Published: 2021-02-24

Anxiety and panic buying during COVID-19 pandemic among the Mizo

Rinpari Ralte, Arun Tipandjan, Mary Ann L. Halliday, C. Zothanmawia, Ritu Modi, Devi R. Nithiya


Background: Certain behaviours have been observed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as buying and storing a lot of basic food and necessities, or hours spent obsessing over the virus. This research aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of the people living in Mizoram, a small north-eastern state in India, regarding psychological factors such as coronavirus anxiety and panic buying.

Methods: A total of 300 samples aged 20-66 years (150 males and 150 females) participated in the online survey. Those who consented to participate filled the forms which included socio-demographic details, as well as the Corona Virus Anxiety Scale and the Panic Buying Scale.

Results: Correlation analysis revealed significant positive correlations (r=0.21, p<0.000) between Coronavirus Anxiety and Panic Buying. Socio-demographic variables such as age (r=-0.12, p<0.05) and spirituality (r=0.13, p<0.05) are significantly correlated with panic buying, whereas number of family members was found to be significantly correlated (r=0.14, p<=0.05) with Coronavirus anxiety. Furthermore, females scored significantly higher than males in Coronavirus anxiety (p<0.002) and Panic Buying (p<0.007). Analysis also revealed that the number of hours spent in thinking about Covid-19 has a significant impact on Coronavirus Anxiety, and that growth in budget significantly influences Panic buying.

Conclusions: One vital policy implication of the present study is that during a pandemic the government and other responsible organizations should ensure delivery of only factual data about COVID-19 and also reassure people about the adequacy of essential commodities so that panic buying is not rampant.


COVID -19, Coronavirus anxiety, Mizoram, Pandemic, Panic buying

Full Text:



WHO. Joint statement an unpredicted private sector call to action to tackle COVID-19. Available at: Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Worldometer, COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Available at: coronavirus/. India confirms its first coronavirus case. Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Verma S, Mishra A. Depression, anxiety, and stress and socio-demographic correlates among general Indian public during COVID-19. International J Social Psychiatr. 2020;1-7.

Sim K, Chua HC, Vieta E, Fernandez G. The anatomy of panic buying related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Psychiatry Research. 2020.

Wilkens, J. Why We Hoard: Fear at Root of Panic-Buying, Psychologists Say. The San Diego Union-Tribune; 2020. Available at: https://www.sandiego hoard-fear-panic-buying-psychology. Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Dholakia U. Why are we panic buying during the coronavirus pandemic? Sci. Behind Behav. 2020. Available at: /sg/blog/the-science-behindbehavior/202003/why-are-we-panic-buying-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic. Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Yap JA. Coronavirus: why people are panic buying loo roll and how to stop it. Conversation [Online]; 2020. Available at. coronaviruswhy-people-are-panic-buying-loo-roll-and-how-to-stop-it-133115. Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Hendrix C, Brinkman HJ. Food insecurity and conflict dynamics. Causal Link. Complex Feedbacks. Stab. 2013;2(2):e26.

Shou B, Xiong H, Shen XM. Consumer Panic Buying and Quota Policy under Supply Disruptions. City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Working paper; 2013.

Jennings LC, Monto AS, Chan PK, Szucs TD, Nicholson KG. Stockpiling prepandemic influenza vaccines: A new cornerstone of pandemic preparedness plans. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2008;8(10):650-8.

Dodgson LA. Human behavior expert explains 4 psychological reasons why people are panic buying items in bulk during the coronavirus pandemic, Insider; 2020. Available at: https:// Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Kar SK, Arafat YSM, Kabir R, Sharma P, Saxena, SK. Coping with mental health challenges during COVID-19. In S. Saxena (Ed.). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Medical virology: From pathogenesis to disease control. Singapore: Springer; 2020.

PTI. Goa: Coronavirus lockdown triggers rise in mental health issues; April 10, 2020. Available at: Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Rehman U, Shahnawaz MG, Khan NH, Kharshiing KD, Khursheed M, Gupta K. Depression, Anxiety and Stress among Indians in Times of COVID 19 Lockdown. Community Mental Health J. 2020.

Goyal K, Chauhan P, Chhikara K, Gupta P, Singh M. Fear of COVID 2019: First suicidal case in India! Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;49:101989.

Mamun M, Grifths M. First COVID-19 suicide case in Bangladesh due to fear of COVID-19 and xenophobia: Possible suicide prevention strategies. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;51:102073.

Roy D, Tripathy S, Kar SJ, Sharma N, Verma SK, Kaushal V. Study of knowledge, attitude, anxiety & perceived mental healthcare need in Indian population during COVID-19 pandemic. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;51:102083.

WHO. Rolling Updates on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). (2020c) Available at: https:// navirus-2019/events-as-they-happen. Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Task Group on Media & Publicity Daily Bulletin Issue 65.pdf. Available at: https://mcovid19. Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Lee SA. Coronavirus Anxiety Scale: A brief mental health screener for COVID-19 related anxiety, Death Studies. 2020;44(7):393-401.

Lins S, Aquino S. Development and initial psychometric properties of a panic buying scale during COVID-19 pandemic. Heliyon. 2020;6:e04746.

Cronbach LJ. Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika. 1951;16:297-334.

Gonzalez-Sanguino C, Ausin B, Castellanos MA, Saiz J, Lopez-Gomez A, Ugidos C. Mental Health Consequences during the initial stage of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in Spain. Brain, Behavior and Immunity. 2020;87:172-6.

Haro JM, Palacin C, Vilagut G, Martínez M, Bernal M, Luque I. Prevalence of mental disorders and associated factors: results from the ESEMeD-Spain study. Med. Clin. (Barc). 2006;126:445.

Moghanibashi-Mansourieha A. Assessing the anxiety level of Iranian general population during COVID-19 outbreak. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;51 :102076.

Gururaj G, Varghese M, Benegal V, Rao GN, Pathak K, Singh LK, et al. and NMHS Collaborators Group. National Mental Health Survey of India, 2015-16: Prevalence, pattern and outcomes. NIMHANS Publication; 2016.

Depoux A, Martin S, Karafillakis E, Preet R, Wilder-Smith A, Larson H. The pandemic of social media panic travels faster than the COVID-19 outbreak, J Travel Medic. 2020;27(3):31.

Arafat SMY, Kar SK, Marthoenis M, Sharma P, HoqueApu E, Kabir R. Psychological underpinning of panic buying during pandemic (COVID-19). Psychiatr Res. 2020;289.

Hossain MS, Ferdous S, Siddiqee MH. Mass panic during COVID-19 outbreak- A perspective from Bangladesh as a high-risk country. J Biomedic Analyt. 2020;3(2):1-3.

Xinhua. Bat soup, biolab, crazy numbers. Misinformation "infodemic" on novel coronavirus exposed. Available at: https://www.xinhu anetcom/english/2020-02/04/c_138755586htm Accessed 30 September 2020.

Garfin DR, Silver RC, Holman EA. The novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak: amplification of public health consequences by media exposure. Health Psychol. 2020:39(5):355–7.

Holman EA, Garfin DR, Silver RC. Media’s role in broadcasting acute stress following the Boston Marathon bombings. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(1):93-8.

Lolwal M. 20% increase in patients with mental illness since coronavirus outbreak: Survey. (2020, March 31). Available at: https:// Accessed on 2 October 2020.

Hall R, Hall R, Chapman M. The 1995 Kikwit Ebola outbreak: Lessons hospitals and physicians can apply to future viral epidemics. General Hospital Psychiatr. 2008;30(5):446-52.

Qiu J, Shen B, Zhao M, Wang Z, Xie B, Xu Y. A nationwide survey of psychological distress among Chinese people in the COVID-19 epidemic: Implications and policy recommendations. General Psychiatr. 2020;33(2):e100213.

Choi EP, Hui BPH, Wan EYF. Depression and Anxiety in Hong Kong during COVID-19. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020;17:3740.