While stocks are a little low at No Frills in Maple Ridge, there is still toilet paper to be found. (Colleen Flanagan-THE NEWS)

Hand sanitizer hard to find, but toilet paper still stocked at stores in Maple Ridge

Some shoppers say they are not panic buying

Supplies of hand sanitizer have flown off the shelves in grocery stores in Maple Ridge.

However, toilet paper is still easy to come by along with canned goods, bleach and other basic necessities people seem to be stockpiling after the federal health minister Patty Hajdu advised Canadians last Friday to stock up for “about a week” worth of food and medication, in case they had to stay home sick or self-isolate due to exposure to a coronavirus patient.

Some in the Lower Mainland and across the country took this advice to heart, clearing off shelves of items like toilet paper and sanitizing wipes.

RELATED: COVID-19: Six handwashing mistakes to avoid

Others even took advantage of the situation attempting to sell toilet paper rolls for $100 on Craigslist.

Maple Ridge resident Christine Smith, who was heading to the Save On Foods at 227 Street and Lougheed Highway, Thursday morning said she is concerned about COVID-19.

“I think most people are. You don’t want to go into crowded places really,” said Smith.

Smith has a low immunity system and has already had pneumonia a few times, so, for her, it is a little worrisome being around someone that could possibly be sick.

She is not stockpiling supplies, though.

RELATED: Amid COVID-19 panic, B.C. psychologist urges shoppers to not clear out grocery stores

“I don’t understand the toilet paper thing. I don’t understand it at all,” she said of the recent run on toilet paper at Costco.

However, she does understand why people are trying to get their hands on sanitizer. Smith always has extra supply of hand sanitizer at home, specifically because of her immune system risk.

Nicole Alexander was loading up her car after a trip to No Frills at Dewdney Trunk Road and 224 Street.

“They did have a bit less toilet paper, but I got some,” she laughed while putting the package into the trunk of her car.

Alexander said she is not panic buying, not yet.

“I have two kids and we are not barricading ourselves inside,” she said.

Jenna Cowan, said the panic buying situation that had hit the Lower Mainland has not impacted her family at all.

“I think people need to do what they need to do to feel comfortable. And so if that’s what makes them feel secure then that’s their choice and other people don’t need that to feel secure about what’s going on,” she said, adding that she was recently at Costco and there was a long lineup.

“But there is always a long lineup at Costco.”



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