Mad rush for groceries slows to a trickle as panic fades

Fear causes us to want things and want them now. I went to almost every grocery store in Cheyenne with the addition of Sportsmans warehouse back in early March, as the virus began to demand stay-at-home orders, to see shoppers stocking up for the Coronavirus.

The shelves were stripped empty. Even just locally here in Cheyenne I saw Walmart locations with their shelves stripped down to the bone. 

Now simple necessities like toilet paper that were initially hard to come across appear to be making their way back on the shelves again for more than a few minutes. Many stores like Costco, Walmart, and even Home Depot have more recently changed their store hours, closing earlier. They have also been able to regulate the amount one person can get. Costco, for instance, allows one jumbo pack of toilet paper per member. 

Below I have what different grocery stores looked like with their stock and precautions back in early March.  

Both Walmarts:                  

Fruits – 90% gone

Frozen foods -60% gone

Bread aisle -75% gone

Packaged deli -75% gone

Toilet paper aisle -100% gone

Cleaning supplies -90% gone  

Sportsmans warehouse:  

Pretty much everything was in stock except for RV toilet paper.  

Menards:

Toilet paper and water were the only things relatively low in stock.

King Soopers:

King Soopers had a vast stock of supplies but no toilet paper. They had plenty of

milk, eggs  and other necessities that the Walmarts were out of.

Albertsons:

Low on basic grocery essentials such as bread, eggs and milk, and other essentials like toilet paper and water were pretty low too. 

3/13/2020 Walmart on Livingston toilet paper aisle
3/13/2020 Walmart on Livingston Cleaning products aisle

So overall, the stock of supplies around grocery stores in town was doing OK, except for Walmart, It seems like that was everyone’s first stop. As of right now, we are living in a new time, hopefully not for that much longer. Here are some thoughts from locals in Cheyenne about the current state of grocery stores. 

“Shopping now is kind of like being in a movie. It feels different than it ever has. It seems like about half of the people here are distancing and covering their faces, and the other half are not really taking this virus seriously. This just demonstrates how different our interpretations of the situation are.”

  • Chris Mares

“Things have seemed to calm down. The stores have been able to restock and keep the shelves stocked. The people are finally realizing that they don’t need to hoard paper products.”

  • George Jankowski

“I think stores should have stickers or signs on the floor showing where customers should stand at checkouts. Not all stores are doing this. Also, store aisles need to be cleared of merchandise to allow customers to move freely, but I have noticed that more items are being added to already cramped spaces. I feel that stores that are not taking these basic precautions are not taking this pandemic seriously. More actions than simply reducing store hours should be taken.”

-Sharon (does not wish to have her last name used)

Grocery stores seem to be getting as back to normal as they can for the moment, but what impact did COVID-19 have on the LCCC food bank for students? Dean of students, James Miller, said that the Western States Bank Food Pantry provides food for students, but students didn’t go to the food bank two weeks before they left for spring break, and, indeed, for good.

As the campus is physically closed, LCCC donated a majority of the to St. Joseph’s Food Pantry. St. Joseph’s informed them that any LCCC student could access their pantry and get what they need. Students need to identify themselves as an LCCC student.Miller LCCC has many resources to support students during this unprecedented time. Students should visit: http://lccc.wy.edu/virus-closure-resources.aspx.

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