My local supermarket had entire sections stripped bare on 14 March 2020
I don't shop for recreation. I don't watch TV. I don't do Youtube videos.
I do keep a very regular routine and job my errands.
We live in Hershey, Dauphin County, in Pennsylvania and there's been no Covid-19 reported anywhere near us.
So Saturday (14 March 2020 or Pi Day), I had to make a regular run to the library and get milk.
Dear Daughter and Dear Son drink a LOT of milk; more than I can purchase and store in the fridge on a weekly basis.
The library was closed for the next two weeks per Governor Wolf. Fine. Drop-off only.
The streets were moderately busy as I would expect in early afternoon in March when Hershey Park is still closed. Everything in Hershey revolves around the park's schedule.
The Giant didn't have a full parking lot. Normal, like always.
Inside, entire sections of the store had been swept clean. I have never seen anything like it, including when everyone panics over a scary snow forecast.
All the toilet paper, paper towels, and kleenex were gone and so were most of the paper napkins.
Weirdly, flour, sugar, and various baking staples were gone. I would NEVER have guessed that so many people in my area expected to hunker down and bake their own bread and biscuits.
Applesauce, canned fruit, canned veg, soups of every description, tuna, spam, and the like. Gone or mostly gone.
Hand sanitizer and cleaning products? Big gaps.
Meat counter? It looked fine. Produce was fully stocked too.
Bread? Lots to choose from.
Gourmet cheeses? Loads. Mass-market cheese, especially string cheese? Decimated.
Pillsbury whack-em-on-the-counter products? Stripped bare.
It was weird what was gone and what was left. Old-fashioned oatmeal which requires cooking was completely gone yet plenty of ready-to-eat cereal filled the shelves.
Staffers told me that they got a two-fer. Loads of locusts descended on the store on Friday (I guess when the news spread about Gov. Wolf closing the schools (K-12) through 29 March) AND and this may be more important, a truck didn't show up and they didn't know why.
The second reason is more interesting than panicked shoppers.
A typical grocery store doesn't maintain a huge warehouse in back of the building. The massive warehouse is somewhere else and that massive warehouse makes DAILY deliveries to the stores, filling the shelves. why didn't the usual huge truck loaded with groceries arrive on schedule? The woman I spoke to didn't know.
If truck delivery becomes less reliable, we may have bigger problems in store for us in the next few weeks.
I am so happy that I routinely keep a month's worth of non-perishable groceries on hand at all times.