Panic Buying Has Begun | Fear Is In The Air

image: Reuters/Duane Tanouye (Costco stores overrun)

It is happening in coronavirus covid-19 hot zones. It is happening all around the country too, at an increasing rate. There are reports, images, and video of shelves being decimated in the aisles of stores. Not everywhere, but it’s definitely happening in lots of places.

It’s Blowing Up

It feels like there is a perfect storm which is now beginning the ‘blow up’ phase. Bombogenesis. A rapidly intensifying storm under ‘perfect’ conditions…

Fear Soup

I am eluding to several things.

  1. The potential rapid end of the current massive global credit expansion and markets which are insanely overdue to go over the cliff (in my view).
  2. The GREAT DIVIDE here in the USA between socialist-communist-marxists vs. the rest of us during this unfolding election year.
  3. And now this bio-weapon COVID-19 coronavirus, unleashed (by accident or on-purpose) .

There’s more in the FEAR SOUP, but those are the biggies right now… but I digress.

UPDATE (1 week after original publish date), The markets ARE blowing up. Right now. But if you’re reading this you likely are aware.

Panic Buying at grocery stores is the result of coronavirus covid-19, and fear thereof.

Long term food storage companies. They have been wiped out. Everything’s flying off the shelves. Consequently there are big delays to get product (better late than never?).

Many grocery stores and warehouse stores (i.e. Costco) are being hit hard in certain categories (read on).

With that said, there’s still some good news. Short term food inventory. Ordinary grocery store food is mostly readily available at this time. Reports of low inventory here and there but restock is keeping up. That’s good. But for how long? We’ll see.

(UPDATE) They’re calling it hoarding. But Americans are increasingly stocking up on food and some food shortages of various types are beginning to appear in grocery stores. Straining the JIT inventory systems.

A big crush on our JIT system has not happened before. There are thresholds at which various inventories will be affected to the extent of obvious shortages. It’s a complex system. Could covid-19 be the one that tips it over? It will be if more and more people panic and flood the stores…

TIP: I highly doubt that stores will keep up with food inventories if and when a significant portion of the population all take action — and stock up on food — all pretty much at once (or within a time period which breaks the system). So, take that opinion and do with it what you may…

First things disappearing (or being hit hard)

What’s flying off the shelves first?

Toilet Paper
Disinfectant Wipes and Sprays
Some over-the-counter Medicines

Actually, those are the things that I topped off first as well. Priorities right?

I began noticing this in my own current location nearly two weeks ago at a Walmart (TP and medicine sections of the store). I briefly visited a local grocery store today (I took precautions). There too I noticed many empty portions of shelves in the medicinal area (some had notes apologizing for running out).

Scouring the internet for evidence of panic buying, it is evident that the public is increasingly taking proactive actions and stocking up. If you have not already noticed some of this in your local stores, I’m reasonably certain that you will in the near future.

UPDATE (1 week after original publish date), I am seeing empty shelves at a local grocery store near my location. No more disinfectant wipes and sprays. No more toilet paper. Bleach almost gone.

[ Read: Best Time To Go Grocery Shopping During Pandemic To Avoid Crowds ]

Is It Panic Buying?

Listen. I’m all for preparedness, stocking up with consumable supplies and food, medicines and other items. In essence that is what these people are doing. Stocking up. Good for them!

How many of them are panicked? Probably a good percentage of them. What is their motivation for doing this? Fear. It’s a strong motivator. And in this instance, I’m okay with that. Why? Because we do know that governments have been covering / glossing over covid-19 data and facts. And when they do that, they’re hiding something. And that’s cause for concern.

The Government is NOT going to save you.

Sorry, socialists. We’re talking about something so potentially big, that government will only do what they can to save themselves. You will be pacified, until you are suddenly quarantined.

A commenter here on the blog said today (regarding covid-19 coverup), “We just need to make sure that nobody knows until everybody knows.”

Take personal responsibility.

The good thing about coronavirus covid-19 is that IT IS WAKING PEOPLE UP to the notion of preparedness. Unfortunately it’s taking a crisis fear motivator to get people’s butt off the couch and into the stores to buy supplies.

More and more people are taking personal responsibility. I don’t care that many of them might be getting panicked (even if overly so). Sure, some of the reported actions may be over-the-top (due to sudden fear). But it’s opening eyes. How we’re too dependent on China for products. How we don’t keep enough food and supplies at home for emergency.

The government does not want you to know.

The government (logically) does not want panic buying. Why? Because they know it will disrupt systems of JIT (just in time). Visible shortages will itself create more panic buying, and all this could create quite the crisis. I get that.

They also have their own motivation to self-preserve, their power, their jobs, and “the system” that “feeds” them via tax dollars and a economy perceived as “good”… We in essence are their hosts. And they need us alive enough to fund their operational infrastructure. To suck our blood… But not too much such that we can’t perform. Hey wait a minute! That sounds like a virus!! I’m digressing and going off the rails…

Okay, they are looking out for all of us. They have our best interests at heart. And they’re telling us everything they know about all this – so that we can make better decisions on our own. Don’t stock up. Don’t buy any masks or nitrile gloves. For heavens sake, don’t buy extra medicine! You’re not going to get sick. It’s nothing more than the common cold, or the flu, just like any other year. You idiots…

(/sarc off)

[ Read: Pandemic Survival Tips ]

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133 Comments

    1. H-E-B here in the Houston area is limiting Clorox wipe containers to 4 per person per visit. Supplies are limited

    2. THURSDAY NIGHT (MAR 12) I WENT TO OUR BJ STORE IN MEDFORD, MA.: THE CHECKOUT LINE OF SHOPPERS WAS NEARLY A MILE LONG!! WATER WAS CLEANED OUT!!

  1. So far in my area (suburb of major East Coast city) there are no empty tp shelves.

    I still topped off, and bought extra snacks for my toddler and preschooler. The world will end if we run out of Cheerios and fishy crackers!!!! 🤪

        1. I knew there was a reason why i was hangin on to all those back issues of mother earth news and fine homebuilding

          1. Chevy:
            I’m telling ya. TP you run out of TP and the wife will have your wavels hanging from a tree.
            Next thing to NOT run out of is Moonshine

          2. If you go to a store and they are out of what you need try getting online delivery at some stores. Amazon, and other stores maybe out of certain cleaning products, try ordering it online at Walmart. I needed bleach the frys I go to was out so I looked on delivery from Walmart. They have some. Cost less than the store to.

  2. i have been saying at least once a day on yahoo STOCK UP ON LONG TERM CANNED FOOD and all the rest of the stuff thats needed and got called either a nut job or laughed at or just cussed out looks like i will be theone getting the last laugh in that one

  3. I haven’t seen the rush of shoppers around here yet. Over the weekend my local Walmart still had 3M N95 mask 2 pack for 2.88 and everything else was still well stocked. I already got everything I could afford to get. Going to get interesting!

    1. That’s good Prepper Dan!

      No doubt though, “if and when” covid-19 pops up near your region, people there will also begin to panic… That’s how this seems to be unfolding… Nothing’s happening “until” it gets to their area. Then, and only then, “it’s happening”.

      1. So true Ken! You know what they say, “Sh*t doesn’t get real until it happens to someone you know”.

  4. TP aisle was fine at suburban target in Suffolk county ny
    Walked by cleaning aide and there was no chlorox bleach/Lysol whatsoever
    (This lady started panicking in store about this-I quickly walked away from meltdown)
    Tip of iceberg people…

    1. Was at the pharmacy yesterday and saw a man stocking up with butt wipes. Asked if I could help ? Explained he needed alcohol
      wipes, etc. butt wipes were useless for what his wife had in mind…..I think.

  5. Went with the wife for her weekly hair appointment (got my hair done, too). Stopped by Wally’s Place. Busy for a Tuesday. Few shortages, although I got the last two bottles of vitamin-C.

    All in all, I’m in pretty good shape. Shortages will, of course, affect me, but probably to a much lesser degree than most of Americans. Food stocks are ample, as are my prescription meds. We can hunker down in place for an extended period if necessary.

    There’s a lot of uncertainty for those just waking up. This bunch here have been “woke” for a while. None of this panic should come as a surprise. The media has yelled “FIRE!” and the stampede has begun………justified or not. I’ve said from the beginning that, no matter how the COVID-19 runs it’s course, economic factors and fear will deal out a lot of misery. I see the DOW took a nose dive again, after yesterday’s record recovery.

    I’ve got a family reunion this coming weekend back in Texas, about a 450 mile one way road trip. Wife will be staying home, so I’ll be on my own. Not a good time to be away, but at my age, you never know when this may be the last time to visit those who mean so much to you. Short of an EMP, I’ll be home by Monday. If an EMP, shouldn’t take these old legs much over a year to make the walk back to the mountain.

    1. You are a brave man Dennis. I was supposed to be getting into Atlanta right about now, for a meeting with a large, orange themed home improvement company Tues and Wed. I backed out of it last week… let sales handle it. But then, they aren’t family. Drive safely and may good health and God’s blessings follow you on your journey!

      1. There are already 2 confirmed cases in Atlanta area. It being the busiest airport in the world (as measured by passengers vs freight) no doubt it is a higher risk airport to travel through.

        1. I hear they have 300 people hired to constantly wipe/disinfect surfaces all over the airport in Atlanta.

  6. Chicago area has 4 cases of COVID and 1 possible. I went shopping today and the only shortage I saw was hand cleaner. Still plenty of soap, bleach, paper goods and everything else. I guess they didn’t get the memo. For some reason there isn’t any panic buying here yet. Stuff in people’s carts looked just like normal everyday shopping.

  7. Raleigh has first reported case today…..been putting away since 2012…going out tomorrow for dog and chicken feed…comfort level is good

    1. Hi Roger – Ha. Imagine that! I started in 2012 as well. I’m still finding odd packages with that date that fell behind a shelf or whatever. I did a little prepping before Y2K; but the actual building I put up was finished in ’12

  8. I gave up Costco years ago, literally unable to cope with the suffocating, abject stupidity of most of their customers. The hog feeding troughs they set up for sample distribution just did for me.

    There are few things as infuriating as behind stuck a procession of aimless, drooling, 400 pound trash people, (some spilling out of an undersized Jazzy fat cart) oozing from one freebie station to the next; often joking about the “free lunch” they were enjoying. Really! At the mere smell of FOOD they would instinctively let go of their carts, freewheeling into people and blocking aisles while they pursued more free calories.

    I’m of a “get in, get yer shit, get out, get home” mindset. Costco should not be a social event for entitled land whales scarfing free food. Just. Not. Worth. It.

    My wife works for a major SoCal grocery chain, albeit in a lesser part of town where the clientele are mostly tax-payer subsidized ‘gibs-me-dats’. So far, no panic buying. But then, why would that demographic waste any effort to think ahead or prepare? Everything has always just been given to them. I’ll see what she says tonight when she gets home.

  9. Neighbors car required a visit to the dealer ship. We planned the day for a Costco run to help shore up some items she was lacking on for their home.
    Went early to get a parking spot, it being the 3rd, the eagle poops(acdh’s analogy) on this day around this area.
    We get out baskets, and line up to enter. A crowd size I have dealt with before but not the neighbor, she thought it was crowded. No just a normal payday crowd for this store to pick up their medications.
    First stop pharmacy area, it was fine found what was on my list. Everything was going along okay until we hit household area. NO–TP! Poor guy was trying to bring it in as fast as he could(Charmin), think some of the customers would have mugged him for that pallet. I went on shopping, she waited to ask about the Kirkland TP. It would be up in a while after he finished with the Charmin. We went off picking other items on our lists. Here is what I noticed in this store for shortages or no stock on the shelves.

    Kirkland Albacore tuna fish
    TP Kirkland & Charmin
    Paper towels Kirkland & Bounty
    Baking Soda
    Chocolate-Easter(none)
    Kirkland-canned corn
    Kirkland-canned green beans
    Kirkland-stewed tomatoes
    Kirkland tomato sauce
    Kirkland tomato paste
    Hamburger 88/12 was low in the case-a first
    Took forever to find the chocolate chips in this store!! Asked the friend if she wanted 10 or 20 bags of chips as another customer walked by. Customer smiled and I said well we have to stock pile chocolate!! Customer broke out laughing at my joke.
    Another customer had a flat bed with about 5-6 packages of tp I caught as she went down another isle. Younger 20’s aged person, guess she got the memo.
    $$$$ we exited the store, filled up the back of the SUV, and had people waiting for our parking spot.

  10. I do NOT live in an urban or even suburban area….so, when I look at the MSM pictures of folks shopping carts, what I see is normal shopping? Am I out of touch? Is the MSM being ridiculous with their headlines and pictures? Truly, I didn’t see a single cart that looked like anything but our usual haul. What am I missing?

    We are too prepared (if there is such a thing). Do NOT need to pick up another thing.

    1. Pio Woman,
      You are the unusual one., by living out away from the herds..you have adapted to the frequency you and yours are familiar.
      .. The masses do not think and purchase ahead more than 7 days max… Most return to the grocery store at least 4 times each week. This change in their purchasing is definitely a symptom of them awakening to a new reality….and none of them were ready..on any level. no or insufficient food means not much chance of needing all the tp.
      Makes one wonder what they are planing on eating.. Mc d’s , taco bell, wendy’s, pizza hut?
      last year i went into a local store they had an item on a deep sale.was normal 1.59 but sale of 69c. i bought my months supply… customer behind me want to know “if i bought all”. “no, i just purchased what we consume every month.” no limit was posted.. think i got 12…of item..

    1. Roger,

      No meat since 1989, couldn’t tell you. Other canned foods seem reasonably good out to at least 5 years. Vac-packed beans will dry out and require special treatment to be good again. Granulated spices can get hard as a brick, but a mallet or quick trip through a grinder fixes it right up. Not to upset NRP, ‘butt’ TP can wick humidity up into the bottom rolls causing binders to loosen, then re-harden so you get rolls that rip at about 3/4’s width all the way down. Any canned beverages are no bueno past about 6 months; that surprised me.

    2. Roger,
      If you bought ordinary canned meat that many years ago, well, you should have consumed it by now.

      I recommend a first in, first out inventory. Grocery store canned foods? A good idea to turn them over (consume them) within a few years.

      Other foods will store Much Longer, depending (search this site).

      The good thing is, buying or procuring extra food is a common sense thing.

      1. I think home canned foods stay good for longer. We have some meats that I canned in 2012 or thereabouts, and they are fine.

        1. I absolutely agree. That’s one reason I advocate home canning for those who have the interest, time, and desire to do it. No refrigeration required…

  11. A little off topic (I’m very sorry about that-I didn’t know where else to post) but it is related to the overall Coronavirus subject – Governor DeWine of Ohio and the Mayor of Columbus just announced at a press conference that the Arnold (Schwarzenegger) Fitness Classic will not allow spectators (except for the finals) and that the trade show is canceled/postponed. Just to give you a sense of scale – this event has been occurring for years here in Columbus. It currently brings 22,000 athletes from 80 different countries here (more athletes than the Olympics), and 200,000 spectators over the course of four days. And obviously tens of millions of dollars of revenue into Central Ohio. Anyway, it’s a big deal in this neck of the woods and I’m sure it will make national news at some point soon. Just wanted to share. I definitely think this was the right decision btw.

  12. Has anyone noticed the proximity of a case of the wuflu or rumor of a case in regard to panic buying? Is it 100 miles or 50 miles the trip wire? (Since this doesn’t yet seem to be nation wide.)

    1. No cases in Utah, but three CostCos got cleaned out last weekend and into today. So I don’t think it’s location specific.

      My own personal opinion is that this thing was bungled from beginning to end–or maybe it was deliberate? If the CDC had been releasing accurate information from the beginning, most of these people would already have passed their “panic” threshold. The stocking up would have been spread out over a period of two months rather than one weekend.

  13. I have experienced rural blizzards and southern snow storm power losses. When you’ve been unable to hit the store for more than 2 weeks, you learn to be stocked up. Plus multiple power outages resulted in always having secondary heat as well as generator and small scale solar.

    Just read pork and chicken inventories are soaring due to decreased demand from Asia. I am going to watch for sales and do some canning.

    I am maintaining proper hygiene when I go out, but am also blessed with very good health. Thank you God.

  14. Well in my area of NH I’ve been visiting Wal-mart and Hannaford’s daily for the what? past week since that CDC lady spoke so plainly about the threat of covid-19. Has she been allowed to speak since then? I’ve gotten quite good at the “Whores Bath” and putting my outside clothing into the washing machine. NOT looking forward to laundry if the grid goes down….

    Anyway I posted mostly on Open Forum section my daily almost NON-reports until the last three days. 3 days ago I posted that someone had cleared out our Wal-Mart of GV 10 pound rice and 8 pound dry pinto beans and heavy damage on anything cold or elderberry related meds. 2 days ago Wal-Mart restocked the 10 pound rice bags, still no 8 pound pinto beans, more damage to the cold medicines. Yesterday and today All GV Bulk rice and beans gone, ALL the Bleach and Sanitizer Gone, Pharmacy looks pretty bare in cold section. Hannaford’s so far not hit too hard, just today I noticed the bleach section was empty of “cheap” house brand Bleach and I asked if there was any out back. No, all gone.

    Several Wal-Mart staff button holed me to complain and ask about covid-19 NOW that it’s hit our Level 1 Trauma Center Dartmouth with a Dr. back from Italy.

    So even my part of NH has gotten the start of panic buying. I’m heading down to BJ’s for my weekly run so I will report what’s going on there and other Wal-Mart there tomorrow.

    As we have discussed before It doesn’t need to be a Real Emergency for Panic to MAKE it a Real Emergency.

    The window for easy prepping is closing I don’t suggest you max out your credit cards or such BUT if you BUY what you USE (like TP) and EAT without crippling your finances YOUR Ahead of the Just In Time TROUBLES that we are starting to see. AT worst IF this fizzles out (not likely) you will not need to buy TP and such for a while. WHAT’s the Downside, eh?

    1. So evidently a second person at DHMC in NH has been diagnosed, plus person #1, DESPITE being told to self-quarantine, attended a Dartmouth College event in WRJ VT, so this is likely going to up the numbers of infected and also the attention of the public here in NH and VT. I suspect West Leb is going to see some blow-out shopping very soon! Until now I’ve mostly been seeing runs on TP, hand sanitizer, face masks, large bags of rice and dried beans.

    2. me2, wondering what general part of NH are you in? I am in the southwest and have observed much the same thing…

      1. Also, try DollarGeneral if there are any in your area…usually they saturate, over saturate really, a market place so there are several in easy driving distance.

  15. I’ve watched some videos and read the comments from folks here, but since we haven’t been out for a week, we can’t personally see any ‘panic buying’. I’m content with that. I’m not interested in going into a store to see the results of typical human behavior. I already understand that JIT systems will fail. I already know how ignorant the masses are. It won’t be long before the gimme-dats start to go on the prowl and the animals begin to loot their cities. I don’t want to be near the madness, and that’s a reason why I prepare as hard as I do. I want to stay away from the frenzy.

    Here at our place, all is well and there is no chaos. Our food shelves are totally stocked and our food storage will keep us going for a long, long time. We won’t have ANY trips to the store until the threat of COVID has disappeared. From here on, we eat what we store, or we grow it. If we can stay healthy, we can stay home…

    Today, I washed off and shelved 10 quarts of chicken soup base that I canned yesterday. I also canned 2 quarts of cut chicken. There was enough left over from 4 chickens to feast on a pot of chicken noodle soup with veggies, plus a handful of chicken morsels for the dogs.

    God willing, tomorrow will be another good day. I will start sowing seeds in the greenhouse.

  16. In California greater Sacramento region everything is in full stock in stores no panic buying or any shortages this is all just fear-mongering. California’s government has everything under control. Coronavirus is Trump propaganda its fake news.

      1. Kulafarmer

        I get a kick, out of these asshole, who post sh-t like this. Putting their complete ignorance on display for every one to know, You can’t fix STUPID

          1. The old adage states “The punishment will continue until the attitude improves”

      2. I kinda think this comment was tongue in cheek about the government having everything under control. .

        That said I am about 50 miles from Sacramento and there hasn’t been any real shortages or panic buying I have seen. Walmart was low on hand soap and sanitizer yesterday but my son that works at the store said they are doing inventory at their warehouses so some things aren’t being shipped.

        1. poorman did you read my posting about a weeks worth of recon since Ash Wednesday when that CDC Lady spoke plainly about the real hazards of covid-19? I did a daily home decon every time I came home to protect my O2 dependent 94 year olds even though the risk level WAS low. (That just changed at Dartmouth Hospital, yesterday…)

          It’s a couple of posts up from here. I’ve always enjoyed your common sense viewpoint friend but when people panic in groups their IQ DROPS and a Mob situation occurs.

          Things were quiet for about 4 days THEN folks started buying a little, THEN other folks NOTICED a reduced amount of important stuff like FOOD, TP, Bleach and THEY started buying. THEN well… you get the picture friend.

          As I’ve said many times before friend, it’s not the common sense folks I worry about it’s the Mobs panic and then rage because well (insert reason here, like what’s MY BABY going to EAT?) and things get crazy fast.

          When things get REAL BAD like stores empty out and Just In Time fails from truckers stopping for fear of sickness THEN even the Common Sense folks will become Dangerous as in What will YOU DO to feed or protect your kids dangerous.

          I hope and pray your well stocked up friend. You’d be a great neighbor. I want to hear from you after this is all resolved.

          I’m heading out for a serious BJ’s run, hopeful that I am on the leading edge of the shopping storm. NRP will *Still* be the KING of TP but I might be the Knave :-)

          1. Yep well stocked up here. I understand people will panic buy just haven’t seen it in my area yet. I don’t go to Costco much as it’s a 60 mile round trip but since I had to go to Sacramento today to tach a training class I plan on stopping on my way home. Don’t need anything but I want to see if the ones in my area are getting hit hard. I will report later.

          2. Poorman back from BJ’s run. Still quiet only thing I noticed cleared out is Hand Sanitizers and Bleach Wipes. BJ’s doesn’t sell dry beans but their rice selection was excellent.

            We will see how this is a few days since the CDC just released some 75000 test kits to the states SO……. Maybe MOAR testing and Media excitement.

            I wonder just how many “smart” invitation only folks was exposed by that Dr. from Dartmouth “Breaking Isolation” to go to that invite only event Monday…

            Time will tell. I suspect a few more active COVID 19 around here will create that wave of panic buying. One could hope BUT Hope is NOT a Plan……

          3. @me2
            Stopped at Costco and while it was packed it always is at that store. didn’t seem to be out of anything such as tp or staples like beans and rice. i didn’t hang out for too long as I hate crowds and as I said i don’t need anything as I am well stocked on anything but fresh foods like veggies and I do have lots of freeze dried. Guess we just need to hang on and see where all of this goes. Hopefully it will get better not worse. Fingers crossed

      3. No sir it’s worse than the covid virus stupid has been spreading for years our government started this stupid germ late 70s when they started taking over the school systems been spreading ever since no known cure

    1. Rio Linda checking up up there. Gawd what an idiot.

      Sincerely,

      Your neighbor to the south.

    2. California Socialism 2020,
      We all Pray it is fear mongering…and some mitigation has occurred that will control this illness. a 2% death rate would be 66thousand in age bracket 20-30… next age bracket another 2% so that is 132 thousand dead with 2%.in two age brackets… . no one wants that best to be prepared rather than not.
      Just watch over the next 1 week to 2 months and see what happens.. Hope you have your supplies in.. the dot gov agencies are prepared … hope you are as well.

    3. 2 plus 2, then divided by 2 equals whatever I want it to be. Except, when I don’t want it to be something I don’t like.

    4. Wrong, in California, and in Sacramento region, as well as the bay area, Costco’s are already hit.

      I was just there on 3/2/2020 Costco Toilet paper, water, and rice gone. Family around northern California saying same thing about their local Costco’s.

      Walmart and similar stores still had “some” lingering stock, but it will probably be out in the next few days.

      The “socialist” lies what a surprise…

    5. California Socialism 2020, if that is the case, then why are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schummer going ape sh*t saying they don’t think Trump has done enough?

  17. My comment got stuck in “You already said that” limbo. The site went down (tried in two browsers) and apparently the previously posted comment got stuck in the cracks.

    I’ve spoken to people who went to three different area CostCos over the weekend and into today. It appears that mostly the panickers are buying paper products, bottled water, and cleaning products.

    Maybe already stocked with food? I can hope. My BIL manages another grocery store in the area and he reports the same–those three items cleaned out, rather than food.

    My sister made an interesting comment–that she agrees with the Surgeon General that people should not be buying masks, because the medical fields will need them. Except that he didn’t say people shouldn’t be BUYING masks, he said people should not be WEARING masks. Interesting distinction there.

  18. If the advice is to avoid crowds, then why are all these shoppers flocking to stores? The shoppers in Asian photos are all wearing face masks at least. Sort of oxymoron behavior. And I don’t know why they feel as if they need to stock up on soda pop and Orioles. Don’t they know what they should be buying to subsist on for a week or two?

    Ken, I reworked one of your opening sentences so I could understand it better: “TIP: I highly doubt that store food inventories will keep up with demand if and when a significant portion of the population all take action …”

  19. I doubt most of them thought “Hm, everyone else will be stocking up today, I think I’ll join in!” If they thought about other people at all, it was probably about beating the rush. “Surely those OTHER people won’t be shopping today, next week will be a madhouse.”

    1. Lauren: I disagree, you assume they are thinking like we do. They don’t. When you and I see a news story of crowds in front of a store we stay away, thinking along the lines of what you said. But I think most people when they see the same news story think they better get down there with everybody else.

      1. Chevy, I agree completely. I see a herd of clueless critters and I stay away.
        I make jokes about my rules, but they really are my rules. Ask my kids…

        Rule 1: Avoid crowds. No exceptions.

  20. We have seen shortages at Walmart in our medium sized Florida town. My neighbor is a new family man. He married a woman with two kids. I have been giving them suggestions. (I have known him for 20 years.) He confided in me today that they purchased $400 worth of supplies but they couldn’t find toilet paper or paper towels. He said he would go out Wednesday to find them.

    We made another trip to Walmart last night. OTC meds were hit hard, as were paper products and cleaning supplies. Dh just informed me that he needs to pick up another prescription Friday. So I’ll have another report in a few days.

    I too worry about the “gimmie dats”. I wonder if they realize working Americans are locked and loaded. At some point the free lunches run out.

    1. Bam
      The gimme dats and yo me’s don’t think about us at all. The think that the free stuff is just coming to them cause they deserve it.They really just don’t know any better. Some are probably intelligent enough to understand the position they are in but the rest just see the way they live as a normal life because that’s how it’s always been for them. Some day that bubble will pop and hopefully some will dig out and recover their pride and self esteem but I’m not holding my breath.

    2. Bam, my friend who works at Walmart said their shelves are cleared of cleaning products, especially items like Clorox and hand sanitizer. Toilet paper and paper towels also hard to get. Then the cold remedies are also difficult. Then to add insult to injury, our clueless governor Cuomo made the decision to ban plastic bags as of March 1st. It appears there is a shortage of paper bags. So if you go to Walmart, you will be stuck in a line trying to get OUT of the store because they check the receipt of any unbagged items! Can you say duh?!

  21. Spent $600 at Kroger EARLY this AM (and it was so quiet) topping things off and getting final OTC supplies. Got a few crazy looks from the cashiers since I checked out in the self-checkout area. I believe I had around 134 items. Looks like we’re good for at least 6 months on most food/supplies with a year or more on others. Early tomorrow morning, (or today since it’s after 2AM) I hit Whole Foods for our meat, coffee for husband, and all fresh and frozen produce for the last time, then run to Costco as they open for more toilet paper (Louisville hasn’t lost its mind yet), which should get us to the year and a half mark hopefully. Spent $600 at Whole Foods last week, $350 at Target twice, $1000 for a new GE upright freezer 17.3 cu. ft. (that’s with a 5-yr extended warranty), $350 at Birkey, and some other miscellaneous items like a pulse oximeter, multiple thermometers (for oral and ear), new Austin Air Healthmate medical grade HEPA air purifier (2nd one we own; my pulm/asthma doc uses them for his family, and I’m convinced that’s how I was able to go off all of my inhalers)…I told my husband we now need to plant a money tree and pray it grows fast! Dear God, I never imagined we would ever spend THIS much money for this stuff. Oh, and just last night my Dyson blew up. Well, at least the hose did (beater bar’s on its last leg, too). We’ve had it for 16 years and it’s been a champ, but it finally crapped out on us. May be getting a Miele to replace it, but those START at around $700! I’ve noticed we’re really doing more and more to PREVENT my asthma from acting up so I don’t have to start on the corticosteroid inhalers or, worse, methylpred. But it is COSTLY, people! Tell me, is this normal to prepping? It doesn’t seem so to us.

    Also, great news — doc approved an extra 90-supply of medication just in case! So much relief just knowing it’ll be there.

    1. Yes. Very Costly. I have been doing it for years. How do you put a price on your children and grand children. 8 of those to save.

      1. NCPrepper:

        I agree wholeheartedly. Although I have no children here (two babies in Heaven), which means I also don’t have grandchildren (also in our 40s), there is NOTHING that would prevent us from protecting them no matter the cost. God bless you for doing what you can for their little lives!

    2. Ellie, I love my Miele! I also have a Dyson (hubby got it for me last year) for a quick easy clean up. Anyway, when I have a problem, I check it out onliine and then order the part suggested and fix it myself. You can probably do easily…..give it a try before you write it off. The older products were made better.

      Regarding the cost to prepping – most of us have done it gradually over an extended period of time. And even change our eating habits to eat whole foods cooked at home, which allow us the extra money to purchase more preps.

      Side note: I never buy an extended warranty….wasted money is my mind. However, I had a father who could never pass up an extended warranty. He never was able to utilize any of them…there was always a reason per the company. He paid $2,300 for one for the vehicle and $1999 for one for all the appliances in his home. Neither one ever paid off, even though the household one should have paid for him.

  22. Picked up the DW’s pharmacy meds at our local Publix, very busy! Lady behind the counter said “everyone” was getting their meds refilled due to the Convid-19 coming to Florida.

    Went to my Dentist yesterday. According to him everyone ( all 12 employees) in his office has started “hoarding” . I gave them this website to get info on what to “hoard”.

    Found 52% chocolate chips at the local Dollar store @ $3 a bag, got a bunch. Heading to Lowes today for seeds for the Spring garden and fertilizer. Looking for more Peach and Plum trees to plant .

    Stay safe, God Bless, and watch out fur dat WU FLU!

  23. “We will only wake up when it is on our doorstep and we can’t get our Starbucks because it’s closed. Americans are oblivious.”

    (a comment I just read elsewhere and copied it here – so true…)

    1. Dennis,
      Had a friend who runs a wood shop comment on not being able to get masks, said they typically order quarterly, pretty big order like 10 cases or so, and then they have their stock for the guys working in the shop, was surprised that they couldnt get them, and knew almost nothing about the Cov.
      I admire the head down and working thing but…..

      1. Kulafarmer,

        Yep. Face masks are not high on my list of things I need. I have a couple of boxes of 20 masks each that I keep on hand for dusty tasks around the homeplace, pasture mowing, etc.

        I’m with you on just staying away from crowds. An older than me widow neighbor called me this morning. Sounded terrible. Pretty sure she contracted the flu during last week’s trip to the doctor’s office. Said there was a woman in the waiting room coughing her head off.

  24. Another headline on Breitbart

    “coronavirus-panic-hits-australia-shoppers-fight-over-toilet-paper-as-rationing-begins”

  25. Here in NYC (outer borough) all shelves were full in the local supermarket except the rubbing alcohol. Freshdirect has a 6 day delay on cases of Poland spring 3-4 liter bottles because of the demand although it has happened before. I went to the supermarket worried but the water section was full. I heard a helicopter hovering at 9AM which I have never heard where I live. I knew within a minute it probably had something to do with corona because there is a school 5 blocks away. Turns out a student’s father was diagnosed with corona and they closed the school as a precaution.

    With a 2% death rate of infected persons odds are in your favor especially if you are healthy and not old. But the high transmissibility (to family being a concern), being sick with potential of complications and the quarantine make this uncomfortable. All was going well the first week of February. Earnings season was decent. Trade war subsided with more Chinese purchases of ag products and other goods. USMCA was done. More Wall was getting built. Strong State of the Union Address. Then Corona magnified. I guess I’m not not going anywhere locally or internationally this year. Japan was on my list but Egypt or Israel was more likely.

    I was prepared before. One P100 and 5 individually wrapped N-95. Tyvek suit, gloves, cheap but usable nbc gas mask. Only thing missing was my food supply. Have about 40,000 calories in rice, pasta, flour and cereal. 1000 a day is a good enough ration diet especially considering I could lose 30 pounds. Here in NYC it is not practical to keep a bigger supply in an apartment but certainly having more than a few days is important.

  26. The WHO has announced its more like a 3.4% death rate from COVID-19, not their previous 2% number.

  27. Just baked a can ham purchased from Aldi in 2011 to confirm if good or bad. With cinnamon and brown sugar sprinkled on it, it tasted good. I was relieved.

  28. Trader Joes, 30 minutes ago… Totally normal, chill crowd – less busy than normal. I was the only one in the store purchasing multiples of things. They had plenty of typically overpriced TP too, plus any kind of novelty water they normally have. No masks – everyone was jolly.

    1. tmcgyver thinking of the crowd I normally see at Trader Joes all I can think about is that saying:

      Denial it’s not just a river in Egypt.

      Speaking of that HOW many Disasters did God have to drop on the Egyptians before he “Let my people Go”?

  29. Talked to a neighbor that went to Wally World this morning. He goes really early to avoid the crowds. He said it was very busy. He only goes for what he needs when he needs it, which I believe is two or three times a week. He said he wanted to check out the tp as he heard of shortages. He was a little concerned as they actually added an extra aisle of tp. He estimates tp was down about 50%. So he thought he would stock up a little. Trying to be grey, I said I should go get some before its all gone. He said no worries, I can share some of my stash if you need some. I asked him,”how much did you buy?” He said he bought a six pack. I nearly choked on my coffee. He normally buys one roll at a time. He did notice that all the cooking oils were wiped out. He doesn’t cook, the only reason he noticed was because that whole section was bare except for a couple of damaged bottles left on the shelf. This is a 12 foot section. His ramen noodles were hit hard too, as well as the canned meats and tuna. Nothing mentioned about hand sanitizer, mask, or medicines.

  30. I don’t know what is going to be the “Red Flag” for everyone here because we all have different criteria. That being said…
    For me and mine, it will be food riots. If my group hears of riots because of lack of food, we will be closing up shop. That is when the desperation will start and we all (here) know what desperation can and will bring.
    I hope our leaders have the sense to close the schools soon, nationally.

    Ken, would you do an article on what other people are considering as the criteria to close up shop? I’m curious and I think others may find that to be useful…

    1. Jabba,
      Closing schools may have an unforeseen positive “affect” in that it might keep at least one parent home from work for at least younger children. Some may opt for daycare but 10 year olds in daycare would be kind of awkward.

      1. Grits,
        My DW is the Asst. Dir. at a local day care. If the schools close my DW’s daycare closes. So at least I know they would both be home safe.

    2. Then again, since children don’t seem to be afflicted with this virus as much as adults, maybe the parents should stay home and send the kids to work.
      (/sarc)

    3. Jabba and Ken,
      I would be very interested in this topic as well, great suggestion, Jabba.

      DH and I have had this discussion several times, and I would welcome all thoughts on trigger events as there are bound to be things I haven’t considered, or maybe not given enough thought.

  31. So Cal Gal
    It is going to hit the fan up here in Jefferson. Passenger from the Grand Princess who was around the man that died is now showing symptom’s of the virus. Was on the news last evening, survived the Paradise fire, survived beast cancer. Now this, she says she will beat it, hope she is correct.
    Will she be quarantined at home? Good question, which I have no idea.

    1. AC,
      Good grief… that’s a lot for a person to go through. Hopefully her immune is not too weak from her prior cancer treatments – it’s something I worry about for my MIL.

      I figure it’s just a matter of time before my area (and most areas) get hit. We’ve already had a couple of cases in my county, just not near me. You and ACDH take good care!

  32. Central NY
    Yeasterday went and got another big bottle of advil. only 4 left on the shelf out of a possible 20 spot shelf. TP was on the low side. 1 shelf space was empty, top and bottom.

  33. Toilet paper theft from public bathrooms has always been a problem, it will undoubtedly get worse. I suggest if you have to visit mother nature at a public bathroom carry some with you.

    1. Save all your junk mail.. leave it out for the sunshine to hit it and flip it in a single layer…a couple times a day… .rain on it and then scruffing and drying it, will make it softer.

  34. I have a hunch, just a theory, that part of the reason for the markets taking a dip and all the panic buying, is because on some “subconscious” level enough people are realizing the exponential growth of this virus.

    January 25th (less than 2 months ago) there were only about 1497 reported cases worldwide. Today (3/10/2020) we have over 114,000 cases worldwide, and that’s just the reported cases. BTW, there were 2 cases in the US on that date.

    I know many of the masses have ridiculed preparedness minded people in the past, and some still do, but I still feel a little sorry for those grasshoppers that aren’t ready for the winter.

  35. I just found out that this is the backup plan from one of our readers (NRP), who is acclaimed to have 600 rolls of TP stashed away somewhere.

    But if he runs out…

        1. That wouldn’t surprise me. Chances are he’s also got 10,000 corn husks in storage so he can make enchiladas. These are traditionally wrapped in corn husks before cooking, but I can only guess NRP saw them as “dual use” and laid in a store.

      1. Well,,well,, now we know where your back up supply comes from, of course you know it now will be raided.🌽 Those folks that border the sections which meet up need resupplies even if it is corn.

        1. Antique Collector:
          Ya all can have the Corn
          Butt you all laugh at the Corn Cobs.
          Ever try wiping ones butt with a Pine Cone???
          I rest my case…

  36. I have to tell everyone. Back in the 1800’s, I have an ancestor whose nickname was “corn-cob toter”! He was a beloved member of a military combat team. Bless his heart!
    Beach’n

  37. Had to go to local Kroger( Fred Meyers) for a prescription today. Took the boys since schools closed. While I waited at pharmacy, the boys went to the toy aisle. Git the Rx and couldn’t find the boys. Not worried about them, just where did they go?
    Looking around store, I find them in line for toilet paper! Store had brought out a pallet and said to line up. So they did!! Lol
    Now the hilarious part of story. Lady comes from the opposite end of aisle and grabs 2 pkgs. Oldest yells that she is cutting. Older gentleman gets out of line, grabs her paper and says,” if ya want some get in the GD line!!”
    She slunk away without paper. Thought we were going to have a riot!
    So we get to the cashier and a lady walks up very upset and asks if there is any more TP. Clerk says no and I thought she may cry. My sweet boys all agree she can have the toilet paper they stood in line for.
    I wasn’t consulted on the agreement at all.
    Made me so happy that we went for ice cream.
    My cup runneth over!!!
    PEACE and Love for all
    MadFab

    1. MadFab

      My cup runneth over!!! Heavenly Father has Blessed you.

      I rejoice in reading this, because, just a bit back, you were down some. Heavenly Father has lifted you up.

      I’m soooo glad you feeling better. I had prayed hard for your spirit to be raised, and it worked.

    2. MadFab

      What a wonderful affirmation of the Creator’s spirit at work. And of your loving household.

  38. Me2,
    Just spoke to my brother who owns a gun range and mfgs ammo.
    Last week he sent all employees home due to lack of work. Today running all employees overtime. Gun sales through the roof and almost out of ammo of all types. He is running .22 24 hours since yesterday morning. 3 day wait on 9mm and 30.06. the rest will be as he can get to them.
    Said he was well supplied to make most for the next 3 weeks running 24/7 but not sure how getting resupplied will go.
    This is in NW Washington.
    PEACE
    MadFab

  39. Thanks SMG, Anony Mee and all who commented about the boys.
    I am truly blessed!!
    Was really down and overloaded last week. Just felt like I was being bombarded from all sides , ya know?
    Unplugging, having some me time and looking at all the wonderful things, people and all in my life really helped alot. And of course the chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate 😋😍.
    Thanks again for all the prayers and blessings for me and my family.
    BTW, hubby showing no signs of the virus and will be coming back from living at the Lake on Wednesday. Yippee!!
    PEACE
    Madfab

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