This article first appeared in The Australian newspaper on Monday 1 March 2021.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck almost exactly 12 months ago, there was chaos in supermarkets across the country as people rushed to stockpile food.

Some commentators worried that the mayhem would damage the country’s social fabric as Australians stripped tins of tomatoes and packets of spaghetti from shelves, and videos emerged on social media of shoppers fighting over packets of toilet rolls.

Panic buying made supermarkets unsafe for some vulnerable Australians. People were fearful they would not have access to food and everyday needs.

Supermarket giant Woolworths snapped into action to manage the onslaught of people along with health and safety requirements.