Guess panic buying isn't a uniquely Asian trait after all. The COVID-19 outbreak has hit the West pretty badly in recent weeks, and celebrities like Tom Hanks, Game of Thrones star Kristofer Hivju, Idris Elba and ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylenko have all tested positive for the virus.
Since then, the US has rolled out a number of anti-contagion efforts, closing a number of schools, and encouraging workers to work from home, if possible.
In response, citizens have been flocking to the supermarkets to stock up on essentials and food, with toilet rolls being one of the first items to sell out (just like in Hongkong and Singapore).
On March 15, Chinese actress Xu Jiao, whom you might remember as Stephen Chow's plucky young ‘son' in the comedy legend's 2008 flick CJ7, posted an update on her Weibo about the situation in US supermarkets.
The 22-year-old, who is currently studying at the Art Center College of Design in California, had run into quite a bit of trouble trying to get groceries for herself.
“I went to two different supermarkets to shop, they limited the purchase of rice and all the meat was more or less sold out. All that was left were the cuts that were not so desirable,” Xu Jiao, who also goes by Josie, wrote, adding that she eventually went home with some pork neck, beef tripe and mutton and that she hoped that these would be enough to last her for two weeks.
Xu Jiao's post was met with a number of concerned netizens, asking her to take good care of herself in California. Some others also urged the actress to return home to China.
However, she replied to that suggestion saying that she was afraid she would get infected while at the airport, or on the plane.
Josie also added that all direct flights from the US to China have been cancelled, and if she were to return home, it would take around 22 to 23 hours, which was far too long to go without eating or drinking, as she would not want to take off her mask.