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Lisa Smyth

Sight of empty shelves hit home about how Coronavirus crisis will impact on my kids

Lisa Smyth


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Empty supermarket shelves which were once filled with toilet rolls are now commonplace

Empty supermarket shelves which were once filled with toilet rolls are now commonplace

PA

Empty supermarket shelves which were once filled with toilet rolls are now commonplace

I have been fairly relaxed about my approach to coronavirus until now.

When it first came to light and we were warned that it would find its way to Northern Ireland, my first concern was for my two children, aged six and two.

However, I was quickly reassured by the experts who stressed that most children are largely unaffected by coronavirus, that for most it is a mild illness. It turns out, however, that the greater risk to my family is the stockpiling of food by panicked consumers desperate to make sure they don't go hungry in the coming weeks and months.

As the mum to a very picky toddler, finding foods that appeal to his palate can be an almost impossible task.

His diet is fairly limited - essentially, if it isn't frozen, battered or covered in breadcrumbs, he isn't interested.

Pasta, toast, bananas and fruit pouches are basically the only exception to that very strict rule.

So, when I arrived at Asda to do my shopping on Thursday night, I was horrified that I couldn't get one item of food for my son.

I knew beforehand the chances of getting pasta were slim but was dumbfounded at the sight of the bakery aisle. The only things that remained were birthday cakes and one solitary half-pan loaf of white bread with the cellophane wrapping ripped open.

I was fortunate that I was able to spend a couple of hours driving around different shops yesterday to try and gather up some foods that he likes.

I understand perfectly well that if he gets hungry enough, he will eat.

I know that ultimately he won't starve. I'm luckier than the mums with young babies who need formula to sustain their babes in arms - but for the first time since all of this began, I felt genuinely worried about how this is all going to impact on my children.

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