Empty grocery stores :(

I went for a drive today, just to get out of the house. I didn’t go in anywhere. I just wanted to see the outside world. During my drive I passed four grocery stores, all of which had lineups outside of the store for people waiting to get in.

I went to the grocery store earlier last week to get some staples (before our Premier made his most disappointing speech yet) and I had mentioned that the store was quite empty when I went. Seeing so many lines outside of stores today had me wondering if it was still going to be the same.

I’ve been ordering groceries on Instacart since Canadian Thanksgiving. When I ordered my weekly groceries today I was sent a notification from the Instacart shopper that the line was so long outside of the store he wasn’t certain he’d be able to get shopping done and brought in the time slot selected.

I sent him a message saying that’s totally fine and that if the line up is taking that long, then to not wait. My groceries were only $40 and with a 15% tip, that’s certainly not worth him waiting in line for even an hour, honestly.

He assured me he was fine waiting in line.

When he got into the store he immediately started sending me notes about substitutions and refunds. Eggs – gone. Almond Milk – gone. Chicken – gone.

He’s still at the store shopping now.

His messages have said he was only able to find 4 of the 11 items.

For normal people who order on Instacart, I’m sure that substitutions are fine, but with all of the allergies I have, I have to be very specific about the food that I purchase.

Anyways, the Instacart shopper was only able to find four items, which makes me glad that I did go to the store before closing earlier last week. I feel bad though. With only the four items, it doesn’t even come close to the minimum $35 order requirement. He assured me in the messages that it was fine.

I’m not really sure what’s going on with all of the panic buying right now. I think people might be genuinely afraid because of the fact that we’re literally the only province in the country without any genuine restrictions. Maybe people are stocking up now, thinking the hammer is coming down in a few weeks because there’s still such a large portion of our population that doesn’t seem to believe Corona Virus exists?

The news is on for background noise as I type this. We broke 1,700 positive cases in 24 hours. I remember how dumbfounded and angry everyone was when we broke 1,000 cases for the first time. That was weeks ago (what feels like a year ago) now. Now we inch closer to 2,000 per 24 hours with each passing day and people just roll their eyes and move on. We continue to hold the most positive cases in the country now, by a considerable amount, despite being the fourth largest province from a population perspective.

The lack of food in grocery stores is giving me major flashbacks to this past spring when EVERYTHING was picked over. Somehow things are infinitely worse than then.

42 thoughts on “Empty grocery stores :(

  1. It’s really unsettling isn’t it. Can you buy things online at all, to get you through? When it was like that here, they soon put restrictions on things and it calmed down a bit within a matter of weeks. Every now and then we get a blip where eggs or flour disappear from the main supermarkets again, but we have a lot of farm shops and the likes to use instead. And then there’s Amazon food, but I haven’t used them and I don’t know if it’s available to you or not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There’s no AmazonFood here.
      Instacart is the online option and realistically, it’s just paying someone to go to the grocery store for you. Luckily I’m a savvy shopper and I have the pantry staples and whatnot to keep me going. It’s really just eggs, almond milk, chicken, the kind of stuff that is perishable that I’m trying to find because I only buy it in super small amounts to get me through a week at a time.
      It’s just really bizarre to see how people are reacting. There’s no restrictions here and people are freaking out and panic-buying. There’s restrictions elsewhere and the food-chain seems fine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’d hope the shops would respond by ordering like ordering is going out of fashion and that this will just be a short blip. But in our western plenty we aren’t used to surviving despite empty shelves and especially if you’re on a special diet. It’s unnerving to feel like the status quo is threatened, but it will return to normal.

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    1. I’m not too sure what’s happening in this province. There are other provinces in this country in full fledged lockdowns, most in various stages of some sort of lockdown and their food supply seems normal. Here there’s not really anything but the grocery stores have lineups like it’s March/April and everyone thinks there’s going to be nothing left for them.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is upsetting. Really is. Grocery stores are back to how they were in early March, just when the first lockdown was going into effect. I don’t think I’ve been seeing the same sentiment here, even when I went on Thanksgiving Eve, but give it a week or so, and I expect that the US will follow. Stay strong, V. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully your grocery stores continue to be okay going into the Christmas holiday. Hopefully things calm down a little bit around here. Honestly, though… who knows what’s coming? With how 2020 has been, there may be one month left but a lot can happen in a month. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have also been seeing shortages at the grocery store, but not nearly as bad as last spring. I think most stores are putting limits on how much of certain items you can buy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s good to hear that it’s not as bad where you are.
      I think there are limits here as well, for some things. When I went to get some staples last week the eggs and milk and whatnot all said ‘Limit one per customer’. Nevertheless, if enough people panic, I guess it leads to what we’ve got now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The stores I’ve been to aren’t too bad yet. Some shelves are looking empty but we’ve still been able to find what we need. Walmart still has a large supply of sugar cookies, so if it gets really bad at least we can still reply on Walmart’s bakery section. 😂 We’re starting to stock up on non-perishables because we predict a shortage will hit most stores in the upcoming weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, people around here have been particularly crazy as of late. I wish I could eat the sugar cookies from Wal Mart. They’ve got sugar in them, and they’re carbs, so you could live off them for a while, right? haha. If a shortage does happen in the upcoming weeks we might have to live off cookies.

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  5. Besides the paper products again, it hasn’t happened here in NorCal yet. I did notice, driving through Oakland the other day, the lines for food banks were really long 😦
    I live by an outdoor mall, it was shopping with long lines to get in all the stores. I didn’t shop, was using the free chargers for my car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really feel for the foodbanks. Usually this time of year is hard for them, but it’s got to feel 100x harder this year. There was, a few weeks back, these little baskets we could purchase for $10 that had things like rice and canned foods for donating to the foodbank. Those weren’t out anymore when I went last week. It must be really hard to be working in a foodbank right now. Not knowing how to help everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I multiplied your case number up to match the UK’s population and you’re at the same level as we were in our recent peak. But we’ve really had no panic-buying at all since March. The only day was recently at the start of national lockdown, but there were barely any empty shelves. But now I am realising how good the UK has been on this, at least! Or at least where I am.

    I just cannot understand anybody who’d stand in line for hours!! People still queue up here at weekends even though the rest of the week (and early morning/late night at weekends) there’s no busyness at all 🤦‍♂️. I honestly believe now, after 25-30 years or so of observing humans that some people just enjoy queueing 🤣.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Another example— I recently went to the supermarket at 11pm but found a bunch of people stood outside waiting, looking bored. There had been a fire alarm so I just came back home, since I had no idea how long I’d have to wait if I chose to. But everybody else seemed determined to wait 😆. Madness! Maybe I am being too judgemental haha, I just hate hate queueing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m like you. When I went out for staples early last week, I walked into the store just 15 minutes before it closed as a measure to meet less people. This province has descended into madness in the past week, though. I think it’s likely to get a lot worse over the next few weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 15 minutes! Haha, do you just go around getting exactly what you want in order? That’s what I do lol. I do it because it’s soo annoying trying to walk around people who don’t watch where they’re going, or waiting for people to choose stuff 🤦‍♂️.

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    2. Weren’t Brits “hard wired” for queuing after WW2? Brits are always very polite about it whereas in some countries a queue is called a mob. (I worked in an international airport and got to observe different nationalities attempting to clear immigration!)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I did get Pepsi! I also think our Premier secretly wishes we were a part of America. Since we border you guys perhaps we could just tack on to your state to make him happy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’d probably work. By in large we’re pretty nuts here. We’re hitting somewhere around 1.5k cases a day and still no one wants to wear a mask because… BECAUSE.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s sad. I remember not even the empty stores but “some selves empty” at the end of March, and it was an unpleasant feeling. Before I left, we were already in a stay-at-home advisory in Illinois, but it was all OK in the stores. My cleaning lady said that there were no paper towels again, but I think it was temporal. I do Amazon subscribes and save for such things, so I do not need to worry about these “temporary outages.” Hope it will get back to normal for you soon!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Maybe people are worrying about having stuff for Christmas? No doubt it will calm down, but it’s just one more anxiety you don’t need. Years ago we had a serious gasoline shortage and I had to get up in the middle of the night to get on line for gas. That was seriously annoying!

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  9. We have been lucky here, after the initial panic-buying in March things calmed down until they announced we would be going back into a strict lockdown again on the 5th of November. I went shopping that Monday night and several sections were low on stock, the bread aisle was completely empty.
    It’s not like our cupboards are bare though, during the summer I bought one or two extra dried or tinned goods to keep at the back of the cupboard, just in case.

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  10. Things in Alberta are absolutely insane right now, and, sadly, I don’t see them getting any better for the foreseeable future, thanks to our “fearless” leaders bungling of things. Stay safe.

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  11. Things are about to explode here in the US. After government officials told most state residents to stay home for Thanksgiving, hundreds of thousands of people traveled anyway and airports were full of people mostly without masks. I fear for the days ahead.

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