Paul Feiner, naturally. Long lines at grocery stores? My reactions in bold.
“I believe that New York State officials need to address the problem,” said Feiner, who has twice run for Congress. “If a supermarket is packed with hundreds of people (and shoppers are within six feet of each other), they can spread the virus. [True]
“In the United Kingdom, some supermarkets, facing the same problem, have started to ration food because panic buying left shelves empty.
“There is no need to buy more than needed. A sneeze and cough in an overpacked supermarket is just as bad as a sneeze in a school, Broadway show or train.
“Supermarkets need to let people know that there is no need to hoard groceries and essentials. They won’t run out of food.”
So the instinctive response is to ration, rationing as a good thing. Who determines how much is ‘needed’? What kind of bureaucracy? Which has to be hired and trained? And properly fed so that they can exercise their supervisory powers.
If rationing were to start, then the panic buying would be exponentially worse as the initial date of rationing started.
Why is there such mass buying? Direct recommendation of the CDC. In case of self-quarantine they recommend having sufficient food, meds and water for 14 days. You likely will want to have enough for everyone in your household in case everyone is quarantined. So thousands of families, content to restock once a week or so, are now recommended to stock of for 2 weeks. Maybe more! There is no end in sight. It is rational to consider stocking up for more than 2 weeks.