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'There's No Fruit Or Veg': U.K. Nurse Makes Emotional Plea To Panicked Shoppers

Panic shopping as the coronavirus spreads in the United Kingdom has driven supermarkets to limit sales of certain items and add security to keep customers in line. Still, many shelves have been stripped bare, which led to this tearful video that has struck a nerve across the country.

On Thursday, Dawn Bilbrough, a nurse in England's National Health Service in West Yorkshire, posted the video on Facebook in which she breaks down in a supermarket parking lot after she's unable to buy enough food.

"I've just come out of the supermarket," says Bilbrough, sitting in her car. "There's no fruit or veg."

"I had a little cry in there," she continues, tearing up. "I'm a critical care nurse. I've just finished 48 hours of work. I just don't know how I'm supposed to stay healthy. People are just stripping the shelves of basic foods. You just need to stop it, because it's people like me that are going to be looking after you when you're at your lowest, so just stop it."

The video was streamed widely and captured the feelings of many in the U.K. who've urged shoppers to be thoughtful and show restraint.

As of Friday morning, 3,983 people in the U.K. had tested positive for the coronavirus and 177 had died. The government has ordered pubs, restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses to close.

Panic buying is leading to other painful scenes. Earlier this week, a father and his young daughter walked into a Sainsbury's supermarket in Walton-on-Thames, a town outside of London, to find most of the shelves empty.

"There's no food left, Daddy," the little girl said. "We're too late."

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Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.
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