By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report
Photo, left by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson: Meat aisle at Vons in Santee was picked nearly clean by shoppers yesterday.
March 15, 2020 (East County)—After public health officials recommended stocking up on 14 days of supplies in the event of home quarantine during the local, state and federal COVID-19 emergency declarations, shoppers overwhelmed many local stores, causing long lines and local shortages.
Officials are now urging the pubic not to hoard products, to assure that everyone will have access to items that they need. Some stores are also beginning to limit sales to prevent hoarding or reselling items at a higher price. (It is illegal to price gouge during a declared emergency and violators can be fined or imprisoned).
Shoppers yesterday were out in force piling their shopping carts not only with toilet paper but with meats, canned beans, breads, potatoes (if they can find them), and other products. At Trader Joe’s in La Mesa, the line when the store opened extended from one end of the shopping center to the other. Inside, the checkout line stretched to the back of the store.