Shoppers are finding empty shelves, long lines at stores nationwide

At stores across the U.S., shelves are being picked bare. The coronavirus is spurring panicked shoppers to stock up on products ranging from cleansing wipes to peanut butter as they prepare to hunker down in the midst of the growing pandemic.

“They’re acting like this is the end of the world,” said Lynette Young, a nurse in Los Angeles, who was amused by the rush as she bought ginger ale and cleaning supplies at a local Walmart. “If they regularly stocked up, they wouldn’t have this problem.”…

Steve Haze, the store’s manager, said the store saw a 50% increase in its normal volume of business, a spike he’d rarely seen during his 21 years working at Woodman’s.

“Y2K. That was about it,” Haze said of the frenzied shopping that occurred when some people feared systems would go awry at the dawn of the new century. Now, the store is having to restrict the number of paper products and bottled water customers can buy. “We are the only one left in Waukesha with toilet paper, so that’s why everybody is here.”