After China relaxed some of its COVID restrictions, the number of positive infections soared. Many people are worried that they may contract the virus, so they are stocking up on items from COVID antigen kits, medicines for fevers and colds, and vitamins. On December 15, the topic of “grabbing canned yellow peaches in the north and grabbing vinegar in the south” was ranked on the hot search list, arousing the public’s discussions.
According to Chinese media Xin Tang Ren, medicines are in short supply. Therefore, canned yellow peaches have recently been labeled as “relieving the symptoms of patients with COVID.” The item is currently out of stock in many online shops.
As CNN Business reported, due to the surge in consumption, one of China’s major canned food companies, Dalian Leasun Food, had to clarify in a Weibo post that canned yellow peaches have no medicinal value.
The company’s post on December 16 read, “Canned yellow peaches ≠ medicines!” adding, “There is enough supply, so there is no need to panic. There is no rush to buy.”
China’s state-run media, The People’s Daily, also attempted to clarify the situation. On December 11, it posted a lengthy Weibo post pleading with people not to hoard peaches, calling them “useless in alleviating symptoms of illness.”
It is reported that many northern residents have emptied shelves of canned peaches—meanwhile, people in the south are stocking up on vinegar.
In a document, a company in Guangdong demanded staff and distributors to refrain from stacking up on vinegar because of large fluctuations in e-commerce sales.
Besides vinegar and canned yellow peaches, people have also snapped up lemons with the belief that they can relieve the symptoms of COVID. Lemons were then quickly sold out from stalls to e-commerce platforms, even fetching $1.45 apiece.
In this regard, many netizens lamented,
“What’s there to grab… I feel like I’m crazy. A few days ago, people were grabbing lemons, oranges, and tomatoes? Now they’re grabbing this… so blind.”
“Weifang, Shandong, My mother has been drinking vinegar for two nights.”
China’s so-called “zero-COVID” policy was loosened in response to widespread demonstrations against the strict viral regulations that had devastated the economy and forced millions of people inside their homes.