Empty shelves and long lines- It’s the sign of the times

Shopping COVIDCheyenne Yap, Staff Writer


It was a normal day in Mililani, Hawaii for the family of Saint Martin’s student, Ally Orsino, when they decided to take a normal grocery run at the Don Quixote Market to pick up supplies for the upcoming days. When they reached the grocery store, they noticed that the shelves were empty. 

“Shelves were empty of rice, ramen noodles, canned meats, toilet paper, sanitizers, and rubbing alcohol,” said Orsino’s father. 

Due to the shortage, the store was restricting people to grab a limit of two supply items per family. 

“Overall I would say I was slightly disappointed but what can you expect?” 

This is just one of the situations many families face due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been many uncertainties about the future of families and a big shortage of supplies in many stores across the globe amid the coronavirus scare. Countries such as Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, and the U.S. have seen a vast growth in sales for toilet paper, hand sanitizer, food, and cleaning supplies. Pundits predict that shortages on high-demand items will continue throughout the pandemic. 

Many people raise the question: “Are grocery stores still going to be open even though we are experiencing all these shortages?” In simple terms, yes. Grocery stores will stay open because they are a critical asset to each community..  

Greg Ferrara, President and CEO of the National Grocers Association, gives some reassuring news for people across the country: “The shelves do have products. They are stocked. They are getting restocked on a regular basis. The supply chain in this country is very efficient and it’s very effective.”

The National Grocers Association represents over 20,000 independently owned private companies across the country. The demand for various supplies is bizarre, but many supply chains are ready to react to the high demand. 

Recognizing that people who are elderly and vulnerable to the virus have a difficult time accessing stores, companies such as Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods are dedicating special hours for the elderly to come and shop. This gives them a chance to get what they need from stores without the fear of supplies being out of stock.

Students at Saint Martin’s University have had many reactions to the shortage of supplies in stores: “In response to the general shortage in stores all over the world I am very flabbergasted and disappointed. While I understand and respect the idea that people need supplies when it comes to a virus – it feels like everyone is being a little dramatic,” said Peter Rink, a sophomore student.

Rink later mentioned that he has not been directly impacted because he does not really go to grocery stores. But he observed many people going to the stores recently just to find out that items are out of stock. 

 “When I realized people are overstocking things that are causing items to be out of stock in stores, I found it concerning because later on I would need those items as well,” said Kamal Lidder, a freshman. She later explained that everyone should think about others while buying supplies from stores. 

“Stock up items but don’t overstock,” said Lidder.

Daisy Miranda, a freshman, shared her thoughts about the shortage of supplies in stores, as well.

 “It’s kind of scary realizing everyone is in survival mode just trying to get the essentials for themselves and their families for a few weeks. I think stores have done really well with managing the crowds and restocking though, I’m thankful for the employees who are still working hard throughout this panic,” said Miranda. 

Many workers throughout this pandemic have been putting themselves at risk. Companies, such as Target, have realized that many workers have been putting countless hours during this pandemic.

As Miranda mentioned, all across the globe people are in survival mode due to this panic. Although many of us are uncertain about the future and are overbuying supplies, we always need to remember to think about the person next to us that might need it as well. 

“People need to be reasonable and take what they need and think of others,” said Rink.


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