As fears of the novel coronavirus continue to rise, people are hitting the stores to stock up on essentials like toilet paper, canned food, soap and hand sanitizer.
Around the world and at home in Canada, the panic has left stores completely out of stock on these items, leading to supply chain disruptions and leaving some empty-handed.
Some have taken to social media and posted photos of empty shelves, picked-over packages of pasta and other items completely removed in big-name grocery stores like Walmart, Costco and Trader Joe’s.
“It is easier on the supply chain if people gradually build up their household stores instead of making large-scale purchases all at once,” reads the site. “To do this, you can add a few extra items to your grocery cart every time you shop.”
Not heeding these universal warnings, many have gone ahead and stockpiled anyways.
A Costco location in Ajax, Ont., saw line ups stretching nearly the entire length of the store.
In New York City, people are buying pasta in massive quantities — except lasagna noodles, for some reason.
all over nyc, coronavirus preppers are hoarding pasta but leaving behind lasagna! poor lasagna. pro tip: if u break it up into smaller pieces it just becomes janky pappardelle pic.twitter.com/NgXajHhVNj
— Yasmin Tayag (@yeahyeahyasmin) March 6, 2020
A Trader Joe’s location in Los Angeles is completely barren, leaving little food for those who didn’t make it in during the first-wave panic-purchase rush.
In LA I literally can’t find food. Everyone rly needs to stop hoarding. It’s ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/efMelu6prn
— lauren (@LaurenEvelyn__) March 13, 2020
One L.A. resident had a sense of humour about an interesting typo made at a local Costco. The typo means the store’s next shipment of toilet paper isn’t coming for another 23,000 years, the Twitter user wrote.
With all the panicking and hoarding, my local Costco is out of toilet paper for the next 23,000 years. If only I had a DeLorean and 1.21 Gigawatts of power. #coronavirus #CostcoPanicBuying pic.twitter.com/82SRgyqv2X
— Gabrielle Birchak (@GabriellBirchak) March 5, 2020
A grocery store in Guelph, Ont., is seeing checkout lineups that stretch around the perimeter of the store as well as empty shelves where water once was.
A Toronto Loblaws located on Lakeshore Boulevard had only a few items left on the shelves and a ton of Easter candy.
Shelves are totally empty in certain stores in Germany.
Empty shelves in Germany #coronavirus
The German word for panic hoarding is Hamsterkauf, made up of the German words for “hoarding” (hamstern) and “buy” (kaufen)
“Hamstern” comes from the hamster, which stores food in its cheeks. pic.twitter.com/K4rhh798HQ
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) March 2, 2020
Fresh eggs, dairy and vegetables appear to be moving quickly in Denmark, while beer and toilet paper remain in stock.
— 𝓑𝓻𝓲𝓪𝓷 🖥 (@BrianLockwood) March 12, 2020
Grocery stores in the European country had lines starting before the sun even rose on March 11.
— Dr Anuja Pradhan (@anujap) March 11, 2020
A social media user from the Philippines shared a photo from a local grocery store rationing soap and hand sanitizer.
Amidst this hoarding and panic buying i hope people dont vent out their frustration to our fellow fist line workers. They dont wanna go out as much as you do but they have to if they want have food on the table
A drop of kindness in this sea of chaos is enough to cause a ripple pic.twitter.com/4dCABo4HkL
— augustus (@Last1Braincell) March 11, 2020
One Twitter user pointed out that the elderly, who may not be able to head to grocery stores, will be the ones who suffer.
Confused about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is very low for Canadians, but they caution against travel to affected areas (a list can be found here). If you do travel to these places, they recommend you self-monitor to see whether you develop symptoms and if you do, to contact public health authorities.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.