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    Panic buying 2.0: Shoppers hoard essentials as states impose stricter COVID lockdowns

    Panic buying 2.0: Shoppers hoarding toilet paper, disinfectant and food leave shelves empty across the country as states begin to impose stricter lockdowns amid a surge in cases

    • Images show stores in Washington, California, Virginia, Indiana and New Jersey have all been affected 
    • It is the second time this year that shoppers appear to be panic buying after stores were ransacked in March
    • But experts say the run is likely to be less severe this time as stores and shoppers are more prepared 
    • The flurry of measures came as 40 states have reported record daily increases in COVID-19 cases this month
    • As governors were forced to act there were reports of panic buying beginning in stores across the country 

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    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.

    Several governors, from New Jersey and California to Iowa and Ohio, acted on Monday to restrict gatherings and boost face-coverings in confronting a coronavirus surge they warned is out of control. Each of the four governors cited health data showing the pandemic reaching its most perilous point yet in the US, threatening to overwhelm hospitals and claim thousands more lives in the weeks ahead.   

    As they acted there were local reports of panic buying beginning in stores across the country.  

    Santa Clara County, California: 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

    Ohio: 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

    Ohio: 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

    New Jersey: Experts say the run is likely to be less severe this time as stores and shoppers are more prepared

    New Jersey: Experts say the run is likely to be less severe this time as stores and shoppers are more prepared

    In Virginia ABC8 News reports some large chains, including Kroger and Walmart, are already experiencing the second wave of panic buying. 

    One local store owner Norm Gold told the network: ‘There will be a second rush. I am very confident in my store and what we have now. They learned from what happened six months ago and they brought product in early.’

    Target told the network they will enforce purchase limits if necessary.    

    Earlier this year grocers were forced to limit purchases of products like Purell sanitizers, Lysol cleaning spray and canned soup. Companies like Walmart, Target and Wegman’s curbed store hours for the public in order to give workers time to restock shelves.     

    In Indianapolis pictures show empty shelves as shoppers gear up for the Holidays. Shopper John Notarianni told  WTHR:’I have a pantry and my freezer full. I figure I have enough food at home to last me through January.’

    Kroger spokesperson Eric Halverson said: ‘We learned a lot about our supply and demand last May and April during the start of the pandemic. The key is for us to make sure people don’t panic and don’t hoard. There is plenty of food in the supply chain. 

    ‘What we learned was we didn’t impose product restrictions early enough and that created a run on the system and created some difficulties for people.’   

    Health experts have projected the coming holiday travel season and the onset of colder weather, with more people tending to congregate indoors, is likely to worsen the situation.

    More than 70,000 Americans were hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 as of Monday, the most ever at any time since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters tally of public health figures.

    The number of U.S. infections documented to date surpassed 11 million on Monday, a little more than a week after crossing the 10-million mark – the fastest time it has taken for the national tally to grow by a million cases.

    Arizona: The flurry of lockdown 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

    Arizona: The flurry of lockdown 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

    Virginia: The nation as a whole has averaged more than 148,000 new cases a day, and 1,120 daily deaths, over the past week

    Virginia: The nation as a whole has averaged more than 148,000 new cases a day, and 1,120 daily deaths, over the past week

    Portland, Oregon: Earlier this year grocers were forced to limit purchases of products like Purell sanitizers, Lysol cleaning spray and canned soup

    Portland, Oregon: Earlier this year grocers were forced to limit purchases of products like Purell sanitizers, Lysol cleaning spray and canned soup

    Kansas City: Companies like Walmart, Target and Wegman’s curbed store hours for the public in order to give workers time to restock shelves

    Kansas City: Companies like Walmart, Target and Wegman’s curbed store hours for the public in order to give workers time to restock shelves

    The spike in cases and hospitalizations has been especially striking in places like Iowa, a largely rural, Midwestern Corn Belt state spared the worst ravages of the pandemic when it began eight months ago. 

    In Washington The Target in Spokane Valley had bare shelves as did a local Costco, KREM2 reports. 

    Gov. Jay Inslee had already said: ‘I really hope we don’t have hoarding going on in our stores. That’s really not necessary and most unhelpful.’ 

    He ordered gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, museums and zoos to shut down indoor operations. Stores must limit capacity to 25%. People from different households will be barred in Washington from gathering indoors unless they have quarantined. There is no enforcement mechanism. Inslee said he hopes people obey anyway.

    A Fred Meyer spokesman told the network: ‘There is plenty of product in the supply chain as long as customers only purchase what they need.’  

    One grocery worker in Seattle told The Daily Beast: ‘They’re [essential items] going really fast now.’

    Another worker added: ‘People are stockpiling now not because they’re afraid of being stuck at home, but because they’ve seen everyone else buying it up and are afraid they won’t be able to get any when they need it later.’ 

    Karl Schroeder, president of the Seattle division of Albertsons companies, told Fox13 Monday: ‘If you were in any of our stores last night, or probably any retailer, it looks like there was a run on paper products, but we have plenty in the warehouses.’ 

    New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay-at-home order went into effect Monday. Only essential businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, will be open. 

    Seattle, Washington: In Washington The Target in Spokane Valley had bare shelves as did a local Costco. Gov. Jay Inslee had already said: 'I really hope we don't have hoarding going on in our stores. That's really not necessary and most unhelpful'

    Seattle, Washington: In Washington The Target in Spokane Valley had bare shelves as did a local Costco. Gov. Jay Inslee had already said: ‘I really hope we don’t have hoarding going on in our stores. That’s really not necessary and most unhelpful’

    Detroit, Michigan: Health experts have projected the coming holiday travel season and the onset of colder weather, with more people tending to congregate indoors, is likely to worsen the situation

    Detroit, Michigan: Health experts have projected the coming holiday travel season and the onset of colder weather, with more people tending to congregate indoors, is likely to worsen the situation

    Iowa has registered more than new 52,000 infections over the past two weeks, about the same number documented from March to mid-August, with COVID-19 accounting for one in every four patients now hospitalized in the state.

    ‘No one wants to do this,’ Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, said in announcing that all indoor gatherings for social, leisure and community events will be limited to 15 people, with outdoor gatherings limited to 30, weddings and funerals included.

    In addition, Iowa’s restaurants and bars will be ordered to close by 10 p.m., and masks will be newly required for anyone spending at least 15 minutes in an indoor public space without being able to socially distance, the governor said.

    Reynolds said success hinged on public cooperation rather than enforcement.

    ‘If Iowans don’t buy into this, we lose,’ Reynolds told a news conference. ‘Businesses will close once again. More schools will be forced to go online, our healthcare system will fail, and the cost in human life will be high.’

    Indianapolis, Indiana:  More than 70,000 Americans were hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 as of Monday, the most ever at any time since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters tally of public health figures

    Indianapolis, Indiana:  More than 70,000 Americans were hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 as of Monday, the most ever at any time since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters tally of public health figures

    Spokane, Washington: The spike in cases and hospitalizations has been especially striking in places like Iowa, a largely rural, Midwestern Corn Belt state spared the worst ravages of the pandemic when it began eight months ago

    Spokane, Washington: The spike in cases and hospitalizations has been especially striking in places like Iowa, a largely rural, Midwestern Corn Belt state spared the worst ravages of the pandemic when it began eight months ago

    Indianapolis, Indiana: The number of U.S. infections documented to date surpassed 11 million on Monday, a little more than a week after crossing the 10-million mark - the fastest time it has taken for the national tally to grow by a million cases

    Indianapolis, Indiana: The number of U.S. infections documented to date surpassed 11 million on Monday, a little more than a week after crossing the 10-million mark – the fastest time it has taken for the national tally to grow by a million cases

    Indianapolis, Indiana: Several U.S. governors, from the coastal states of New Jersey and California to the heartland of Iowa and Ohio, acted on Monday to restrict gatherings and boost face-coverings in confronting a coronavirus surge they warned is out of control

    Indianapolis, Indiana: Several U.S. governors, from the coastal states of New Jersey and California to the heartland of Iowa and Ohio, acted on Monday to restrict gatherings and boost face-coverings in confronting a coronavirus surge they warned is out of control

    Spokane, Washington: The virus is blamed for more than 246,000 deaths and over 11 million confirmed infections in the the U.S.

    Spokane, Washington: The virus is blamed for more than 246,000 deaths and over 11 million confirmed infections in the the U.S.

    Warrensburg, MO: From California to Pennsylvania, governors and mayors across the U.S. are ratcheting up COVID-19 restrictions amid the record-shattering resurgence of the virus that is all but certain to get worse because of holiday travel and family gatherings over Thanksgiving

    Warrensburg, MO: From California to Pennsylvania, governors and mayors across the U.S. are ratcheting up COVID-19 restrictions amid the record-shattering resurgence of the virus that is all but certain to get worse because of holiday travel and family gatherings over Thanksgiving

    Similar messages were delivered on Monday by the Democratic governors of California and New Jersey, and their Republican counterpart in Ohio.  

    California Governor Gavin Newsom said he was applying ’emergency brakes’ to his reopening plan, citing a doubling in the daily number of COVID-19 cases reported across the state over the past 10 days.

    Under Newsom’s announcement, commercial and social restrictions will be tightened starting Tuesday in 40 of the state’s 58 counties, covering the vast majority of its 40 million residents.

    The crackdown means no indoor service in bars and restaurants and more restrictions on many other businesses and public gatherings. California is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions, Newsom said. 

    California shopper Forrest Carson told NBC: ‘In Walnut Creek I noticed that the shelves were empty at that particular aisle and you can only buy so much at one time.’  

    Virginia: Leaders are closing businesses or curtailing hours and other operations, and they are ordering or imploring people to stay home and keep their distance from others to help stem a rising tide of infections that threatens to overwhelm the health care system

    Virginia: Leaders are closing businesses or curtailing hours and other operations, and they are ordering or imploring people to stay home and keep their distance from others to help stem a rising tide of infections that threatens to overwhelm the health care system

    Virginia:  The tightening came as Moderna Inc. announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine appears to be over 94% effective, based on early results. A week ago Pfizer disclosed similar findings with its own formula

    Virginia:  The tightening came as Moderna Inc. announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine appears to be over 94% effective, based on early results. A week ago Pfizer disclosed similar findings with its own formula

    Stores in Atlanta also have bare shelves, WSB-TV reports. Shopper Bruce Liberman said: ‘I was afraid there may be a shortage coming in the near future. I’d rather go ahead and get it now than try to get it online when it might not be available.’                   

    Some of the most aggressive new actions to confront the crisis were being taken at the local level, such as in Philadelphia, the nation’s sixth most populous city.

    Officials there on Monday ordered a ban on ‘indoor gatherings of any size in any location, public or private,’ except among individuals who live together.

    ‘We need to keep this virus from jumping from one household to another,’ city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley told a news conference.

    If the current rate of ‘exponential’ growth in cases continues, hospitals will soon be strained to their limits and more than 1,000 people could die in Pennsylvania’s largest city over the next six weeks, Farley said.

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on residents in the nation’s third-largest city to restrict social gatherings to 10 people starting Monday. In instructions that were advisory, not mandatory, she urged residents to stay home except for essential activities, like going to work or grocery shopping. 

    In New Jersey, one of the hardest-hit states in the early phase of the pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy said he was ordering gatherings of people from different households limited to 10 indoors, down from 25, while the mandatory cap on outdoor gatherings will be lowered to 150 from 500. 

    In Ohio, where daily case tallies have increased by 17% and total hospitalizations by at least 25% in the past week, the state’s health department issued a revised order to limit mass gatherings starting on Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine announced.     

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