How your panic buying will leave our graziers high and dry
BEC Bidstrup is a grazier, a wife, a mother to a nine-month-old baby, and just one grazier in the region suffering under supply shortages and shopping restrictions as a result of panic buying.
The Bidstrups live 50kms southwest of Condamine on a property they've owned for 12 years.
The closest major town to them is Chinchilla, which is still over an hour drive away, meaning opportunities to grocery shop are few and far between.
Mrs Bidstrup and her husband travel between Dalby and Chinchilla to buy parts for their machinery once a fortnight, and co-ordinate their bulk grocery shops in with these trips.
Given they only go grocery shopping once every two weeks, what is a regular shopping trip to them looks like panic buying to others.
"We haven't been panic buying, we just bulk buy and that's just what we do," she said.
"We haven't been going crazy and haven't been buying anything more than usual. We thought it was ridiculous and we didn't engage in that at all.
"If there does happen to be stuff on the shelves, we want to get what we usually get so it seems like panic buying, but it's not for us. IT's normal buying for us because we won't be back again at two weeks."
Supply shortages have been impacting the way Mrs Bidstrup and other graziers in the region shop and provide for their families, and employees.
Basic needs like long-life milk, fruit and vegetables, and basic medicine like paracetamol are either out of supply, or have had restrictions placed on the number you can purchase at one time.
"It makes you quite anxious because you think if there was an emergency, how would I go about getting those things, especially when you live where we live," she said.
"We like to have a lot of things on hand because you don't know what you're going to need."
Employees on some stations have to travel up to four hours one way to buy groceries to feed up to a dozen workers. Restrictions and limitations on the number of supplies customers can buy at one team means chefs are having to make the four hour round trip to the shops once a week to feed the employees of the stations.
Mrs Bidstrup has also heard stories of friends in a similar position, doing their fortnightly or monthly grocery shop, have been approached by other shoppers and reprimanded for bulk-buying.
"It's the way that we live our life, and that's just our normal," Mrs Bidstrup said.
Living over an hour away from a major town in the region means she also lives over an hour away from the nearest hospitals.
What concerns Mrs Bidstrup is the "she'll be right" attitude of people in the region who believe the virus will not hit the southwest.
"They make me nervous in the sense that there's still some unknown," she said.
"I do get concerned that people are a little too casual and complacent and they thing that because we're in the country, we'll be fine.
"I see it a little differently. I think that we're only one person away from it being brought to us in the community."