When one things of starving people, one thinks of people maybe in Asia or Africa in a lot of pain. But in the Western world, people have another pain, which is the pain of due to the COVID-19 crisis being unable to sink their teeth into a delicious Big Mac or Whopper from McDonalds or Burger King, in a report according to Business Insider.
Burger King reopened its first UK location on Thursday after shutting down all locations in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When the restaurant opened at noon, lines of cars already snaked around the block, clogging the streets of the small town of Havant in Hampshire, according to a report in the UK’s Metro. A Hampshire resident told the Metro that he saw a steady stream of cars all day with a spike in traffic around dinnertime.
As fast-food chains reopen restaurants around the world, customers are flocking back to drive-thrus in hordes. In France during late April, customers waited up to three hours to order at a McDonald’s restaurant in an Île de France town after it reopened, according to the French news outlet Le Parisien.
Twitter users posted photos and videos of long lines and clogged roads as more McDonald’s restaurants reopened across the country. One Twitter user wrote in French, “People understand nothing! We are going towards our doom. Why is [McDonald’s] already loosening things up? Unacceptable!”
In an earnings call attended by Business Insider, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said that the chain had seen unprecedented enthusiasm at reopenings around the world.
“You may have seen, in the last week, as we’ve opened up in a few of these markets we had a three-hour wait at one of our restaurants, in France, for people to get through the drive-thru,” Kempczinski told investors and reporters on the call. “In Austria, we had a two-mile line of people looking to get into the drive-thru.”
This week in New Zealand, police were forced to intervene when crowds got out of hand for the reopening of an Auckland location of BurgerFuel, a New Zealand-based burger chain with 88 restaurants around the world. There were also long lines at KFC and McDonald’s as those chains reopened in New Zealand as well. Some stores even ran out of food after being overwhelmed by eager customers. (source)
People are talking about a “food crisis” right now in the US, and even the western world. From what I have seen, there is no “food crisis”, but a political and business contract crisis that is being employed to drive up food prices so those who hold contracts for agricultural futures can make money. It’s not an actual crisis of starvation, but strictly a struggle for power between different groups for more power.
The Western world is not starving. Starving people will eat whatever they can. They do not get in their cars and drive to McDonalds to wait for hours to get a Big Mac. They are either dying and falling over from pain, or they are violently attacking people to get something to eat.
In fact, the real danger of this is the spread of COVID-19 accidentally through food preparation. As I have noted, the virus has been spreading rapidly, it is dangerous, and a lot of people have become very sick, suffered, and died from it. This is a pandemic, and the fact that one would value eating a Whopper instead of public safety is indicative of the attitude which most have.
There is a strong chance this virus could re-emerge in the fall. The uncaring and overall apathetic attitude to the virus and its spread is going to add to this danger.
The time to prepare, howver, is right now.
Instead of thinking about eating a Bic Mac, think about the ant and the grasshopper. The ant, for all purposes given the modern context, worked hard at getting supplies. The grasshopper, by comparison, saw the improving conditions and went over to McDonalds, munching on a Big Mac and living his life. When the pandemic re-emerged, the ant was ready, meanwhile the grasshopper was forced to fight with other grasshoppers at Wal-Mart over the last roll of toilet paper.
Hopefully it will not re-emerged, but one cannot assume that such will happen. Expect the virus to return later this year, and be prepared for it. Put down the Big Mac and pick up a bag of pasta, rice, or beans instead. It is more nutritious, will feed a man for much longer, and will be a lot more helpful for the future as commodity prices continue to rise and supply chains are manipulated for political ends as they are being so now.