Crying mum's heartbreaking video about panic-buying goes viral

Lauren Whitney's TikTok video blasting panic-buyers has received more than 5 million views. Photos: TikTok

Lauren Whitney’s heartbreaking plea to end panic-buying has gone viral around the globe amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Utah mother of four shared a video of herself in distress to TikTok after attempting to buy nappies for her 18-month-old daughter, Rozalyn. Lauren recorded the video after she became frustrated when there were none left on the shelves.

In the video, Lauren films herself standing near the empty Walmart shelves, visibly upset that she can’t find what she needs for her daughter.

“So all you crazy people buying out all the diapers, how am I supposed to diaper my child if I can’t afford to buy 20 at a time like you can?” she says through tears in the video.

The video struck a chord with social media users, and quickly racked up more than 5 million views. Lauren said she decided to film herself after reaching her breaking point during a particularly stressful week, which saw her get demoted at work.

“I went to a few other stores first. I ended up at Walmart and I was just looking for diapers...and there was just none in her size anywhere,” she told TODAY Parents. “And I think it was the straw that broke the camel's back for the week. And my emotions kind of bubbled up and I was like, ‘Somebody needs to hear this.’”

Lauren works part time at a movie theatre to help support her family, and has done so since her husband went back to school after serving in the military. Unlike some families, Lauren said she can’t afford to buy household necessities in bulk.

“There's so many people out there like myself that we, we don't get paid very much. So, you know, we're low income families and so it's hard for us to be able to just go out and buy a large amount of things at one time,” she said.

“When we do have the funds to be able to go purchase things and it's not there for us to buy, it's very frustrating. So those people that are buying in bulk or that are clearing the shelves make it harder for those of us that either are low income or only get paid every two weeks or even once a month.”

Lauren is a mum of four. Photos: Instagram/laurenloveshere

Since posting the video, Lauren said she has received positive and supportive messages from people, some even offering to send her diapers.

“I had to respond to every single one saying, ‘Hey, we're fine. We're OK. I was able to find some,’ but it's so wonderful to see all the positive comments,” she said.

Unfortunately, she has also received cruel and hurtful comments from people telling her to “not have children if you can’t afford them.”

Lauren hopes more people will think twice before they give in to panic buying and think of others before they buy in bulk.

“I’m really hoping that other people can just stop and think that there are other families out there that might also need things,” she said. “I just hope that people can understand that by purchasing 10 or 20 boxes at a time, it leaves nothing for those of us that can't do that.”

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