Re: Look at the super markets.
"One can't be too surprised that most of the population are busily trying to lay in 2 weeks worth of food at home; they've been told to do it!"
It's worse than that. The extra week's worth of supplies represents a double of demand on the supermarkets on paper - their supply chains just aren't geared up for that, hence the shelves being empty. My favourite comments have been along the lines of "bl00dy panic buyers! I'm just buying an extra packet of pasta and paracetamol" - well quite, and if everyone is doing that, shelves will be empty in no time.
On top of this, it's estimated 1/3 of the UK consumption of meals come from restaurants, cafes, takeaways, pubs etc. We've been recommended to avoid this. So that's a 50% increase in home food supplies that come from.. the supermarkets.
Then we add in all the people working from home and now the schools closing. That increases the levels of food and sundries required in the household. It's probably fair to say that around 30% of (say) bog roll usage occurs at work or school - so that's another 50% increase of required in the house.
And that's without the people who are gearing up to self-isolate for 12 weeks and don't necessarily have the support network in place to have people do shopping for them.
The measures in place have, at best guess, led to a tripling of shopping demands by consumers.