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Empty shelves at the local Walmart

The paper towels and toilet paper shelves were empty by 9 a.m. at a Gardena, California Walmart, near Los Angeles. Photo by Jefferson Graham

It was like Black Friday all over again.

Except this time, no big screen TVs were on sale.

Instead, the masses were lined up for the daily allotment of bottled water and toilet paper. Like everything you imagined life was like back in the Soviet days.

Except that it was here and now. In California. In a major city.

The Paper Towels/Toilet Paper shelves of the Walmart in Gardena, California, bare empty at 9:30 a.m. All due to coronavirus fears.

A clerk told me they received their allotment at 6 a.m., and stock was gone by 6:15.

The soap shelves were 90% gone. The Koll-Aid (Kool-Aid!) was totally sold out. But if you wanted chips and Oreos, they were still plentiful.

It was worse at the huge Costco in Lawndale, California. I was told that people had camped out, as early as 5 a.m., to be first in the store by opening bell at 10 a.m.

By the time I arrived, around 9:50, the line extended nearly three blocks long,

I took my spot, and got it around 10:10. By then, the paper goods were gone, announced clerks upon entrance, but water was plentiful.

Folks were told to get on another line for water. I got on it for awhile, then gave up. I met two women who said they scored their four cases, after waiting an hour for them.

Boy were they happy.

They had such a good time, they planned on returning the next day. This time at 5 a.m. With lawn chairs.

So much for social distancing.

What a world we live in!