A picture of an empty shelf at our local supermarket, taken March 14 by my sister Kaylee.
I did not go to the supermarket on March 14, so I do not know what aisle this was supposed to be. However, she also sent a picture of a paper sign taped to the shelves, which limits sales of water, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels, and other items, so I assume that these shelves must have usually held one or more of those items.
There were several news stories about how people were stocking up on huge amounts of food and household items at stores and buying all the toilet paper. “Toilet paper hoarding” kind of became a joke at the time. I don’t know if the toilet paper hoarding was actually as big as people made it out to be, but it was definitely weird to see so many empty shelves. Thankfully, my family did not run out of any food or essential items. As of when I’m writing this (end of May), I haven’t been to the supermarket in a while, so I don’t know if the shelves are still empty like this. I assume that they aren’t, since there’s not as much panic about the pandemic nearly three months into the shelter-in-place.
Submitted by Emmy Gallagher, Santa Clara County – Palo Alto.