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Bare Store Shelves, Looming School Closures, Slick Roads Keep Things Interesting In The 24/680 Saturday

Moraga Safeway. Noon. Photo: Janet Brady

We hope you got your shopping done and you’re off the roads today because some panic buying, coupled with the first real rain in some time, have made for a wet and wild day in the 24/680.

Parents preparing to work from home braced themselves for doing so with the kids on hand as more local schools announced closures and parents scrambled to find things to keep everyone entertained.

Lucky Store, Danville, Saturday. Photo: Sheri Seybold

Readers submitted photos of bare store shelves, long lines, notes from physicians or hospitals curtailing – or ceasing outright – ongoing treatment schedules, and window-fogged snapshots of inummerable spin-outs and crashes as slick roads took their toll.

A grim humor also began to emerge as residents, weary of the latest headline, circulated videos of clandestine street corner rendezvous, with suburban Dads exchanging bundles of cash for toilet paper and Purell from leather-jacketed street dealers.

It’s a strange New Normal, with entire sports schedules wiped out, play-offs canceled, and politicians and celebrities self-quarantining in increasing number.

Residents seem to be settling into a grim “We’ll have to wait and see” lifestyle, figuring things out as new developments emerge.


  1. I was in Concord yesterday for a funeral. and I made the mistake of stopping at Safeway on Willow Pass right after they announced the closing of MDUSD schools. It took me over 10 minutes to park (circling around an unfamiliar parking lot and refusing to “fight” over a space as someone pulls out). The lines were so long to checkout, so I paid for the few things I had at the bakery. I was informed that shopping carts “lock” if you walk out the door without passing through the register(s) upfront, so no cart on the way out for me.The alarm will go off too. I couldn’t help but notice all the toilet paper people were buying. Are people really afraid they’ll be quarantined? The cashier in the bakery said a shipment of bottled water arrived at 5:30 a.m., and was sold out by 7:30 a.m. Have the taps of water in the kitchen stopped working?

    This is too bizarre for me. People are losing their dang minds. Relax and get back to “normal.” Whatever that is…

  2. Is our water getting cut off? Are we expecting massive bouts of diarrhea? Why are people hoarding toilet paper & bottled water? that aren’t even critical in this crisis? I’m feeling the stress like everyone else but we’ve hit a level of extremely dumb.

    • Because some (if not a lot) of these hoarders are selling online or at the flea market. They’re greedy price gougers. I thought they were really dumb at first, until I realized the resellers are really greedy. Amazon and E-bay are kicking people off for price gouging.

  3. Chicken appears popular. Or someone is having a really big BBQ somewhere. What’s interesting is what people AREN’T buying…..

  4. Well, it took a few days, but I don’t see anyone suggesting that cancelling parades and limiting crowds is “ridiculous” today. Certainly not in China, Korea, Italy, Spain, and France. I will take that as progress. Stay well! We are all in this together, doomsayers and naysayers and normal folk alike. Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate, differentiate, contemplate the way we do. It is, and it does what it is. Share a smile with a stranger. We are not all at equal risk, but we can all do something to mitigate the risk to the most vulnerable among us. I don’t think those little sacrifices are a lot to ask. It’s just a helluva shock when all of those thousands of things one takes for granted are set aside for awhile. If you believe in God, and I don’t, maybe you are being asked to reflect upon the bounty you have and take for granted. I see that bounty, and I am immensely grateful for it.

  5. I still think cancelling parades and limiting crowds is ineffectual. Unless you shut down EVERY workforce, restaurant, public transportation, school, library, gas station, grocery store, etc. and we all stay in our homes 24/7 – this will spread. I think the media is driving the fear and panic. If someone isn’t at one event, they’ll go somewhere else.

    The county is banning gatherings of over 100. Our church has more than 100 people. We’re not live streaming like some, but I stayed home this morning. I don’t want to hear it.

    Just wash your hands well, stay home if your sick and avoid sick people. Life goes on. Quit panicking.

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