Some experts warn about the genuine possibility that US daily caseloads of coronavirus could breach 200,000 in the coming weeks or by the end of the year as daily new cases top more than 100,000 for the sixth consecutive day. Total cases exceeded ten million on Sunday since the pandemic began, far more than any other country.
Weeks ago, on Oct. 28, we informed readers: "panic hoarding begins" - as anxieties of Americans soared in tandem with new cases as threats of a COVID winter along with new restrictions and possible lockdowns drove people to supermarkets.
Coronavirus has turned tens of millions of Americans into preppers, as many fringe preppers were relentlessly mocked by mainstream media in February and March ahead lockdowns. A recent survey shows over half of all Americans are currently planning "to stockpile food and other essentials"…
Slightly more than half of Americans in a recent poll from Sports and Leisure Research Group say they already have or plan to stockpile food and other essentials. The chief reason is fears of a resurgent pandemic, which could cause disruptions such as new restrictions on businesses.
It's not just food people are prepping once again. New reports across the country suggest toilet paper is becoming a hot commodity. Stores are re-implementing limits on toilet paper as demand surges.
Kroger, with more than 2,000 supermarkets nationwide, has just put limits on the essential items "to ensure all customers have access to what they need."
"We've proactively and temporarily set purchase limits to two per customer on certain products, including bath tissue, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and hand soap," a Kroger spokesperson said in a statement which was quoted by Fox 11 LA.
"Our buyers and suppliers are working hard to provide essential, high demand merchandise as well as everyday favorites," the company wrote.
Weeks ago, we noted how major food companies and suppliers of essential goods beefed up their supply chain this summer to increase production to ensure disruptions would not be seen during a panic buying episode. Companies such as General Mills, Campbell Soup, Conagra Brands, and Stonyfield Farm expanded internal and external product lines ahead of the fall.
Texas grocery chain H-E-B is another grocery store that limits bath tissue, paper towels, and even brisket.
"To help protect the supply chain in Texas, we've implemented temporary purchase limits on certain items. Limiting product purchases is a proven way to ensure the best service and product availability for all customers. Our stores are in strong supply and we continue to restock products daily," the store said on its website.
According to the York Daily, grocery chain Giant Co. once again re-instated purchase limits on 4-roll packs of toilet paper and paper towels for the southern Pennsylvania region. The limits were placed "as the supply chain for these products remains challenged," the company said in a statement.
Mike Brackett, founder & CEO of Centricity Insights, a company focused on cloud-based customer analytic platforms, told Good Morning America that "we're absolutely starting to see shortages again" as another round of panic buying begins.
"The spice category is absolutely gone through the roof," Brackett said. "So we believe that during this pandemic, there's been a totally different buying pattern and really generation that started to cook a lot more than they used to due to necessity."
With some supermarket chains placing limits on toilet papers, internet searches for "where can I buy toilet paper online" hits levels not seen since early May.
Internet searches for "toilet paper shortage" are rising as well.
People are also searching "preppers supplies."
Searches for "9mm ammo" could breakout.
This round of prepping is much different than before, mainly because Americans also stockpiling weapons and combat gear like there's no tomorrow - as threats of virus pandemic, civil war, and lockdowns continue to plague the country's outlook into 2021.