If you’ve been to your friendly neighborhood Duane Reade recently, you’ve probably noticed all the disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer have been cleaned out.
Deliveries are on backorder for many drugstores and grocery stores in the city for products ranging from cleaning products to toilet paper, and even Amazon is on backorder.
Because of this—and because so many businesses and individuals have been taking advantage of the panic by ramping up prices on needed products (one Midtown hardware store was selling single cans of Clorox for $20 each!)—the NYS government will be producing up to 100,000 gallons of alcohol-based hand sanitizer each week in 1.7 oz., 7 oz. and gallon bottles.
They will be distributing it completely free of charge, first prioritizing communities and government agencies that have the most need, like New Rochelle (which is now being set-up as a “containment area” by the National Guard), schools, and the MTA.
The city and state have both also warned businesses that they will be fined for “price-gouging.”
In other major cities like Houston, people are succumbing to desperate measures by going so far as to steal toilet paper and sanitizer from restaurant bathrooms!
But, as Cuomo states, “The biggest problem we have in this situation is fear, not the virus itself, and I’m once again reminding everyone to focus on the facts because the facts do not warrant the level of anxiety we are seeing.” The total number of confirmed cases NY statewide is now at 173.
Mayor De Blasio also just started a hotline to get NYC updates by texting COVID to 692 692.
featured image source: Courtesy Office of Governor Cuomo