Reporter recounts journey through packed Long Island stores to buy supplies during coronavirus outbreak

Friday, March 13, 2020
Panic-buying at Long Island stores amid the coronavirus outbreak
Channel 7's Long Island community journalist Alex Ciccarone wanted to load up on supplies amid the coronavirus outbreak and hit the stores, camera in hand. Here's what she found.

BAY SHORE, New York (WABC) -- Long Island shoppers, including myself, braved the crowds Thursday to gather supplies in preparation for the inevitable spread of the novel coronavirus.

In my attempt to gather as many supplies as I could, I went to Costco, Target, Lowe's and Walmart. Many shoppers filled their carts with piles of paper towels, toilet paper, buckets of bleach and non-perishable foods.

As I was expecting during my first stop at Costco, the lines were wrapping around the store like it was the day before Christmas. However, Costco workers had a systematic way of organizing the lines, making sure everyone had a cashier. There was an abundance of toilet paper and paper towels, but there was no hand sanitizer in sight.

My next stop was Target, where there were fewer people and it was quiet, but this was because they had nothing. A few rolls of paper towels were left and barely any cleaning supplies. I did appreciate the sanitizing station as soon as you walked into the store to wipe down your cart.

Next, I was off to Lowe's. It wasn't originally on my list of spots to hit, but it was the store that surprised me the most. No long lines, no empty shelves and plenty of supplies for all. I did not find any hand sanitizer here, but I figured this would be a lost cause because everywhere I looked it was sold out.

My last stop was Walmart, which had an abundance of medicine. Stocking up on medicine wasn't the first thing on my mind when it came to coronavirus prep, but I was glad to be able to find some.

Overall, it was a good experience, but for others who haven't gathered supplies yet, I advise getting out to the stores early and making a list of the essentials before hitting the aisles.