Panic over coronavirus hits SLO County stores

March 10, 2020


The shelves of some San Luis Obispo County department stores have been depleted over the past few days of items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as shoppers hoard items amid panic over the coronavirus. [Tribune]

On Monday, the CVS at Laguna Plaza in San Luis Obispo was out of masks and hand sanitizer. There was a similar shortage at the Atascadero CVS.

Costco in San Luis Obispo was out of toilet paper, bottled water and Clorox disinfecting wipes. New supplies of toilet paper were expected to arrive at Costco by Wednesday.

The Trader Joe’s in SLO had only a limited supply of hand sanitizer sprays available Monday morning.

Over the weekend, Walmart in Arroyo Grande had empty shelves where disinfectant products and toilet paper use to be placed.

Additionally, the San Luis Obispo Target had limited supplies of toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant sprays. The store was completely out of hand sanitizer.

The SLO Target is currently limiting purchases of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers and hand and face wipes to six per shopper.

An employee of Food-4-Less in San Luis Obispo said customers are buying large quantities of non-perishable food, such as rice, ramen and beans. The SLO Food-4-Less ran out of hand sanitizer several days ago.

Currently, there are no cases of coronavirus in SLO County. But, County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said it is only a matter of time before someone in the county tests positive.

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This is an example of what watching too many zombie movies will do….

In 2008, there was much panic regarding the Avian flu. Thankfully it was not the pandemic we thought. We don’t know if this “new” Coronavirus will be severe or not. Because we do not know, the CDC is trying to mitigate the spread. Drive by a local hospital, most are setting up staging areas outside to prepare. They are working to increase census capacity by 10-20%.

Personally, I have followed the CDC’s emergency preparedness guidelines, as households really should have a minimum of 3 day’s supply of items anyway. You would be surprised at the people who have nothing.

One Costco Kirkland pack of toilet paper is 30 rolls. I’m thinking that should last like a month even if you aren’t conserving I’m seeing people buying like 50 of these Costco rolls online. I understand the need to be adequately prepared, but how much do you REALLY need? I like this calculator:

If wipes are gone, why not just buy bleach? One gallon of water plus 1/4 cup bleach is a 1:10 strength solution which will kill almost anything. FYI- vinegar does not kill Coronavirus.

Here is a list of items that kill Coronavirus:

Here is a list of items I humbly ask you to have on hand (please)

1. Plenty of your daily prescribed medications

2. Tylenol and Motrin, aspirin for adults (aspirin should not be given to kids or people who take prescribed blood thinners) CONSIDER SUPPOSITORIES LIKE FEVERALL in case an infant or person cannot hold medication down.

3. A Thermometer- dollar store has them even!

4. Saltine crackers

5. Gatorade or Diet sprite/7 up (regular drinks can cause diarrhea due to sugar content)

6. Almond milk or other type of milk that can be non-refrigerated

7. Protein powder

8. Mix #6 and #7 for a meal replacement (one scoop protein powder with 8 oz milk product)

9. Dried beans

10. Rice

11. Any kind of soap to wash dishes and hands. Soap + water gets rid of almost any germ.

There is much more to add, but to me these things seem much more important to hoard than toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

I really do understand that fear. I don’t even watch the news anymore, because every channel, every post online is about drumming up fear. It brings out the worst in humanity, and while hoarding things to excess so others are driving around town looking for basic items is crazy.

I wish everyone well.

Meanwhile the statistics for the ‘regular’ flue are:

There are reported to be some 1 billion influenza infections worldwide each year, with up to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year, tens of thousands of U.S. deaths, and 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide.

Too bad you are using “statistics” incorrectly.

If as you say; about 1 billion people, or 1/7 of the world population, suffers from the flu each year it is no big deal, right? The mortality rate in the USA for the flu is; .001355. Or 1.3 per thousand.

The best case on this flu’s mortality is about a; .01 mortality rate (S Korea). Northern Italy, where they got a late start, is; .05. Or 1 out of every hundred in S Korea, or 5 out of every hundred in Italy..

1/7 of our population is about 55 million people. A 1% death rate is 550,000 people. A 5% death rate is 2,750,000 lives.

Or said another way. A 9 fold increase in death rate compared to the average flu at our most favorable mortality rate possible.

Those are the real statistics you should be concerned about. Too bad we have less than a million hospital beds in all of the USA. Slowing this down means we don’t get over run.

You should do your math and take this more seriously.

The fact is you can’t determine a statistic in the middle of a test.when the wuhan flu has run it’s course then we can determine the mortality rate. We don’t know how many people have been infected and thought it was only influenza. Let’s be reasonable people.

You confuse Preparedness with Panic.

I didn’t see any mayhem at Costco, just lack of water.

Isopropyl alcohol 2/3 cup plus Aloe 1/3 cup. = sanitizer.

Do you prepare for the flu?

I was in the SLO Costco on the 9th. There was no TP no paper towels very little bottled water. I was in Santa Maria Costco this afternoon. There was no TP and no paper towels, very little bottle water. Sounds like a panic to me.

What do all you haters expect to eat in the event of a mass quarantine lockdown on par with Italy? (631 deaths as I write this.)

You think that if you aren’t prepared that somehow the government is going to feed you? What if it’s so overtaxed that it CAN’T? Or your delicate vegan sensibilities are forced to eat corned beef hash because that’s all they can muster?


The CDC is recommending people stock up on supplies to ride out a quarantine, if necessary. People are just following their guidance, albeit en masse.

People roaming the streets because the pantry is bare during a mass quarantine sorta defeats its purpose, eh?

When it does get here, don’t you want other people to have hand sanitizer? As for the toilet paper, they do know it’s a respiratory illness right?