A TikTok video of a mum crying in a supermarket over sold-out nappies has revealed the surreal impact of panic-buying amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Utah woman Lauren Whitney told Buzzfeed she went to her local Walmart to get a box of nappies for her 18-month-old daughter, Rosalynd.

But all she could find were empty aisles, with her daughter's size sold out.

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Devastated, the mother filmed her reaction.

"To all you crazy people buying out all the diapers, how am I supposed to ..." she said before breaking down in tears.

"How am I supposed to diaper my child if I can't afford to buy 20 at a time like you can?"

Whitney, who works part-time at a movie theatre to help subsidise her family's income, told Buzzfeed said she didn't intend to share the video on TikTok, but she accidentally uploaded it in her emotional state.

An hour later she saw it went viral and decided to keep it up as it needed to be seen.

"I'd love for people to realise that all this panic-buying and hoarding is making it hard for lower-income families or families on a budget," she told Buzzfeed.

"Some people can't get to the stores when the trucks arrive. Some people don't have the money to go when the trucks arrive because they get paid later. If we all just purchased what we needed at the time, the shelves would stay stocked."

When asked if she managed to find the nappies, she said: "I found two boxes in her size. I purchased one and left the other for someone else." And, that, is how you 'human'.


Others chimed in about panic-buying behaviour and left comments on the mum's video.

"I went to Walmart today and there wasn't ANY formula, I felt so bad for those who REALLY need it," one commenter wrote.

"That behaviour is NOT COMMUNITY," another said. "No compassion. So sorry."

"The virus won't kill us, it's the greed. I'm so sorry mama," one comment read.

Currently, New Zealand supermarket staff are being abused by frustrated members of the public as stores struggle to keep up with the impact of coronavirus.

Products like hand sanitiser and toilet paper had been flying off the shelves since New Zealand had its first case confirmed.

A woman who attended New World Kumeu recently said customers were being revolting to its checkout operators.

Queuing for the checkout, the woman witnessed customers give staff a "really hard time" about products being out of stock or having limits on them.

"The checkout operator said that they're getting abused frequently at the moment by frustrated customers," the woman posted.

"This is pretty shabby behaviour. How about we all leave our entitlement and self-importance at the door and show a little patience and understanding?"

Shoppers were asked to be kind to Foodstuffs' (New World and Pak'nSave) staff on the front line who were trying to do their jobs.

Footage has captured the moment toilet paper-hungry Australians caused unrest at an Aldi store where a crowd of shoppers can be seen rushing down an aisle to claim the scarce commodity before it was all taken. Video / Clayton Gubbels

"We may all need to take a deep breath from time to time, everyone is doing their best," head of corporate affairs Antoinette Laird said.

"The arrival of Covid-19 has absolutely put pressure on our supply chain, but it's robust and we're coping well under the circumstances.

"The best thing people can do to help us get through this to shop normally and resist the temptation to stock up, this is where the pressure comes."

Elsewhere, Countdown supermarket reminded Kiwis there was no need to panic-buy.