on television or reading the newspapers. In Switzerland they are distributed to the population who live within fifty kilometers of nuclear power plants, in Belgium they are very popular and in Naples some might think it is good to keep them close at hand. Pharmacists return requests to sender and recommend consuming iodized sea salt in cooking. Since Monday, instead, we have had an increase in requests for antibiotics, various medicines, gauze, disinfectants, cortisone – explains Alessandro Iuliano, owner of the pharmacy in Piazza dei Martiri in Naples -. We have verified the reason for this increase in demand. And we found that it was basically humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people. Therefore, stocks of drugs intended for collection centers.

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March 5, 2022 | 08:17

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