An end to empty shelves at the supermarket?

My wife was reading the business news today. She came upon a report that big box stores such as Costco, Sams Club etc. were reporting 20% down year on year for last week. All the weeks preceding had been showing big gains.

I wonder if things are slowly coming back to normal?


That makes a lot of sense. If people have been hoarding stuff for the past few weeks, we should now see a period of reduced demand. Of course, this assumes that things like toilet paper use remain at normal levels, but I haven’t read any reports about Covid-19 affecting the body in that particular area :sweat_smile:


Well, but we’re all stuck at home, whereas before this, 80% of my family was out of the house for at least 7 or 8 hours a day, using the facilities in their workplaces or schools. So I would imagine residential demand for toilet paper would be up in absolute terms too, haha :slight_smile:

I do hope the hoarding has finally reached peak levels. Although for us, we’ve taken to getting larger volumes of things simply because we’re hoping to avoid shopping more than once every two weeks…


Our normal supermarkets and Costco look pretty good food wise. i.e. all the food items we normally buy except chicken stock were there when I went shopping this week. Additionally, Costco’s efforts to control how many people are in their store at any one time must also be having an effect on their bottom line, since not everyone is willing to wait in a big line to purchase stuff.

Every store in my area is out of all cleaning products, paper products (except diapers) and of course the dried beans I mentioned in my other post.


My husband scored a megapack of TP at Target yesterday!! :joy_cat:


Wow, major victory for the week!

We got low on TP early last week, and my wife and I made a conscious effort to show up fairly early at Target to resupply.

Of course, around here, every store rations these kinds of items. One pack per person.

The funny thing is that he had originally gone out only for an appointment and just decided to try Target on a whim on his way home! :smile_cat:

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My latest annoyance is that distilled water seems sold out everywhere. I just ordered a jug from London Drugs, which was limited to one per order, and paid $20 for express shipping (I ordered lots of other stuff, too), so am hoping that will come in the next few days. Otherwise I’ll run out and just have to use my CPAP machine with no water.

Like alcohol swabs, it seriously annoys me that people are hoarding these supplies that some of us actually need normally for medical purposes.


We just discovered that too. What are people doing with it? [Scratches head.] My partner recently started using a CPAP and is of course freaking out. We could find ozonated distilled water, but there wasn’t much info online about whether it was safe with the machine. Can you use tap water in a pinch?


Making their own hand sanitizer perhaps? I heard it’s one of the ingredients.

I don’t have any experience with these machines, but it seems you can use bottled or tap water if there’s no other option. Some recommend to boil and cool down tap water before putting it in the machine.


I think the water thing is because people freaked out and panicked when trying to figure out what to buy looked at existing emergency planning documents to figure out what supplies to have on hand. Most of the time, these guidance sheets are for natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes, where water supply may be disrupted. So at least in Calif. we’re told to have 2 weeks of water on hand in case of earthquakes. But obviously if people thought about it they’d realize things would have to get pretty bad before coronavirus knocks out our water supply.


I didn’t even think that there might be different types of distilled water… I looked at the Western Family distilled water I have and it says “steam distilled, ozonated” on the label. I haven’t had any issues with it. I did try bottled water once that had “ozone” as an ingredient, and that triggered my asthma, but whatever “ozonated” means, it doesn’t seem to bother me or the machine.

I tried tap water the other day for a nap as an experiment, and it smelled weird and after about half an hour my throat started feeling weird. :confused: So I got paranoid that the water might have something in it that could be dangerous to breathe in, even though we have some of the cleanest tap water in the world here. I like @Boerenkool’s idea of boiling water first if I decide to try it again.


I tried tap water last night, this time boiling it first, and it seemed to work fine. My understanding from reading is that the main risk of tap water is that mineral deposits will build up in the humidifier tank. But it didn’t seem to have any negative impact on my breathing. :slight_smile:

EDIT: London Drugs just dropped my order for distilled water. So it seems even their warehouse is now out. So I might be stuck using tap water from here on out. I did find this on the FAQ page of my CPAP clinic:

If I run out of distilled water, is it OK to use tap water once in a while?

Yes. It is recommended that you boil the tap water before using it in your humidifier.

So it seems boiled tap was is okay at least temporarily. I fear these shortages we’re seeing might drag on for a while, though. :worried:


Thanks, Jen. He scored a jug of distilled water at Shoppers Drug Mart today, but said there were only two. He’s asked his family doctor for a prescription, so the pharmacy would have to put it aside. Have you tried that?

Good to know boiled tap water works, though.


Getting a prescription is not a bad idea. I’m going to be ordering prescription refills in the next week, and also calling them up and asking if they can put aside the over-the-counter iron I take. I can ask them if they’ll put aside some distilled water, although at London Drugs that’s not in the pharmacy section. The other option I’ve thought of is buying a water distiller from Amazon, but they all have such mixed reviews that I haven’t done so yet.


Some hardware stores might sell demineralized water as well. Would that be an option?