As people across the country frantically attempt to get prepared for the possibility of quarantines and illness during the Covid-19 outbreak, store shelves across the country are getting stripped bare. And with the supply chain interruptions that we’ve written about previously, some of these items may not be coming back any time soon.
I asked a group of readers to show me what their local stores looked like and the photos that follow are the ones they sent me.
Franklin County, Tennessee
Kansas City, Missouri
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Greenville, South Carolina
Not every store is barren.
Several readers told me things were business as usual in their local stores. Folks from Oklahoma, the Mid-West, Northern Virginia, coastal Virginia, Boston, Niagara Falls, Montana, and Indiana report business as usual in fully stocked stores. I was in Columbus, Ohio on business over the weekend and checked out the stores there. I saw no visible interruption in supplies.
A source from a Walmart store in the midwest told me that the warehouses are now distributing goods like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, and that managers can no longer order specifics
The things that are sold out
There’s a distinct pattern in the things that have sold out (or nearly sold out.)
- Lysol spray
- Lysol or bleach wipes
- Toilet paper
- Canned Tuna
- Vitamin C
- Cold and flu remedies
- Bottled Water
- Powdered milk
- Hand sanitizer
Surprisingly, there was little mention of canned goods, something I personally grabbed for my daughter’s house.
If you’re looking for a list of quarantine supplies, go here to sign up for my newsletter and get a free PDF checklist. If you want to learn more about preparing for quarantine, check out this article.
It’s not just an American thing.
Many other countries are also seeing shortages. Here are some photos contributed from outside the US.
As well, a friend from Germany told me that cleaning and sanitation supplies were dwindling quickly at the local hospital.
My doctor told me today he will need to cancel his operations room because he can no longer get access to antibacterials and I needed to use a wound spray to change the bandage for a surgery wound and he had to call the pharmacy and use his special doctor pull to get me the last wound spray on hold!
When will things go back to normal?
If the virus continues to spread (along with panic) we can only expect to see more bare shelves. As we’ve written before, the United States is extremely dependent on China for a wide variety of essential consumer and medical items. Since the factories haven’t been running regularly since early January, there simply are no products to ship.
And if they are being shipped, are they arriving in our ports? That’s the big question, as the virus has been said to last up to 9 days on surfaces. Will the United States allow these shipments to come into the country?