Panicked Shoppers Empty Shelves at Pavilions Market in Santa Monica. #Coronavirus
Fear of quarantine drove shoppers from other areas search for pasta, poultry, Peanut Butter, Bread and Meat
March 19, 2020
Shoppers came to Santa Monica's tawny Montana Avenue Friday, emptying the shelves at Vons, Ralph's and other markets. They bought quantities of items such as eggs, bread, peanut butter, all sorts of meat and poultry. And of course, toilet paper and other paper goods, and bottled water.
"There were long lines of shoppers here earlier today, this afternoon. They bought everything in sight," one checker told us.
News out of Italy says that people in the Red Zone were ordered to stay home for 2 weeks, as the country's health system battled Wuhan Coronavirus.
One woman told me she was motivated to stock up on bread and dry goods, including paper goods, by President Trump's declaration of a national emergency earlier today. There is no indication so far that Americans generally will be made to shelter at home; although this has happened in China and Italy.
I must emphasize that while I was there, two large 18 wheeler trucks pulled up and men began restocking the shelves with paper items and food.
Reports from other Santa Monica markets, including pricey stores like Gelson's and Bristol Farms, report similar scenes.
There are reports of angry disputes at some markets, especially over parking. Such disputes are hardly uncommon in LA, but people do seem more tense recently.
Pavilions is out of some items, such as eggs and packaged bread. Go to Pavilions tomorrow morning, if you need anything, and you will find most of what you are looking for--they closed at 11 pm, 2 hours early, to begin restocking.
There is no apparent shortage of food--just some pre packaged items are sold out. I saw plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, plenty of dairy items, and the pharmaceutical aisle was fully stocked. JMHO, but some aspects of this crisis are more panic and fear than anything truly fearsome.