SIR – In a time when we should all be thinking of each other, why are some of us stockpiling ridiculous quantities of items?

We’ve heard repeated pleas from the authorities and supermarkets not to panic buy, not to stockpile, and yet day after day, the shops are seemingly filled with shelf raiders, desperate to get their hands on as many items as possible.

It’s not even the obvious essential item anymore, like it was initially. Now it’s washing powders, bin bags and tomato ketchup.

A few days ago, I saw a man with about 25l worth of bottled water. I guess he must have been expecting the water supply to be cut off. Someone else, with around 20kg of frozen chips. People squabbling over pasta sauce.

Two nights ago, my wife, trying to find one bottle of tomato sauce for our ketchup-addicted son, witnessed an elderly gentlemen with a single tin of beans in a basket, walking up and down totally empty shelves searching for food.

I imagine food banks are in much the same situation, now. And people who shop for the elderly and vulnerable in society. The restrictions imposed by supermarkets have made their actions much harder, because carers can no longer buy what their dependents need, even if it is on the shelves.

What kind of heartless, selfish people have some of us turned into? Those of you who have raided the shelves and bought everything, irrespective of genuine need – you should all be utterly ashamed of yourselves.

You’re a disgrace, and you’re actually responsible for creating the shortage that you’re all scared about!

To everyone else, who showed common sense, restraint, and consideration for the needs of others – well done and thank you.

We’re all in this together.

Mike O’Sullivan