Nurse Breaks Down In Tears At Empty Supermarket Shelves After ’48-Hour Shift’

by : Cameron Frew on :


An nurse’s emotional video has struck a chord online, illustrating the effects of panic-buying and stock-piling on health workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Globally, there have been more than 245,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Naturally, it’s a stressful time for people navigating the constant swathes of information, and as a result, shoppers have felt compelled to be extra careful and stock up on supplies.


However, this understandable phenomenon directly effects those who can’t beat the queues – as they’re too busy on the front line, maintaining the NHS and attending to those in need.

Covid 19 Corona Virus panic buying in the UK - Friday night empty nappy shelves with a sign advising restraint in purchasing at a London Sainsburys store as sales of vital good and medical products are being rationed across London stores to counter panic bCameron Frew

Dawn Bilbrough, a critical health nurse from York, England, uploaded a teary video to Facebook after coming off a 48-hour shift briefly to go to the supermarket, only to find no fruit and vegetables and people stripping the shelves.

The 51-year-old said: 


So I’ve just come out the supermarket. There’s no fruit and veg… I had a little cry in there. I’m a critical care nurse and I’ve just finished 48 hours of work and I just wanted to get some stuff in for the next 48 hours.

There’s no fruit, there’s no vegetables and I just don’t know how I’m supposed to stay healthy. Those people who are just stripping the shelves have basic foods you just need to stop it because it’s people like me that are going to be looking after you when you are at your lowest and just stop it, please.

Dawn Bilbrough NurseDawn Bilbrough/Facebook

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Since being uploaded yesterday, March 19, the video has been viewed more than 407,000 times, amassing more than 21,000 shares in the process and Dawn appeared on ITV’s This Morning today, March 20, to discuss the viral clip.

In response to the recurring empty shelves across the UK, with toilet paper and pasta being the biggest hitters, supermarkets such as Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Aldi have rolled out limits on certain items in order to give everyone a fair shake of the day’s stock (many branches have also started reserving the first two hours of the day for elderly customers).


During his daily press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to be sensible and ‘reasonable’ when it comes to shopping, assuring that we have ‘good supply chains, farm to fork, there’s no reason for shops to be empty’.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty (left) and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance (Right) watch as Prime Minister Boris JohnsonCameron Frew

He added: ‘Of course, everybody understands why people are buying stuff, we’re all being advised to stay at home if we think we have symptoms. But please be reasonable. Be reasonable in your shopping, be considerate and thoughtful of others as you do it.’

Try your best to curb the anxiety around groceries and supplies. Panic-buying insures your own home but deprives others – be rational, but above all, be kind.


It’s okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization on coronavirus, click here.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Health, Coronavirus, COVID-19, NHS, Nurse, Shopping, supermarket


Dawn Bilbrough/Facebook
  1. Dawn Bilbrough/Facebook