Run at grocery stores proof of panic over coronavirus?

Mar 2, 2020, 6:57 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 9:20 am
Why the new coronavirus is a concern...
COVID-19 is a concern for several reasons, including how it evolved. (Image credit: Shutterstock)
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

SALT LAKE CITY – Is it a healthy dose of emergency preparedness or an irrational panic over the coronavirus?  Utahns and people from all over the country flocked to stores over the weekend, buying bottled water and toilet paper just in case we see an outbreak.

Emergency coordinators say it’s normal for people to feel a sense of panic when it comes to a new disease.  With the coronavirus spreading through China and South Korea, and with additional deaths in Washington state, it didn’t take long for people to worry about it spreading through the rest of the U.S.

Utah Division of Emergency Management Spokesman Joe Dougherty says, “The preparedness bug suddenly hit everyone.”

Dougherty says they frequently recommend people to stock up on food and water in cases of large emergencies or natural disasters.  However, a virus doesn’t have any impact on your ability to get water delivered to your home.

“The treated drinking water that you have will be available indefinitely,” Dougherty says.  “Our grocery delivery systems are not set up for everybody to make a run at the stores.  We’re confident that all those supplies will be stocked up in short order.”

This kind of panic didn’t just happen in Utah.  The Washington Post reports stores in California ran out of drinking water and Clorox wipes.  The Wall Street Journal reports stores across the country are stocking up for increased demand.  Plus, CNBC reports there has been an increase in the purchase of things like fruit snacks, dried beans, vitamins, energy drinks, and pretzels.

Dougherty says its good people are taking preparedness seriously, but, it may be better to think long-term when it comes to buying the supplies you need.

“A little bit at a time.  Preparedness should just be a regular part of what you do once a week or once a month,” he says.

School districts in Utah are also stepping up their efforts to fight the spread of viruses.  The Salt Lake City School District has its custodians using electrostatic sprayers to disinfect surfaces, regularly.

They can increase those sprayings if the need arises.  Also, officials from the Canyons School District say they’ve purchase hand-held sprayers that can disinfect surfaces with a “hospital grade biocide.”


Related Links

Today’s Top Stories


WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19:  The U.S. Capitol is shown as a looming government shutdown threatens ...
Manu Raju and Phil Mattingly, CNN

Defense bill likely to include end to military Covid vaccine mandate, source says

A massive bill setting defense policy is likely to end the military Covid vaccine mandate, a source familiar with the negotiations tells CNN.
1 day ago
A burrow is among the items an adopted desert tortoise needs. Photo by Utah Division of Wildlife Re...
Mia Alberti, Lianne Kolirin and Tara Subramaniam, CNN

Jonathan the tortoise, world’s oldest land animal, celebrates his 190th birthday

The South Atlantic island of St. Helena is celebrating the birthday of the world's oldest living land animal -- a Seychelles giant tortoise called Jonathan, who is turning 190.
3 days ago
The US Food and Drug Administration said it is closely working with drug manufacturers to assess a ...
Carma Hassan, CNN

Children’s painkillers in high demand as respiratory illnesses rise

The US Food and Drug Administration said it is closely working with drug manufacturers to assess the situation.
3 days ago
President John F. Kennedy signs the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Cente...
Curt Gresseth

Is forcing the homeless into treatment the answer?

NYC Mayor Eric Adams has announced a program that involuntarily treats homeless people in "psychiatric crisis." A BYU psychologist weighs the New York approach against the ethics of patient autonomy.
4 days ago
Super agers have been identified by researchers as men and women over age 80 that have the cognitiv...
Curt Gresseth

SuperAgers — who are they, are you one, and can you become one?

SuperAgers are men and women older than 80 with the mental faculties of people decades younger.
5 days ago
Gov. Cox mental health...
Mark Jackson

Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water released this week

Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water was released Wednesday by Gov. Spencer Cox and state agencies.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Run at grocery stores proof of panic over coronavirus?