Consumers should consider the likely economic and health consequence when purchasing non-essential items during the coronavirus pandemic, says Nicole Hassoun, professor of philosophy at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

“Many people who can do so are making an effort to keep local businesses alive in ways that minimize the transmission of disease (e.g., by purchasing gift certificates from businesses that will reopen eventually), but it is hard to support farmers who are producing many of our products abroad without purchasing the things they make now,” says Hassoun. “I would just encourage people to take seriously the need to support those in need, understanding as much as they can about the likely economic consequences, as well as direct health effects, of their decisions.”

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