A panic-buying fever swept through Tiffin Thursday, as mobs of freaked-out Tiffinites frantically scoured store shelves for any remaining supplies amid spreading coronavirus fears.
“We thought we’d come in and try to stock up on the essentials. Food, toilet paper, what not,” Tiffin resident Amanda Fitch said as she braved the crowds at Walmart. “There’s barely any bottled water left, they’re limiting everyone to 3 packs. Toilet paper is gone, hand sanitizer is gone, everything’s gone. We don’t even know what to stock up on.”
Stores including Walmart, Kroger, Aldi, IGA, Family Dollar, and Big Lots were overrun by unnerved residents looking for supplies, with many finding shelves bare of certain food items, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wipes, and more the moment they entered.
“Well, Tiffin is getting stupid! They are out of Clorox, hand sanitizers, and TP is on its way out at Walmart. Bought my usual amount! Not going to lie, I was suddenly thinking that maybe I should get more,” Lauren Smith, of Tiffin, said.
Shoppers at some Tiffin area stores have even reported waiting in checkout lines of over 20 minutes.
“It’s hell in there,” Dave Schultz of Clinton Township said as he left with three packs of bottled water, some bread, milk, a 15-pack of Diet Coke, cans of tuna, and saltine crackers. “There’s like 10 or so cashiers and people are lined up all the way to the wall. Not to mention the self-checkout area.”
Other shoppers reported attempting to place pick-up grocery orders with Kroger and Walmart, with the apps/websites saying items were “out of stock” or that their order “could not be completed at this time.”
Tiffinites have been stocking up on supplies for weeks. But with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading, more and more are loading up in the event they have to quarantine themselves at home.