BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is sending shoppers rushing to stores, only to find some of the items they were looking for out of stock.
Numerous stores have struggled to keep basics like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes on their shelves.
“It’s like everybody came in and wiped out everything,” Annette, a Baltimore resident, told WJZ.
Claire Scott agreed.
“I haven’t seen hand sanitizer anywhere,” she said.
The sentiment echoed for other Baltimore residents.
“We went to go get some hand sanitizer, some toilet paper. The shelves were empty. There’s like 4 per person,” Teddy, a Baltimore resident, said.
The high demand and limited supply have forced some stores like Safeway to limit the quantities of items each customer can buy.
— Logan Reigstad (@loganreigstad) March 9, 2020
Some stores opened Friday morning to find lines of customers reminiscent of Thanksgiving or Black Friday.
At BJs Wholesale Club in White Marsh, there was a line of cars trying to park just 20 minutes after opening.
Just in case you all are thinking “It might be a good idea to go shopping right when the store opens”… This is what I ran into at the @BJsWholesale in White Marsh/Nottingham this morning just 20 minutes after it opened. @wjz #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/7B7dYZKAsh
— C.J. Alderson (@CJAldersonWJZ) March 13, 2020
Even Giant Foods, which is normally empty in the early morning hours was busy Friday morning.
— Mike Schuh WJZ (@MikeWJZ) March 13, 2020
Thursday night was busy too, with lines at Costco wrapping around the store.
— Avajoye Burnett (@AvajoyeWJZ) March 13, 2020
Target, the only big-box store in Canton, had many empty shelves and signs saying they were working hard to replenish shelves.
Everything from toilet paper to disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and soap were gone.
Canned goods, bread, water and other food items were also low in supply. There were empty shelves at Harris Teeter in downtown too!
— 𝚂𝚘𝚗𝚒𝚊 𝙳𝚊𝚜𝚐𝚞𝚙𝚝𝚊 (@SoniaDasgupta) March 12, 2020
With so many people trying to snap up the essentials, CBS News reports some retailers are accused of raising prices and price-gouging consumers.
Hoping to head online to shop? You may be out of luck there, too: some hand sanitizers from Walmart and Amazon are either out-of-stock or aren’t expected to ship for weeks.
Some people are even turning to places like Facebook Marketplace in search of household items. A listing on the marketplace from Glen Burnie has a one-ounce container of hand sanitizer up for $5 and an 8-ounce container for $14.
In Windsor Mill, someone has listed a 28-ounce hand sanitizer pump for $25.