With local store shelves looking a little picked over this week in Langley, jokers took to Craigslist offering $100 toilet paper rolls.
Last Friday, federal health minister Patty Hajdu advised Canadians to stock up for “about a week” worth of food and medication, in case they had to stay home sick or self-isolate due to exposure to a coronavirus patient.
Some in Langley and elsewhere in Canada took the advice seriously, and some shelves were bare by early in the week.
There was no item out of stock everywhere in Langley, but multiple grocery stores showed some items, or some brands, were out of stock as of mid-week.
Toilet paper, soup, pasta, rice and beans, and canned meat were in short supply in some locations, as was hand sanitizer. What was absent in one store was often still in stock in another, however.
“We are working closely with our vendors as customers have increasing demand for products across a few categories, for example non-perishables and sanitizers,” said Felicia Fefer, a corporate affairs spokesperson for Walmart Canada when asked about the situation.
“Urgency, scarcity and anxiety are the big three players in the initial panicked buying, and from there I think it snowballed,” said UBC clinic psychologist Steven Taylor.