FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2020 file photo, rows of hand sanitizer are seen empty at a Walgreens in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Fear of the coronavirus has led people to stock up on hand sanitizer, leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with sky-high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, file)

Coronavirus Increases Black Market Sales

Wuhan, China, the place of origin for the world’s biggest battle: the coronavirus. No one paid enough attention, many were disheartened to hear the news but thought it’d blow off eventually, yet they were all wrong. Quickly and surprisingly, the virus spread, causing a global pandemic since viruses don’t discriminate. 

Once COVID-19 introduced itself in Italy, people began to listen to the news. More frequent stops to the grocery store began, the thought of carrying around that expired bath & body works hand sanitizer seemed less ridiculous now.  

Only days after the virus began spreading rapidly in California, the meltdown of suburbia started. 

Empty Costco Shelves | Photo Courtesy of KGTV

“I remember the Costco Massacre as if it were yesterday, the rage-filled, animalistic look everyone in the store had is unforgettable. People were diving for items they didn’t even need, I saw my own neighbors brawling for the last Bobby Flai dinnerware set,” Michelle Gibson, 34, said about yesterday’s event. 

Costco workers fled the scene in fear of their own lives, many believe they might never return to work. The wholesale company will always carry the stain of this day and have now become devoted to preventing an event like this again.

With unnecessary items like plates being fought for, the willingness for violence only grew for items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper. The demand for these items is so high, many have taken the illegal path to get them. 

Purchasing from the black market has never crossed the minds of those from a suburban background. But for Jill Anderson, it was the only way to keep her kids safe.

Where Jill Anderson was forced to purchase hand sanitizer | Photo Courtesy of @MarketHummus on Twitter

“When I heard the black market was selling hand sanitizer by the gallon I had to take the risk. Part of me was thinking we’d be okay since I bought all of our grocery store’s supply, but the more rational side of me knew the truth. There is never enough,” Anderson said. 

Communities across America don’t know how they’ll act once even the black market’s supply runs out and what happens next is beyond comprehension. This is a tough time for the nation, but tougher for paranoid Americans. 

Written by Leyana Nabi

Leyana Nabi is a junior and the sunburn editor for the MC Sun. She's always down for a good laugh and is an avid fan of the Mamma Mia movies.

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