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"Panic Buying" amid the Coronavirus leads to empty store shelves

Posted at 11:34 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-14 11:15:56-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As the country braces for the coronavirus pandemic, many are flocking to the stores to stock up. Items like toilet paper and bottled water are becoming hard to come by.

The CDC does recommend to stock up on around two weeks worth of supplies. However, the anxiety of the virus is causing people to over-buy and hoard, leaving people scrambling for basic necessities inside the stores.

"People, a lot of them, are starting to panic. I think it's born from a fear of the unknown," clinical psychologist Dr. Joseph Stankus said.

Dr. Stankus says for some people this is a coping mechanism.

"Some people, it may be their way of gaining some control. Because well, at least I'll have supplies," he said.

Bottled water is good to have for those that will become ill, but in Omaha, the Metropolitan Utilities District assures the public that the water system is working and safe.

The CDC recommends stocking up on some household medicines and non-perishable goods. The best form of protection for the coronavirus is social distancing, washing hands and practicing good hygiene.