As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic goes on, individual stories about how the changes in American life—from school and business closings to lost wages and social distancing—are affecting families are starting to surface.
Experts and government officials at the local, state, and federal levels have continued to warn Americans about hoarding food and supplies, but many store shelves are empty as people try to plan for being stuck at home. However, when you over-buy and stock your home with things you don’t need quite yet—others may go without. And that’s exactly what happened to Lauren Whitney, a mom whose TikTok video about trying to buy diapers for her child went viral.
After trying a few stores, Whitney recorded a video of herself in tears at Walmart when she couldn’t find the diapers she needed. “To all you crazy people buying out all the diapers, how am I supposed to diaper my child if I can’t afford 20 at a time like you can?” she said. It’s truly heartbreaking and a snapshot of what a lot people across the country may be feeling during an incredibly uncertain time on so many levels.
“In the moment when I was filming the clip, I was feeling stress, frustration, and fear for my family,” Whitney tells Glamour. “It had been a bad week for me and seeing the shelves bare was the straw that broke me.”
Many on social media were quick to offer words of support.
In a follow-up video, Whitney said she was thankful to everyone who offered to help. “We’re okay,” she said. “We’re not the richest of people, of course, but we’re not destitute.”