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Coronavirus Update: Shopping Frenzy Leads To Empty Shelves At Stores, But Some Aim To 'Just Wait It Out'

WYCKOFF, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - As the coronavirus spreads, shoppers are preparing to hunker down at home.

It has sparked a shopping frenzy at stores all over the country.

Grocery store shelves are empty all over the Tri-State Area.

"I think seven days ago it was a little crazy, but it has definitely gotten crazier," said Ramsey resident Donyel Temiz.

In the middle of the day Monday, lines were not as long in Wyckoff as they were over the weekend, reported CBS2's Nick Caloway.

Outside the Stop & Shop, customers described their new food shopping experience.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text 692692 | Westchester Testing Call 1(888)-364-3065 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Case Tracker | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

"It's pretty much empty. There's no toilet paper, no paper towels. Limited milk. Limited eggs. No chicken, meat counters are empty," said Wyckoff resident Richie Flaming.

Down the street in Ramsey, a new reality is sinking in for shoppers: They have to wait in line just to get in the grocery store.

At the Shoprite in Ramsey, there's a social distancing policy, meaning only 250 people are allowed in at one time. As a result, there's a line out front, Caloway reported.

As one customer leaves, another is let in. Shoppers Monday afternoon said they waited an average of about 15 minutes to get inside.

Employees say they are still out of stock on a few basic items, like paper towels, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies.


Some say hoarding is part of the problem.

"I think everyone needs to just keep calm, don't hoard materials. The supply chain is going to work if everyone is patient," one shopper said.

Meanwhile, at Ramsey Hardware and Paint, shoppers may be surprised to find some of those basic household items in stock.

8:51 "I found everything I needed here very quickly, very easily. Paper towels, cleaning disinfectant. Yeah the supermarkets are absolutely crazy," said Jamie Levine of Mahwah.

The hardware store ran out of toilet paper this morning. They've been letting people know on social media when new shipments come in.

"So as long as we're allowed to be open, we'll carry as much as we can of it. Keep an eye on our Facebook," said Mark Gatto, owner of Ramsey Hardware & Paint.

Two doors down at the La Pasadita convenience store, the shelves were stocked to the ceiling with toilet paper and paper towels. But the manager said they might not last long.

Back at the supermarket, as customers wait in line inside and out, normalcy is fading from everyday life. Thanks to the Coronavirus, and the fear surrounding it.

Shopping just feels different than it did even a week or two ago. Some customers now won't go into the grocery store without gloves or a mask. It's a new reality.

Some customers told Caloway they're ready for things to calm down.

"Is that frustrating?" Caloway asked.

"Not to me. It's gonna be over. It's not like the apocalypse. Just wait it out. Yeah, that's what I think," Flaming said.

Store employees are hard at work inside, re-stocking shelves with bread and meats. But some items like disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer  will take a while.

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