Over the coming months, increasing numbers of people will be forced to self-isolate, with as much as four out of five UK citizens contracting the virus 1. As the below charts demonstrate, extrapolated from current trends, at the peak of the pandemic somewhere between 1 million and 3 million people may be self-isolating at once.
One of the key places social distancing still poses a challenge is supermarket shopping. To make sure these measures are effective, an increasing amount of our day-to-day goods will need to be delivered as opposed to bought in-store.
In short, by themselves supermarkets are neither capable of meeting the demand nor should they have to. The state needs to step in. Food policy experts at the University of London have written a letter to the government stating food planning is in crisis and that a rationing system should be implemented immediately. We propose a comprehensive central planning system to distribute basic essentials via a fair and efficient delivery system. The system would be aimed at providing day-to-day essential items for those who are housebound, either due to disabilities and long-term illness or who are self-isolating due to the virus. It would involve: