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Long lines to enter grocery store and empty shelves force my first-ever panic buy

Updated: Apr 5, 2020

By Sara Vanden Berge

The Husband and I have always joked that we are woefully unprepared for a disaster.

If Y2K would have gone as some had predicted, our family likely would have starved to death.

So we have been fairly cool about this coronavirus thingy until this morning when I realized that getting essentials from the grocery store would prove more difficult than I had imagined.


When HEB announced that they will only allow 100 people inside the store at once, I thought I would outsmart the masses and show up before everyone else.

My plan was to enter the store when the doors opened, purchase some fresh fruit, grab some toilet paper for my mama – and BOOM – I would be home with the goods while everyone else slept and I would limit my exposure to the #ronas. (That’s the hashtag my friends and I are using these days.)

Turns out, I’m not the only early riser in Erath County.

The line to enter HEB was wrapped around the building with everyone socially distancing themselves from the others.

Rather than waiting outside in the cold drizzle, I jumped in my car and zoomed to Walmart.


To be clear, I just rolled out of Walmart with $350 worth of goods including three bags of pork rinds I have no idea why I purchased

I guess this makes my first-ever panic buy.

Walmart was busy, but not packed, and while there was a good selection of produce, eggs and meat, there was no toilet paper, hand sanitizer, bread or tortillas.

All of the frozen veggies were picked over and unless you like off-brand cereal, you’re out of luck. Ditto for spaghetti sauce, salsa and frozen French fries.

The fact that everything my heart desired was not at my disposal was unnerving, but I managed to get plenty of things that would keep us well-fed during this quarantine.

And while some are expressing anger about the situation, the empty shelves don’t make me mad.

I don’t think Americans are being greedy, I think they are simply trying to prepare for the unknown.

It’s impossible to determine if the government will force us to stay home for the next week or two to slow the spread of this virus, but if they do, my family and I will respect the orders.

Meanwhile, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have a little extra in the fridge these days.

And if you know someone who could use a little help, don’t hesitate to share some hamburger and a can or two of green beans.

We are all in this together.

If you happen to need a bag of pork rinds, call me.

I have extra.

What are your thoughts about empty store shelves and long lines to enter? Are there essentials your family needs that you haven’t been able to find? Drop me a line at


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