Those long lines? People stocking the liquor cabinet, not the pantry

“It’s been insane,” said Vince Grace, a sales associate at Astor Wines & Spirits in Manhattan, which experienced a rush of customers stocking up on drinks from grain alcohol to wine Thursday night. Inexpensive wine was especially popular, Mr. Grace said.

“People are just buying up whatever they can,” he said.

Drizly, an alcohol-delivery service based in Boston, said its growth rate of sales had increased by 50 percent since news of the virus began to spread. In Seattle, Chicago and Boston, sales of wine, beer and liquor this week were up 300 to 500 percent compared to sales in January, according to the company.

“Yesterday was our largest day ever, inclusive of New Year’s and Halloween, which are our busiest times,” said Cory Rellas, Drizly’s chief executive.