Lima residents stock up for COVID-19

By Sam Shriver -

Empty shelves at Meijer on Elida Road were marked with signage Saturday.

Empty shelves at Meijer on Elida Road were marked with signage Saturday.

Amanda Wilson | The Lima News

LIMA — We’ve all heard about how the coronavirus COVID-19 is going to change our daily lives.

While there have been no confirmed cases in Allen County, people have been heeding the call to stock up on supplies in case they are quarantined with the virus.

Social media posts are flying about shortages of toilet paper and hand sanitizer locally, and any event that brings in more than 100 people was canceled per Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine — including the Lima Noon Optimist Home Show and the annual Irish Parade.

At Chief supermarket, they’re doing what they can to keep their shelves stocked.

“We’ve seen a lot of customers come out really trying to get prepared for this,” said Justin Long, store director. “Obviously, there’s some uncertainty out there. But we’re definitely a place that people can come to get the necessities. People definitely came out and bought extra items to kind of get them through this uncertain time.”

Long says they’ve been able to stay ahead of the increased demand.

“We’ve actually been staying in stock very well. We’ve gotten large trucks and we placed some orders kind of in preparation for this. So once the news broke out, we definitely want to be prepared and try and get ahead of it as much as what we could. Our staff has worked long hours and worked really hard to keep our store stocked,” Long said.

They’ve even gone as far as limiting certain items.

“We’re trying to just place limits on toilet paper and some meat items and 24 pack of water, things of that nature. So we have enough to take care of all of our customers. We are a local resource, and we want to try to make sure that we’re here for the customers for the long run,” Long added.

We spoke with several people Saturday in downtown Lima to get their thoughts on how the threat of the virus has changed their daily routine.

“I’m a lot more cautious,” said Brandon Barrett, owner of Nolo Pallets in Lima. “I would have to say pay attention to the small things, you know, washing your hands, your surroundings, all that simple stuff that you normally don’t pay as much attention to but you got to make sure you’re doing. It affects the kids, you got to stay on top of them, hey, do this, do this, do this to make sure that they’re safe. I tell you what, I watch a lot of CNN now. Normally, we’re not a TV family. We’re up and watching just seeing, you know, kind of what’s going on with the world. So we’re educated about what’s going on to the best of our abilities.”

“I’m just paying a little more attention about who I am around,” said Trestin Copenhaver, of Lima. “I deal with the public a lot so I see a lot of people. With everything going on, I find myself being a little more cautious about who I’m close to, like if someone is visibly ill. I try not to be close to them just because I’ve already been ill once recently and I’d rather not take the chances — but nothing too crazy yet, honestly. I’m kind of watching the news and paying attention to things. For the most part, everything’s normal, but it’s just a thought that’s in the back of my head like this is something that you know is getting bad elsewhere and it could be right on the doorstep.”

Empty shelves at Meijer on Elida Road were marked with signage Saturday. shelves at Meijer on Elida Road were marked with signage Saturday. Amanda Wilson | The Lima News

By Sam Shriver

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

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