Toilet paper, disinfectant and groceries are already flying off the shelves across the United States as states are forced to again impose strict coronavirus lockdowns amid a worrying surge in cases.
Images show stores in Washington, California, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Michigan and Missouir have all been affected by the rush. It is the second time this year that shoppers appear to be panic buying; stores were left scrambling to restock shelves wiped out in response to COVID-19 back in March.
But experts say the run is likely to be less severe this time as stores and shoppers are more prepared. Subodha Kumar, a supply chain expert at Temple University, told The Daily Beast: ‘People have already hoarded a lot of this stuff in their basements.’
The flurry of measures came as 40 states have reported record daily increases in COVID-19 cases this month, while 20 states have registered all-time highs in daily coronavirus-related deaths and 26 reported new peaks in hospitalizations, according to the Reuters tally. The nation as a whole has averaged more than 148,000 new cases a day, and 1,120 daily deaths, over the past week.
The virus is blamed for more than 246,000 deaths and over 11 million confirmed infections in the the U.S. Thanksgiving was on the minds of leaders nationwide as they enacted tougher restrictions amid fears that the holiday will lead to more infections.