Coronavirus Related Shortages in Shops

Dingo

Member
An odd one, my wife works at an adult store here in Aus. She's been having people asking for sex toy cleaner to use in lieu of hand sanitizer, since they have been unable to buy it.

For the record from what I can tell toy cleaners aren't alcohol based and won't function like sanitizer, they're effectively soap that's internal safe and gentle on silicon. Better than nothing but equivalent to washing your hands with soapy water.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I just noticed this note on the receipt for my last shop, from Forklift.
Metabunk 2020-03-24 07-47-32.jpg
It makes sense, in terms of preventing spread of infection. But also dissuades impulsive bulk purchases

Costco also had a sign saying no returns, but just on items people were buying in excessive bulk, like toilet paper.
 

M Bornong

Senior Member
Bakersfield California, wife and I ventured to the grocery store for the first time since the panic buying began, we had heard that dairy and produce were more available and we've been out of those for a few days. Everything was limited to 1 item per customer, we didn't get what we wanted, but will manage on the perishables we were able to get for another week or so, and still good on non-perishables, for several weeks.

I talked to a friend on the other side of town this morning, his daughter tried to get milk, eggs, and a bag of potatoes, she struck out after 3 stores.

Paper, rice, beans, pasta completely empty, cans thin. One of the employees was on the paper aisle ordering, he said he goes through the motions everyday to restock the entire section. The distribution center can still only ship at about the same rate as the pre-panic buying days, so they get enough to fill about 1/4 of the space every morning, people are still lining up before the store opens and clear the shelves in the first hour or 2 even with their limiting to one item per customer and limiting number of people in the store at any one time. I've heard our big box stores are about the same
 

Agent K

Active Member
Q: What's better, newspapers or television?
A: Newspapers. You can't wipe your ass with a TV.

Q: What food is good for quarantine?
A: Matzo
Q: Because it has a long shelf life?
A: It can be slipped under the door.
Q: What should I eat during the pandemic?
A: Lots of garlic.
Q: To boost the immune system?
A: No, to keep others six feet away from you.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work if everyone does it.
 

qed

Senior Member
South Africa has banned the sale of alcohol and cigarettes for the three week shutdown! :eek:

Alcohol I get, but cigarettes feels like liberal mischief.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
South Africa has banned the sale of alcohol and cigarettes for the three week shutdown! :eek:

Alcohol I get, but cigarettes feels like liberal mischief.
Seems like the reasoning is that it's not an essential good, so trips to buy cigarettes are not essential.
https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-af...es-prohibited-during-21-day-lockdown-45566024
It might backfire, as smokers usually have some degree of physical addiction that makes it very hard to just stop - so they are going to be seeking cigarettes anyway, and might spend longer out trying to find them.

It's like a giant experiment.
 

qed

Senior Member
I have got an old vape up and working and found vape juice at a store. The cigarettes had all been removed but the juice flies under the law. So I am vaping. Bought a lot of juice. Coffee is still counted as an essential, thank goodness.
 

deirdre

Senior Member
South Africa has banned the sale of alcohol and cigarettes for the three week shutdown! :eek:

Alcohol I get, but cigarettes feels like liberal mischief.
that's messed up. so youll have a bunch of criminal types with the DTs breaking into homes to steal liquor and cigs. nice. (people with DTs will probably also end up at the hospital)
 

Mendel

Active Member
Alcohol I get, but cigarettes feels like liberal mischief.
Yep. All those liberal doctors, telling you smoking impairs your lungs. It's a conspiracy! And the evil WHO is in on it! I expect that the medical advisors are aware that banning smoking has a positive effect on the health issues that could impact a patient's ability to cope with Covid-19.

WHO FAQ:
From a more in-depth summary (WHO again):
Now you may think, but will I benefit from quitting smoking before I get infected? Sure you will!
In short, Coronavirus attacks the heart and the lungs; smoking impairs the heart and the lungs; but if you quit smoking, you can see improvements in days, weeks and months that should improve your ability to cope with this infection.
 
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derwoodii

Senior Member
firearm & ammo purchase have been temporarily banned in Victoria Australia due to spike in permit & ownership applications.. This ban seems to be now across Australia states in varying degrees spuring the typical for and against arguments.. But as going out to shop to buy a gun is not on the allowed stage 3 restricted movement list its a mute point..


Victoria bans guns after permit applications more than double amid COVID-19 pandemic

https://www.9news.com.au/national/v...pandemic/c79be725-280d-4173-b761-e364d4544433

 

deirdre

Senior Member
Yep. All those liberal doctors, telling you smoking impairs your lungs. It's a conspiracy! And the evil WHO is in on it! I expect that the medical advisors are aware that banning smoking has a positive effect on the health issues that could impact a patient's ability to cope with Covid-19.
In America, we call that the Nanny State. (ie. liberals). just saying.
 

Graham2001

Active Member
Local shops are implementing purchase limits of two items per customer in certain foods, but it's still virtually impossible to get toilet paper unless you get to the store as close to opening as possible.
 

derwoodii

Senior Member
Local shops are implementing purchase limits of two items per customer in certain foods, but it's still virtually impossible to get toilet paper unless you get to the store as close to opening as possible.

sorry chap where about are you ??

Things returning to near normal in OZ a few shelves thin of things, but my veggie patches & seed bank has been prepper renovated by dear SWMBO.. Heck stay at home rules say i cant even go fishing so got the .22 out to stalk some bunnies but dearly hope it dont need go that far they taste yuk..

This whole episode down under has been very mild in word comparison thankfully due to island country border control and generally good public behavior, i think we are hovering about 40 plus dead and 5000 infected this will rise but talk is we seem to have plateaued
 
Here in Northern Virginia, the only things that are in the "very difficult to impossible" list are toilet paper, tissues, and eggs. Some supermarkets have lifted their purchase limits too. I went out on Monday and the store I shop at had lifted their limit on milk and there was plenty on hand. Some of the items that were in very low supply have rebounded, like pasta. The only thing I was unable to obtain was flour, which has been generally in low supply for over a month now. I went to a second store and the only flour they had was a higher priced premium brand flour, which may have explained why it was the only kind left.

I took the large quantities of Easter hams as a comfort. Seeing seasonal products like that was a good reminder that the supply chain is functioning as designed.
 

Mechanik

Member
Southern California, here. I made a shopping run on Sunday and found a mixed bag of effects. My store, which had previously been well-stocked while others were bare, has been looking a bit spotty lately. Fresh veggies were plentiful, as was everything in the deli including a freshly-cooked chicken. Paper goods aisle was empty. Was able to find a couple of cans of soup that were previously out of stock, but could not find rice or pasta. Milk was in stock, and the alcohol aisle was fully stocked. Dry packaged food was well-stocked if one wants to subsist on Mac & cheese, or Hamburger Helper.

Frozen foods were a bit picked-over, but found a few meals that I added to my already-full freezer. Frozen vegetables were entirely absent so I grabbed some fresh and froze them myself.

I cook for myself and tend to rely on frozen meals for at least half my diet, but have been cooking fresh meals and freezing them for later use. Tougher to find all the ingredients you want, but much tastier than the frozen dregs found in the store. I’m also putting on weight due to full meals and less exercise!
 

Vic Thornley

New Member
Here in the UK, supermarkets stepped up their game, having opening hours for pensioners only, health workers only. Floor plans implemented with direction arrows (like a one way system). 2 meter markings to keep distances. Designated queuing lanes for checkout. Minimising numbers in store at any one time, one out one in system. Regular hand/trolley sanitising stations, limits on goods per person. For the first few days it was a bit haphazard, but then more got the message. In my two local stores, anyone ignoring these safety measures were asked to leave in no uncertain terms.

But we did suffer stupidity at first, fights over toilet paper. Taking things out of other people's trolley who were looking away, really pretty and selfish. We Brits know how to queue, seeing as we invented it. Napoleon once remarked 'England is a nation of shopkeepers'

Also to note, past few weeks, everyone comes out of their front doors at 8pm on Thursdays to say thanks to front line workers by having a mass clapping applause.

Stay safe everyone.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
We used Instacart here, one delivery from Safeway, and one the next day from Costco. There was no problem getting a slot, and delivery was available within 3 hours of ordering. However, I'm in a part of the country with not that many cases.

Safeway was out of a lot of fresh produce
Metabunk 2020-04-15 16-09-37.jpg

The Instacart shopper would send me photos of the empty shelves.
Metabunk 2020-04-15 16-13-35.jpg

Lots of gaps, and not a lot of people (these are some of the other photos she sent)
Metabunk 2020-04-15 16-16-21.jpgMetabunk 2020-04-15 16-17-18.jpg

We're all stocked up for another month now.
 

deirdre

Senior Member
I took the risk yesterday and went for milk and eggs (now ill be freaking for 2 weeks :) ). I had the opposite experience to Mick's high priced grocery store that was pretty much full.. I went to an old gas station convenience store that is always empty of customers... they built a fancy looking updated one next door and that one was packed with cars. obviously I didn't look in that one to see what they had, but the old dilapidated convenience store had everything they usually do. eggs, milk, etc. they even had paper towels, and ive been looking for regular kitchen papertowels online for 2 weeks, everyone sold out. they had tp too, cat food, poptarts.. looked like all regular items were stocked.
 

Mechanik

Member
Only minor changes lately, but some were interesting.

Went shopping with my daughter yesterday. Stopped for a late lunch of fast food and found the dining room closed. The week before, you could walk in for takeout. They also had you drop your money in a cardboard box, but they delivered your change by hand. Everyone was masked and gloved.

Then stopped at a Walgreens to pick up prescriptions. The drive-thru was packed but the store was very empty. I was the only one in line at the prescription counter. There was a sign on the door that only masked people could enter. Went back to the car and tied bandanas on our faces. Scored a huge amount of discounted Easter candy. Pharmacy clerk was masked but not gloved. Very challenging to joke with someone when they can't see your mouth.

On to Von's, which is now, I believe, part of the Kroeger/Ralph's family in California. Masks are required to enter. The deli is fully stocked so I picked up charcuterie and cheese for a family get-together this weekend. Forgot the salty snacks, which were fully stocked. The paper goods continue to be devastated. There were napkins and full-size Kleenex, but no paper towels or toilet paper. I'm at a bit of a loss as to what all is gone from this aisle, because I recall that towels and TP only filled half the aisle, but now it's less than a 10% full with one brand of napkins and store brand Kleenex. I guess all the major brands are out of stock.

The fresh meat department is fully stocked once again. Fresh seafood, prepared meats, like bacon-wrapped chicken breasts and marinated fajitas, as well as special cuts, are now fully available.

The only major disappointment is that the vegan section is a wasteland and has been for a month. My vegan daughter is well-versed in alternatives, but the joy has gone out of her diet. Her maple-smoked breakfast pseudo-sausages are sorely missed.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I went to Home Depot today (needed some salt for the water softener). About 20% of the customers (including me), and under 10% of the staff were wearing masks. I didn't look around much, but everything inside the store seemed as before, except for:
  1. There was a corridor for people to queue in to get in - which was empty, so I just walked right in
  2. Checkouts had plastic shields in place.
I used the self-checkout. They had hand sanitizer, which I used.

Quite a variety in both masks and social distancing. There were groups of employees just standing around chatting.

The county I live in has been barely affected. Just 54 cases, mostly recovered, no deaths. I'm thinking there are a lot of people here who think it's a hoax.
 
I just noticed this note on the receipt for my last shop, from Forklift.
View attachment 40010
It makes sense, in terms of preventing spread of infection. But also dissuades impulsive bulk purchases

Costco also had a sign saying no returns, but just on items people were buying in excessive bulk, like toilet paper.
Yet, the common saying is that you don't need to worry about packages being delivered with the virus. If that is true that we need not worry about boxes and bags coming in the mail and should mostly worry about the person delivering said material, why is there such a worry about returned items and reusable cups?

https://www.post-gazette.com/busine...dEx-Amazon-UPMC-delivery/stories/202004010048

I quote this because, there was such a hubbub about are my packages safe to me. As someone who is currently employed during this delivering packages I find this interesting. We should not worry about our packages so much. These things pass through over a dozen hands in my warehouse alone, not to mention the three prior sorting centers, aircraft, truck drivers, originating shippers.

COVID lives on paper (0) days???

https://www.webmd.com/lung/how-long-covid-19-lives-on-surfaces

Cardboard
Examples: shipping boxes
24 hours

So, there really is a worry, this box could pass through or near several dozen or more personnel within 24 hrs of delivery to your door. I cringe every time I see a elderly person pick up a box or package I delivered without gloves, or disinfecting it outside first. I also tell children not to take the package to their parents and go get their parents in case they wish to disinfect it first. It happens 1% of the time. I am safe as far as I know but who really knows if they can spread it. I feel the obligation to do more than I really need to I suppose. If they don't care about walking up to me to take it, should I take so much care. I think yes. As a person with severe lung issues due to, in my opinion, from breathing in burn pit smoke for a deployment, and then depleted uranium in the sand during another deployment (the VA and DOD do not recognize it yet), I really should be more forceful about distancing from others. Not a single person in our warehouse wore a mask for more than 2-5 days at the longest. A lot of people smoke and have the smokers cough. I think they are playing down the risk of packages to make people "feel safer" as to get people to order things and stay at home.
 
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Mendel

Active Member
COVID lives on paper (0) days???
This is from the best study (look at the red data, disregard the blue):
Article:
image.jpeg

Basically, the virus gets half as infectious every 3 hours if on cardboard.

Now, the question is, how much is on there to begin with? In shipping, work areas are usually large and well ventilated, delivery trucks are well ventilated as well, at least during the delivery cycle, so I wouldn't expect aerosols to accumulate. My advice would be for drivers not to sing while driving. ;)

We know that face-to-face, a high-risk contact closer than 6 feet, longer than 15 minutes, results in infection ~5% of the time. You're usually not that close to a parcel that long when you're handling it, so a) the parcel would receive a low dose to begin with, b) only a small part of that dose gets scooped up by whoever is handling it, and c) it becomes half as dangerous every 3 hours.

I'm not surprised that infections from deliveries have not been documented anywhere in the world. The chance of them happening is simply very low.

There's probably no need to disinfect the parcel if you're going to throw the packaging away anyway. Wash your hands after handling the outer packing if you want to be safe (and obviously don't touch your face).

Article:
How to grocery shop safely?

When grocery shopping, keep at least 1-metre distance from others and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. If possible, sanitize the handles of shopping trolleys or baskets before shopping. Once home, wash your hands thoroughly and also after handling and storing your purchased products.

There is currently no confirmed case of COVID-19 transmitted through food or food packaging.


Wearing masks in shops is mandatory for the customers over here. There is also a restriction of no more than 1 customer per 10 sq meters of shop area (so a 400 sq meter shop may allow 40 customers inside at maximum), which is usually enforced by requiring customers to use a shopping cart, and restricting the number of those. Splash guards for the cashiers are standard. The shop I usually go to hasn't been able to restock canned kale, but other than that, all items seem available as usual.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member
why is there such a worry about returned items
the return policy is to prevent hoarding.

I really should be more forceful about distancing from others.
You definitely should. It's very rude of people to run up to you when you are an essential worker. I would tell people forcefully "stop". Deliverymen are the first line of defense to older people who are sheltering at home and need food. Just as important as paramedics and doctors, because if they can get supplies delivered they won't need paramedics and doctors! If you all get sick and can't deliver supplies, at risk groups would need to expose themselves in stores a lot more often.

(obviously I don't want you to get sick, for your own sake. But if you feel uncomfortable reprimanding people for your own health, do it for the little girl with leukemia whose family needs EVERYTHING delivered so they don't bring the virus into the house from the grocery store or pharmacy)


I cringe every time I see a elderly person pick up a box or package I delivered without gloves, or disinfecting it outside first.
i handle packages without gloves, i just wash my hands 3 x after handling them and hold my breath when i cut the tape open (i dont know if cutting could fling the virus up..but better safe than sorry) if it's something i can't wait 3 days to open. I consider the tape on packages, "plastic".
 

qed

Senior Member
Alcohol and nicotine products are still banned for sale in South Africa. The day after the ban I managed to buy vape juice at a petrol station, but all vape products where then removed.

While the ban on alcohol has been well explained to the population, the nicotine ban has not. The government will give no reason!

I have been a tea-totaling vaper for two months, but I run out of vape juice in about a week.

I have tried nicotine gum which seems legal, but the gum just melts in the coffee! I love vape and coffee in the morning.
 
Alcohol and nicotine products are still banned for sale in South Africa. The day after the ban I managed to buy vape juice at a petrol station, but all vape products where then removed.

While the ban on alcohol has been well explained to the population, the nicotine ban has not. The government will give no reason!

I have been a tea-totaling vaper for two months, but I run out of vape juice in about a week.

I have tried nicotine gum which seems legal, but the gum just melts in the coffee! I love vape and coffee in the morning.
That was my trouble in germany getting chewing tobacco not confiscated by the Germans when the bas was out
 

qed

Senior Member
Interestingly, alcohol is now legal but all nicotine products are banned indefinitely. No help has been provided for the 11 million smokers in RSA. And since our daiy covid infection rate grows each day and winter is arriving, who knows when the ban will end.
 

Mauro

New Member
Interestingly, alcohol is now legal but all nicotine products are banned indefinitely. No help has been provided for the 11 million smokers in RSA. And since our daiy covid infection rate grows each day and winter is arriving, who knows when the ban will end.
It looks like the good old Taleban way. War on drugs anyone?
 

Oystein

Senior Member
I am lazy, don't shop around, and frequent the same supermarket 90% of the time.
Everything is back to normal.
Except toilet paper: The last few weeks, they only had one kind of the same brand - a 2-layer toilet paper. I prefer 3 layers. I am fairly sure other outlets have stocks of several kinds and brands of toilet paper, so my working theory is: This particular supermarket hat the supersmart idea to secure a huge supply of this 2-layer unknown-brand TP when everyone was hoarding, so they would not run out of it - and now nobody is hoarding any longer, and they sit on this huge supply, and want to get rid of it, so they sell nothing else :eek::D
 
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