Undoubtedly, you have heard stories by now about ridiculously overpriced hand sanitizer, empty shelves of toilet paper and pasta, and all the other crazy COVID-19 related shopping trends. I heard them too, and I did not believe it. My research at the Old Saybrook Walmart has proved me very very wrong.
The following photos, as well as the headline picture, were taken today at Walmart:
That’s a lot of empty shelves! Bleach, hand soap, dish soap, detergent, hand sanitizer, and all other sorts of cleaning products were wiped clean from the shelves. Grocery and department stores all over America, and plenty of other countries, are running out of these same items. I was really shocked to see that, in a state where the most recent statistic claimed there were five confirmed cases of COVID-19, this panic buying was still present. I have never seen anywhere near that many empty shelves in any Walmart before. That convinced me that this specific symptom of Coronavirus was a problem that warranted addressing.
There are a few very obvious risks with going out to buy an apocalypse worth of GermX. For one, exposing yourself to a packed grocery store may also expose you to Coronavirus. Also, suppose a sick person’s family needs disinfecting supplies; if all the soap is off the shelves then those people, who are at high risk of getting sick, might not be able to protect themselves. This behavior also inflates prices to an ungodly degree. This is why we see headlines about super expensive Purell and toilet paper.
There is no real good reason to go out and by so much cleaning product and dried spaghetti. It is crazy and dangerous. So next time those shelves are restocked, be a little bit of a smarter consumer and citizen.