Posted by on March 12, 2020 6:49 am

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Categories: Coronavirus in Schuylkill County

You’ve seen the people on the news stockpiling toilet paper and thought … WTF!

Check out this footage of a toilet paper brawl in an Australian grocery store … Crikey!

Well, people here in Schuylkill County aren’t immune to the coronavirus panic. Over the last few days, we’ve been monitoring several shopping areas around Schuylkill County looking for signs of panic buying.

It didn’t take long and it’s been happening for a few days now. It’s not exactly Thunderdome here but does appear to be getting worse.

But, like other shoppers around the globe, Schuylkill County consumers are putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

Schuylkill County Shoppers Panic Buying on Coronavirus Fears

The toilet paper and disinfectants supplies at the Hometown Walmart were cleared out over the weekend. Our go-to weather guy, Ryan Fannock, was there and reported that the store was completely out of disinfectant products.

One of Fannock’s followers reported the same with the toilet paper supply.

We’ve been to the Saint Clair Walmart a few times this week after most of the shoppers clear out for the day. We didn’t find toilet papers shelves completely gutted but supplies were limited. If you’re into a 2-ply experience, you may have better luck that if you go for something like Scott.

This is what it looked like on Monday night. You can see it wasn’t too bad but you’d swear there was an outbreak of some awful stomach virus. Remember, the COVID-19 coronavirus is primarily a respiratory disease, marked by a cough, difficulty breathing, and fever.

panic buying walmart saint clair pa coronavirus

The next night, we noticed that the Lysol products and hand soaps were mostly wiped out.

panic buying coronavirus st clair pa walmart lysol

We were lucky to get at least one bottle of the “good” hand soap. Don’t @ us with your critique of hand soap, please.

panic buying coronavirus st clair pa walmart hand soap

The panic buying continued through Wednesday night, too.

You could argue it’s getting worse, at least when you’re talking about how much toilet paper and disinfectant people are buying around Schuylkill County.

Check out the same TP racks at the Saint Clair Walmart, as seen by the folks at Schuylkill County Police Activity. This was Wednesday night … Totally gutted! Not a square to spare.

We were at the Giant in Cressona on Wednesday. The toilet paper shelves weren’t cleaned out but it looked like the aisle had had a rough day.

panic buying coronavirus giant pottsville cressona toilet paper

But if you wanted to squeeze the Charmin, you could. Plenty of that premium toilet tissue was available last night.

charmin

Panic Buying vs. Stockpiling vs. Being Prepared

You’ve likely seen plenty of photos of empty store shelves like the ones above. Maybe you’re even someone who’s gone out and purchased more toilet paper than you ever have at one time in your life.

A lot of people are saying that shoppers who panic buy like this are beyond stupid. Some even suggest it’s not “right” or moral, that people should be sure to leave some behind for other shoppers.

Well, we agree and disagree with just about every argument made regarding panic buying.

Is “panic buying” a lot of toilet paper stupid? No. Is it stupid to only buy toilet paper and Lysol? Very much so, yes.

This behavior is being called panic buying because shoppers clearly aren’t thinking straight. That’s what we meant before about putting the cart before the horse.

Where’s the Beef?

During our shopping trips this week, we noticed that there’s plenty of food still available at every grocery store. Enough to feed an army.

So, why aren’t people buying food to go along with that toilet paper? Do people know what helps create the situation that requires all that toilet paper?

We think — along with advice always available from Ready.gov — being prepared for the unknown regarding coronavirus or any potential emergency is a smart move. We’ve been told to prepare for developments that would disrupt our daily lives.

And we’ve seen people get quarantined and an entire community in New York get roped off, essentially, due to this outbreak. No one can say that will or won’t happen here in Schuylkill County.

Stock Up, Don’t Panic

But one way to be prepared for that is to have a supply of food, medicine, and water that lasts for 2 weeks. It’s either that or possibly waiting for the National Guard to deliver food rations on a daily basis.

So, to the average Schuylkill County shopper, get as much toilet paper as you think you’re going to need for at least 2 weeks but it seems unlikely you’ll need enough for 2 years. And don’t forget to buy food!

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