As coronavirus concerns increase, many Bay Area locals hit grocery stores in preparation for the government’s “shelter in place” order.
As of Tuesday, March 24th, the Bay Area was up to 1,104 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. To limit the spread of the virus, the state of California has been put under a “shelter in place” order. This “shelter in place” order will work to protect the community as a whole from the spread of the coronavirus by forcing “non-essential” businesses to shut down for at least two weeks. Many schools and businesses/companies have followed accordingly by allowing their students and employees to work from home. As of the time of writing, the virus is predicted to get much worse before it gets better. Individuals are stocking up on groceries now so that they can stay inside as much as possible as the outbreak increases.
“I am mostly stocking up on non-perishable items: bread, chips, any items that I know will hold up just in case perishable items go out of stock,” Grace Murphy, a Costco customer, stated.
Murphy is not alone in her plan to stock up on non-perishable items.
“There have been increases in non-perishables such as pasta, canned soup, pasta sauce, nuts, and frozen foods as well as sanitary products,” Trader Joe’s employee Jack Cryan said.
There has been a noticeable decrease in items throughout the grocery stores since the “shelter in place” order was put into place on March 17th.
“We can’t order more of one particular item because there is a nationwide shortage,” Cryan stated. “While usually we order a certain amount of items, with the shortage, they [our suppliers] just give us whatever they have, and we just have to deal with it.”
Customers are very shocked about the lack of various items in stores.
“This is outrageous,” Sherry Roozokh, a Costco customer, said. “It’s unbelievable; no toilet paper, one water per person, the bread is almost gone.”
The government has alerted citizens that grocery stores are not part of the “non-essential” store closures, and they will remain open throughout this pandemic. However, some citizens still feel the need to take precautionary measures.
“I watched a man come in and go to our display of spritz hand sanitizer,” Cryan explained. “He took a paper bag and shoveled in 30.”
As people stock up for their social distancing, some noticed customers had heightened emotions.
“I’ve noticed an increase in anxiety in the store,” Rooxokh said. “Not the staff, just the customers in general.”
Murphy, like many others, is worried about the virus, especially for the older community.
“I’m not only scared for myself, but the elderly community around us,” Murphy stated. “I feel that maybe the younger generation is downplaying the situation because it doesn’t affect them as much. However, for the older generation and other people in the community, I feel that this will be a devastation on their lives and the respective people around us.”