Local grocery stores struggle to meet demand


Four weeks ago, “coronavirus” was not even a word in most Americans’ vocabulary. Now, you can’t escape it, whether it is on television, social media, or walking the aisles of the grocery store.

This serious event is bringing an appreciation to the simple things in life we sometimes overlook, such as being able to go to school, go to the movies with friends, go to your favorite restaurant, and most importantly, our health.

With the coronavirus outbreak being claimed as a national emergency, consumers are fleeing to their local grocery stores and filling up their carts with what they need (and more). With the hoarding of toilet paper and photos of bare shelves surfacing on the internet, the local Stop & Shop in Sayville reflected this sense of panic. After speaking with shoppers, the Suffolk County News found most are being cautious, but are taking things in stride.

Livia and Klaus Harbord, of Sayville, were browsing the limited canned soup selection. They expressed that they were treating their shopping just like normal and only buying what they need.

“We really didn’t stock up on anything, not to the point that some people are. We have meats in the freezer. We have canned goods that last,” they calmly said. “Don’t get excited. You don’t need to buy 40 tons of toilet paper or anything like that.”

Schoolteachers Zach Gallo and his wife Caitlin, of Sayville, were out for their third trip to the grocery store and are taking the coronavirus day by day.

“We came here today because I was getting food for my parents because they are the ones that are most susceptible to getting the virus. I’m worried about them getting it or me spreading it to my parents,” said Gallo. “I think the biggest thing is just to educate yourself on where you should and should not be.”

Older people are at higher risk to catch the coronavirus and Alvina Nagle Zustovich, of Sayville, was also taking safety precautions and stocking up on grocery items to keep her safe during this uneasy time.

“Paper towels, sanitizer, and medicines were the most important items for me to stock up on because I have to be very careful. I will not be able to go out to all my senior activities, such as our trips and all the senior centers are closed down, especially the gambling casinos,” she said. “Hopefully, everyone will show peace and kindness to everyone in these trying days.”


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