KIRKLAND, Wash. — While some small businesses struggle to stay open during the coronavirus crisis, grocery stores around Puget Sound are packed as shoppers are buying items in bulk in response to the virus.
“I got some toilet paper some paper towels and some formula,” said school teacher Mallory Poland.
She said she isn’t a panic buyer, but she has been impacted by them. “I’ve been looking for like two weeks just to get my regular toilet paper.”
Safeway, Target, Fred Meyer, and Costco have put limits on how many high demand items a shopper can purchase at one time, such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and cold medicines.
"We believe that everyone deserves to have access to fresh, affordable food and essentials, especially in times of uncertainty," read a statement from Fred Meyer on Friday. "That’s why we took the precautionary step on March 2 to limit the number of cold, flu and sanitary products per order…so everyone can have access to the items they need."
Video sent to KING 5 from a viewer in Tukwila showed lines stretching through the aisles at the Costco in Tukwila on Friday.
“It was still pretty crowded in there there’s like lines for the paper towels,” said Andy Chien, a medical doctor who at this moment is shopping as a dad. “This is pretty much shopping as normal, but we do have some other stuff that I think keeps longer. These apples will keep longer,” he said.
Chien said he's trying to shop as normal, but also be prepared should the coronavirus stick around.
“My advice is there is only certain things you can control, and you just want to control those the best you can,” Chien said.