Experts advise against over-preparing for potential virus spread

Published: Mar. 2, 2020 at 9:13 PM CST
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Fearful preparations for the potential of a coronavirus spread means many are filling up shopping carts and leaving shelves empty.

Dr. Phani Tej Adidam of UNO is watching as products disappear in response to the coronavirus.

"Face masks would be the most obvious one then hand sanitizers. And the final one would be Clorox wipes,” said Adidam.

Even though health experts say we should keep face masks on store shelves, Dr. Adidam says people are buying them up.

The economics and marketing professor saw that for himself while visiting Costco Monday morning.

"I couldn't find those products. I went on Amazon, I couldn't find it there. I went to Lowe’s I couldn't find it there. So in the mainstream markets, you may not find these products. There are those websites you can perhaps find it there, but be very careful,” said Adidam.

Amazon says it pulled more than 1-million products Monday for gouging or false advertising of effectiveness against coronavirus.

Early Monday, while celebrating the release of two Americans from quarantine, Governor Pete Ricketts talked about preparing for the outbreak too, but in another way.

“Think about this as a really big snowstorm that is about to hit us. We all know how to deal with a snowstorm and may have to stay at home for a few days,” said Ricketts.

Experts are talking about things like food and water. And if prices on items do rise ever-so-slightly, the UNO professor says to buy only what you need.

"I feel that a higher price would allocate that product more in the marketplace. Given there's a higher price, then you would only buy what you genuinely need,” said Adidam.

As for the face masks, The Surgeon General warned to stop buying them up. They are not effective in preventing the general public from the virus. He said the concern is if a shortage keeps them out of the hands of health care workers.

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