Enough already with the panic shopping, officials say

Toilet paper aisle in a Southern Nevada Target earlier this month. (Photo: April Corbin Girnus)
Toilet paper aisle in a Southern Nevada Target earlier this month. (Photo: April Corbin)

“The supply chains that provide Southern Nevada all of its goods remain strong,” Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said Sunday. “There simply is no reason to clear the shelves of our local retailers. Panic shopping only induces more of the same. I’m asking everyone to be smarter about this for the good of the community.”

The county issued a statement calling the supply chain “robust,” while urging residents to “have enough food, medicine and supplies in their homes to last about 14 days. That is the average length of time that a family that comes down with coronavirus may be quarantined.”

The county’s statement also applauded federal regulatory changes for truck drivers — Kirkpatrick noted 92 percent of retail goods are delivered by the trucking industry.

“Due to the sharp increase in demand for goods at retail outlets, drivers are spending an inordinate amount of time lined up at distribution centers, exceeding an average of six hours nationally,” the statement said. That logjam has “cut into the number of hours they are allowed to spend on the road hauling goods. The relaxation of federal rules will allow more flexibility while maintaining safety.”

The local reassurances echo those being pushed nationally. While acknowledging the surge in demand has providers of food and other items scrambling to keep up, as one industry official quoted in the New York Times Sunday said, “there is plenty of food in the country.”

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.