VIDEO: COVID-19 fears spur toilet paper dash at Langley Costco

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March 9, 2020  •  2 minute read
A Facebook video posted Sunday that purportedly shows the opening hour dash for toilet paper at a Langley Costco has been shared thousands of times, drawing criticism, laughs and buyer panic.

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Maybe go easy on the TP, Langley.

A Facebook video posted Sunday that purportedly shows the opening hour dash for toilet paper at a Langley Costco has been shared thousands of times, drawing safety concerns, laughs and buyer panic.

The video appears to have been posted by Facebook user Suki Singh Parmara and was first uploaded to the social media platform on Sunday at 12:26 p.m. The 1:43-minute clip has been shared 18,000 times, viewed 755,000 times and has amassed more than 706 comments and 2,300 reactions.

The clip opens with a woman’s voice saying off-camera, “We just opened the doors. Let’s see how long it takes them to get through. And here they come.”

The person filming the video appears to be a staff member, as she addresses an on-camera staffer with, “What do you think of this, Nicole?”

“Keep walking. Someone is going to get hurt,” the staffer can be heard telling customers who are running and walking quickly with shopping carts towards what appears to the rear of the store.

The video then shows customers pulling packages of Kirkland-branded toilet paper off a pallet at the end of an aisle.

It’s unclear if the video originated with the Facebook user or from elsewhere and it’s not known how the Facebook user and the videographer are connected.

While Postmedia has not been able to verify the video independently, Global BC journalist Ted Field tweeted from the store on Sunday morning around 9:30 a.m. sharing photos of an empty area where toilet paper had been stocked. Field’s photos match the scene depicted in the video.

Another Twitter user also commented in response to the video being shared, saying it was the Costco in Langley where he worked and that toilet paper was sold out within 30 minutes of opening on Sunday.

Many stores throughout the Metro Vancouver region have been sold out or in short supply of things like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and wet wipes in the midst of the current COVID-19 outbreak that has gripped some parts of the world.

In recent days, misinformation has been rampant, along with social media posts purportedly showing scenes of people buying rice and other supplies in large quantities from Metro Vancouver Costcos. Many of those images and videos were found not to have been filmed locally, though the original location of the videos have not been verified.

Health officials are asking those who have recently traveled to affected countries to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms, while those with COVID-19 symptoms are being tested and quarantined.

COVID-19 is similar to other respiratory illnesses and symptoms include a fever, dry cough, sore throat and headache. There may also be aches and pains, fatigue and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.

That said, officials say there is no need to panic or stockpile supplies unless you or your household is under isolation or quarantine.

Here in B.C., a total of 27 cases had been reported as of March 8, 2020, with no deaths reported.

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