Pandemic Panic

Gone shopping in the last few days?  Fun, wasn’t it?

Here in Western New York, we know to keep our pantries well stocked in the event of winter storms and power outages.

But I have never seen panic shopping like I’ve seen recently.  Store shelves are wiped out of pretty much EVERYTHING.  I saw this posted on Facebook:

“I swear I was not panicking before today. But I ventured into the world today to pick up a few groceries to make dinner. There was absolute mass chaos, people buying 15-20 gallons of milk at a time!!! The milk ran completely out, people were getting mad. There is no milk, no bottled water, no butter, no bread, the canned good and pasta aisles were COMPLETELY sold out, the toilet paper and paper towels were completely wiped out too. It wasn’t until I fully looked around me, saw people with MULTIPLE carts filled to the brim frantically piling the last of the food left in the entire store in their cart. It was then I realized I couldn’t buy the basic foods I was planning to get for dinner. So I’m ashamed to say, my heart started racing realizing this ENTIRE store was being ransacked and shelfs were going completely bare and I think it’s safe to say I’m starting to panic a bit. What about the elderly that can only go out once a week? What about the people that don’t have vehicles to run out before everything’s gone? What about the people that live pay check to pay check that don’t have enough money to stock up months in advance?? Its not the Corona Virus that’s making me panic, its watching people lose their damn minds that’s making me panic!!!”

The poster added:

“Like what are you gonna do with 20 milks??? they will probably expire by the time they’d get used…and then the milk ran out by the time a family of 8 came in and could have really used a few gallons.”

And that pretty much says it all.  It’s not so much that people are afraid of Covid-19 or quarantine – after, most people manage to keep a couple of weeks worth of supplies in their houses.  I think people are more afraid that when they need something from the store, there won’t be anything left – so let’s stock up now!

I admit that I also felt some panic and stocked up on certain items (like toilet paper – hey, I have colitis!), but I didn’t hoard.  Between hubby and me we have plenty to get us through whatever is likely to happen in the next couple of months.  However, we have a small house and there’s limited storage area so we couldn’t go totally nuts.

Although I did have to laugh when hubby called me from the store to say he had a nice supply of flour and other baking items.  Those of you who bake will appreciate my amusement when he said he had FOUR cans of baking powder.  (I told him to put three of them back.)

While  he was shopping, it occurred to me that I’ve always wanted a small freezer, so I went online to check out prices.  Everywhere I looked, the smaller chest freezers were sold out.  Guess lots of people had the same idea.  That was confirmed when I next stopped in a store and discovered that the ENTIRE MEAT AISLE had been wiped out, as well as the ENTIRE FROZEN VEGETABLES AISLE.

Today, at least one store is limiting purchases – one family pack of toilet paper, two cans of a particular fruit or veggie, two dozen eggs, etc.

I’d like to think the stores will all restock in the next week or so, but then I remember that this particular panic is nationwide.  I’ve heard from friends all across the country who are facing the same empty-store situation.

Is it time to start worrying?  Probably not, but just in case, I’ll be fattening up Puppy Cody – I’ve heard dog meat can be quite tasty if prepared properly:

Nooooo – not Puppy Cody!

On second thought, I may need Puppy Cody to guard the house against ransackers.  You’re safe for now, Puppy Cody.

Meanwhile, I did stock up on the most important item:

Stay safe and healthy, everyone.  This, too, shall pass.


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Images of empty store shelves by Tia; other images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

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64 Responses to Pandemic Panic

  1. Marc Beebe says:

    This is what does us in: not the virus, but the reaction to it. Stupidity rules.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tippy Gnu says:

    I think everyone’s worrying about being quarantined, like they’re doing in Italy and Spain. It’s crazy madness out there. But at least there will be no lack of work for truckers and supermarket employees.


  3. We’ve seen panic buying here, eggs, fresh produce, baked beans, pasta, rice, tea bags and later UHT milk. Paracetamol and hand washes were sold out over a week ago. We’ve changed our shopping habits and shop in the evening, few people, and the shelves have been restocked with recent deliveries. So far, we are on top of all of it. Glad I took advantage of a special offer on toilet rolls over a month ago before all this started and bought two 12 packs for a tenner. Death rate and cases rising here in the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I should have said in my post that the panic is worldwide instead of just nationwide. So far, we’ve only had 1 death in New York State, and no cases as yet in my county. But it’s coming, and everyone knows that.


      • We’ve had the highest increase in cases and deaths in one day today. Nothing in our immediate vicinity that we know of, but we’re not taking any chances as we live in a holiday resort.


        • Ugh, I didn’t realize you’re in a tourist area. We live within 30 minutes drive to Niagara Falls and 2 minutes from the airport. We, too, are trying to stay in as much as possible, although we still need to work. My daughter’s company (health insurance) has told all their employees to start working from home, but my job and my hubby’s job can’t be done that way.


          • We’re 500 yards from a popular beach, and Hubby discovered we have 35,000 holiday caravans in ours and the surrounding areas! Holy moly! Holiday lets, beach huts, B&Bs all see a lot of business over the holidays and with Easter round the corner, we are just a tad anxious. Luckily we are ‘retired’ though not state pensioners yet so can do things like shopping at odd hours.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol says:

    I went shopping earlier in the week to get what I needed, and my store was well stocked with everything. I always shop for two weeks at a time, so I’m good now. So are Shasta and the cats, and their regular food delivery happens again next week – I buy their food online to prevent me having to lug it around too much.


  5. It is a national issue and it IS stupid. it’s one thing to stock up on dry goods, but people are stocking up on food that will go bad before any uses it. Luckily, no one is stocking up on food around here — just toilet paper and paper towels. Both me and my son have IBS, so TP is not an extravagance. And because they doubled the price on almost EVERYTHING, we can’t buy more food until next week.

    I’m sending out Garry to pick up a dozen eggs and a small container (if available) of milk so I can bake. We are not out of food, but we don’t have a lot of food and we don’t have a lot of “spare” stuff. I put the pork loin, sliced to a good size for Chinese food (my favorite way to stretch a little to feed a lot of us) to marinate. And I buy rice 20 lbs. at a time anyway, so I think I’ve got at least a months worth in the container. We just got rid of our chest freezer. A bad time to give up sniffing glue! But Owen just ordered glue, so …


    • Our stores haven’t raised prices, they’re just running out of everything. And apparently it’s not just national – bloggers in other countries are telling me they have the same empty store problems. The whole world’s gone crazy.


  6. Trent Lewin says:

    Everyone gotta remain somewhat calm. Panic buying begets panic busying. Social distancing, being smart about what you’re doing, where you’re going, changing your lifestyle just now… all good things. Buying out grocery stores? Inherently very selfish.


  7. simplywendi says:

    it is crazy out there. it is so frustrating for those of us with chronic illnesses and/or family members with illnesses that we can find basic supplies because people went out and hoarded them all…………..Lord help us! 🙂


  8. willowdot21 says:

    I am so depressed about the way people are acting. Why can’t we all be kind. I am honestly so stressed by this all. Sending you love and hugs 💜


  9. Dan Antion says:

    It’s truly crazy. I’m imagining people just tossing 20 packs of ground meat into their new freezer. So, what’s the timeline on the food poisoning epidemic?

    Be nice to Puppy Cody. He may protect you from the toilet paper zombies.


    • I think you’re right on the mark, Dan. New freezer, stock it up any old way. As for Cody, she’s safely sleeping on the couch at the moment – with a nicely filled belly. (Had to keep putting food into that bowl before I could get even one decent photo!)


  10. Today I went to the store and got the last package of toilet paper left on the shelf. I did get a can of frosting too. I think I’m ready!



  11. AmyRose🌹 says:

    This virus is not scaring me, CM. It is how insane people are acting. I’ve never like you seen this before. We shop at Wegman’s and to physically see bare shelves is shocking. People are acting as if we are in a war. Wait a minute! Just stop listening to the damn news and start acting smart and THINK!! How many people have contracted this virus compared to the total population of the world? Why is there is so much fear related to this virus? The hoard buying is shocking and you are so right most of those perishables will be spoiled and way beyond their shelf date sitting on someone’s basement floor. We have enough, thank goodness. We do however, have to purchase meats and fresh fruits and for now are laying low, hoping by the middle of this week, shelves will be restocked. I’m staying as far away from the world as possible. You’ll find me at Reinstein Park. (smile) xo


    • One good result, though, is: everyone’s afraid to go to the ER for stuff like the common cold. We had to go to Suburban ER this evening (on the surgeon’s advice) and there was not one patient in the waiting room. Fortunately, our patient’s issue had resolved by the time we got there so we just turned around and went back home.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        Perhaps people will begin to realize that they are responsible for their health especially for the common cold. I believe a lot of good will come out of this situation, CM. Glad to hear all is OK with you. xo

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Archon's Den says:

    We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
    An American, smart enough not to elect tRump, said that.
    Good thoughts and best wishes. 🙂


  13. Oh no! People all over the world have gone crazy. I like what you stock up. I’ll steal a bottle when you’re not looking. LOL! Take care, CM!(*’∀’人)♥


  14. markbialczak says:

    Our supermarkets here are closing early and opening late, cleaning and restocking, CM. I hope the panic will ease in our new normal when people see the bigger stock rooms have not run out and the manufacturing is still happening. That’s where the real fear and the need to stockpile stems from, I think. Anyway, don’t go past two weeks, official folks tell us. And that’s where we are in our frozen and cupboard situation. Gibing the benefit of the doubt, maybe those multi-cart, many-item people were buying for family and neighbors, too?


    • Well, Mark, I stopped at our Wegmans just this morning and everything was pretty much still out – even the salad dressing aisle was empty. Really? Who needs to stock up on salad dressing?

      You have a good point about the many-item people. We’ve been doing a little extra shopping because my 92-year-old mother-in-law needs stuff and can’t get to the store, plus we’ve put a little extra away in case one of our kids (who all live locally) run out in the next few weeks.


  15. I’m so glad to read that Puppy Cody is safe, you had me worried for a minute. Who needs food when you have a decent supply of wine?


  16. dolphinwrite says:

    I have, for years, as a worker in various jobs, teacher, coach, researcher, and talking with friends, knew people have the tendency to worry and panic. That explains the shows televised, the news (which is mostly negative), and so much more. You can tell people the importance of “thinking for yourselves,” and they agree, but in practice, most will go the way of the crowd. I guess it’s easier that way, but it also has consequences.


    • In this case, the panic shoppers may actually have been right. Even though we didn’t hoard, I’m glad we did stock up, now that I’m furloughed from my job and the state is under lockdown.


  17. joey says:

    In my little circle, we seem to be doing this thing where we all know what the other needs and so I pick up a thermometer and she brings me hand sanitizer and I give her soap and she shows up with tissues, and it’s quite nice, except it shouldn’t be like this at all.
    I understand people are freezing food for later, but I am very concerned for people who need to eat NOW. I’m trying to decide if we should venture out in the early morning for our fruit and juice and milk, or if I want to suck it up til early Monday morning. I just.don’t.know.
    I do know that if I saw someone with multiple carts and vast quantities of same items, I would not be able to contain my anger.
    Stay well 🙂


  18. ibshriver says:

    It’s like you read my mind and said exactly what I’ve been feeling this whole time. Btw. My husband went to pickup diapers and saw only 2 boxes of our daughters size. He said he thought really hard about grabbing both boxes and stopped. He realized we have cloth diapers too, and… what if someone really really needed them and that was the last box available. He got only one box.


  19. annadusseau says:

    If it helps anyone, I have a list of 101 Homeschooling Activities on my blog

    Take care and stay safe, everyone.


  20. When you wrote this (I’m getting caught up, now) it was my husband’s birthday, and the day before we’d cancelled the dinner out plans we had with Daughter, her BF and our grandson. This was before I’d ever heard of social distancing. The day before that, my husband texted me to tell me our local Walmart was out of TP. I had NO clue things would get so bad so fast!


    • When I wrote “Pandemic Panic”, I also had no clue how bad things would get so quickly. It’s only been a couple of weeks! (BTW, sorry for the delay in responding, your comment went into my spam folder.)


  21. dolphinwrite says:

    I’m going to try this with some understanding. This is nothing that we haven’t experienced before, and as many know, it’s a flu virus, but like all flu viruses, some are more difficult, though we’re already down to 99% recovery. What you’re seeing is a lot of mobilization, commercials, shows, entertainers, and such, all repeating the same things, and this has the effect, especially with all the news stations, of influencing people to think a certain way, especially when they see people wearing masks everywhere. This will soon all be over, but the stage has been set where people will be wearing masks and constantly washing their hands. I get it. I understand why people have reacted as they have. We’re being constantly told. Then, your coworkers, friends, family, all say the same things, and you set your awareness aside because if you don’t, you’ll appear noncaring. But, we know people who do think for themselves. They know people are dying, as with all flus, as with all diseases, and so they don’t panic. They see clearly. But once a person has gone along with the panic, they can’t change their thinking because it’s bypassed their reason. Like when some people fear ets and such. Once they’ve believed, they can’t unbelieve. For ourselves, we know diseases kill. But that’s always been the way, and far more people have died from other flus than this one. There’s a reason people don’t see clearly.

    Liked by 1 person

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