Saw it up close a few hours ago….
Parking lots full…
No shopping carts…
Some shelves empty….
A day after New York officials declared a state of emergency, hordes of shoppers flooded stores and emptied shelves, looking to stockpile groceries and household items to prepare for the unknown.
Stores were overwhelmed with long lines of customers waiting just to enter what would be a space of packed aisles and backed-up checkout lanes.
Inside the Target at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, customers snatched up hand soap, lotion, detergent, vitamins and paper products. Cold and flu medicines were completely sold out.
Soon after the 9 a.m. opening at the Trader Joe’s in Hoboken, N.J., a line of nervous customers stretched along the block in the rain, waiting to pick through the mostly bare shelves inside. There was no chicken available, nor garbanzo beans, coffee or chips. The store is restocking regularly, but many of its registers are unstaffed.
In a Duane Reade store in Manhattan, there was little evidence of an overnight delivery of isopropyl alcohol and antiseptic wipes, most of it bought in the early morning. A nearby Duane Reade was attempting to refill its stock of toilet paper after its lot was sold out.
Grim-faced shoppers at a Key Food in the Windsor Terrace area of Brooklyn were met with shelves devoid of rice, bread and chicken. A manager sought to be a voice of calm. “The truck’s outside,” he said. “The truck’s outside.”
Once an undertaking reserved for the arrival of hurricanes and snowstorms, the frantic pursuit of groceries and household goods has been pushed to a more intense level in the age of the new coronavirus, as urgency and fear propel people down the aisles. Panic shopping now comes with a much more dire and ominous tone; it’s unclear what and how much one should buy in response to a pandemic…..