Since the coronavirus was declared a public emergency, people everywhere have been clamoring to buy surgical face masks. However: Business Insider points out that Amazon suppliers, including PacingMed and BLBM are sold out of masks… with other sellers say they “don’t know” when the masks will be back in stock.
And many of those that are IN stock have seen their prices rise to wildly inflated and wildly impractical prices. A quick perusal of “earloop face mask” on Amazon shows boxes of 20 basic paper masks selling for $70, $135, and $798, with one box of a 1000 for $1,289. (See screen grabs below)
In addition to price gauging, the N95 half gas mask, the one recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for blocking most airborne viruses, is completely sold out, according to Bloomberg.com.
Anecdotally speaking, I’ve noticed the shelves are bare at four different local CVS pharmacies, with managers telling me there’s a one to two week wait for the next shipments.
All of this is slightly less worrying, though, when you remember that health experts still say the masks do not properly protect against the disease, and the best defense against contracting the disease is good hygiene. So: Wash those hands!
(Top photo: Pixabay)