Coronavirus Panic Goes Global: Serious Supply Chain Problems and Panic Buying Spreading

People around the globe are starting to take serious notice to the very real possibility that the coronavirus outbreak that started in China could become a global pandemic. Over the last week, the virus has started to spread outside of China, with serious outbreaks now being reported in Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.

But beyond the threat of the actual virus, panic is starting to hit the markets and the global supply chain is starting to feel the strain of manufacturing shutdowns inside of China. On top of that, panic buying is starting to spread like wildfire, especially in areas that are starting to see sustained outbreaks of Coronavirus.

In South Korea, where we are seeing the highest number of reported coronavirus cases outside of China, thousands of people could be seen lining the streets in an attempt to buy medical facemasks. In Italy, locals were reporting that supermarket shelves had been emptied and it was becoming hard to find basic necessities.

If you don’t have 2-4 weeks’ worth of emergency supplies on hand, what are you waiting for?

While the panic buying hasn’t affected the United States yet, we are starting to see signs that it could start affecting the country real soon. In fact, for weeks now it’s been almost impossible to find n95 facemasks, as stores throughout the country struggle to refresh their stock. Most of these masks are made in China, and with the threat of the Coronavirus becoming a pandemic, there simply isn’t enough supply to go around.

On Amazon, if you can find facemasks what is left has skyrocketed in price sometimes being sold for 10-20 times the original price by greedy businesses trying to take advantage of the situation.

In Italy, where hundreds of Coronavirus cases are now being reported, panic buying has left store shelves completely empty.

We are also hearing reports from our readers that stores like Costco and Sams Club are seeing huge spikes in people stocking up on essentials like water, canned goods and sanitation supplies.

This morning, Wells Fargo warned investors that we could start seeing empty store shelves as soon as mid-April — and that doesn’t even take into account the virus spreading in the United States.

“Our sources indicate that out-of stocks at retail for replenishment product could start within 60-to-90 days if disruptions continue beyond the next few weeks, with more significant inventory issues in seasonal product possibly by midsummer if disruptions stretch longer,”

wrote analysts led by Edward Kelly.

“It’s worth noting that big-box players like Target and Walmart could be the first to experience out-of-stock issues, as they are more heavily dependent on a shorter lead time replenishment model,” Wells Fargo said.

How bad could it get?

We have no way of knowing whether Coronavirus will pose a serious threat to the health and wellness of people inside the United States, but we are starting to see signs that the threat to the markets is already here. Today the stock market took it’s first big Coronavirus hit, with stocks down almost 1,000 points.

Companies are starting to feel the pain of not being able to import products from China.  

The fact is, we lack the manufacturing base to be able to produce most of the products we need during a global crisis, disease outbreak, or war. We’ve become so dependent on China, that we don’t even have the manufacturing capabilities to produce simple medical masks inside of the United States. Now think of the hundreds of thousands of “Made in China” goods that fill every store in the country – what happens if China doesn’t come back online for another couple of months?

Two months ago, we first reported on the unprecedented quarantine of millions of people inside of Wuhan China, we were almost immediately attacked by people who claimed it was a conspiracy theory and that no country could or would ever quarantine that many people.  Days later that quarantine has spread to include over 40 million people.

Today, most of China is on lockdown and we are now seeing that so-called “conspiracy” spawn quarantines in cities in Italy, Iran and South Korea.

Two months ago we also said there while it was smart to be prepared, there was also no reason to panic. We still feel that way!

While the situation seems to be getting more dangerous by the day, fear does nothing to help you get prepared. So while we hope this is another SARs or Ebola type scare, and this thing starts to fizzle out over the next couple of weeks, we do recommend everyone has at least 2-4 weeks worth of emergency food, water, and supplies on hand – but keep in mind we recommend this with or without the threat of a global pandemic!

Let this be a wake-up call to the unprepared masses! Don’t wait till the last minute to prepare, because once they tell you you need to prepare it’s going to be to late!

Once the media and the government admit there is a pandemic, all hell is going to break loose among the unprepared masses!

As we are seeing in Italy and other parts of the world, the moment the virus starts spreading store shelves will be wiped clean.

We urge you to at minimum keep a 2-4 week supply of food and water on hand at all times; but with that being said you may be looking at a lot longer than that should this thing go bad. Keep in mind that some areas of China have been on lock down for almost 2 months, could you survive 2 months with the supplies you have in your home right at this moment? I also urge you to read our article on Pandemics and How to Prepare for a Pandemic Outbreak.

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