The wide-spreading coronavirus has shattered the city. In fear of getting infected, people have been avoiding leaving their homes, even many companies have started the "work from home" arrangement. Unlike other districts in Hong Kong, the streets in Tai Po are filled with people, rushing from place to place to buy as many necessities as they could. With rumors of the coronavirus that would last for months spreading around the city, people are hoarding necessities in preparation for sudden self-quantization.
Ever since the coronavirus situation in Hong Kong worsened, the streets in Tai Po market are more crowded than usual. Since many Hong Kong people are still traumatized by the community virus outbreak in Amoy Gardens during SARS, people are started to stress-shopping, not only for groceries but also for essential supplies, for example, rice, bleaches, for back-up.
Widespread anxiety that epidemic could last months, basic necessities like rice are running out. The shelves that were originally dedicated to rice are now filled with packs of instant noodles. Even though there are packets of instant noodles in stock, customers still prefer rice as their first priority.
Desperate of getting enough supplies, whenever the haulers deliver packets of rice to the supermarkets, groups of people are lining up outside of the supermarket to “monitor" the delivery process. "Nothing wrong for getting some back-up right?" said Suliah, a domestic helper who has worked in Hong Kong for more than 10 years, 'we have enough rice supplies at home, but my boss told me to get some more, just in case.'
To ensure all customers, if not most, could purchase, supermarkets have also started implementing a new policy on February 6 to limit customers to two items of the products due to short supply.
Considering that Hong Kong people are now fighting over to buy all kinds of essentials, convenience stores, like the CircleK, have recently launched a new item on a shelf, rice.
Since many branches of supermarkets have been running out of supplies, the stalls in the Tai Po wet market have also started selling toilet paper and bleaches on their own.
Frustrated that he has been longing around for essentials Mr Zhang Man-yong picked up the sanitizer from the vegetable stall.“I know these sanitizers here are not really that reliable, but what other choice do I have?”, said Mr Zhang Man-yong helplessly, “everyone in the city went nuts, these kinds of essentials can no longer be found anywhere!”