From bare shelves to limits on toilet paper: What’s changed since beginning of pandemic

From bare shelves to limits on toilet paper: What’s changed since beginning of pandemic
From bare shelves to limits on toilet paper: What’s changed since beginning of pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic a year ago. Just days after, News4Jax started reporting on shortages across Northeast Florida.

Viewers sent photos and videos at retailers -- like Costoc, Walmart, Publix, Walgreens and CVS -- that were all dealing with shortages of products.

“There are people crawling everywhere. There is no toilet paper. There are no paper towels back there, and they’re kind of rationing out the waters,” said shopper Marie Norman.

Limits on certain grocery items became necessary, including toilet paper.

At the same time, the community stepped up to provide those items -- like the Murray Hill Maple Street.

“It’s not us trying to bring in business or nothing like that, it’s strictly trying to make people’s minds ease a little bit they have something they can get,” said Chelsea Harrelson, an associate at Maple Street Biscuit Company.

The Bacardi plant in Jacksonville started producing hand sanitizer.

Another Jacksonville-based company used its 3D printers to make face shields for health care workers while hospitals were desperate for personal protective equipment.

By May, there were meat shortages.

Storage freezers sold out as families prepared to potentially quarantine.

Home gyms became the new norm, and a Georgia-based company switched from making cast irons to dumbbells.

By August, brewers and distillers stopped their hand sanitizer production as shelves started to fill up.

At the stores today, toilet paper is stocked and hand wipes are readily available.

One thing is for sure, a lot has changed in one year.


About the Author: