Stores around New Jersey sell out of hand sanitizer and masks amid coronavirus panic

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A new strain of the coronavirus has sickened tens of thousands and is responsible for thousands of deaths worldwide – including at least six in the United States.

Although world leaders say that they have the situation under control, it has not stopped the public from rushing out to prepare themselves and their families from the outbreak.

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Many drug and grocery stores around New Jersey have sold out of items such as hand sanitizer, face masks, diapers and bottled water.

“I have stocked up on a little bit of formula and some water, just in case,” says New Jersey resident Chrissy Esteve.

Esteve says that she is treating the situation like a bad storm – getting out early to buy provisions.

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“What happens when a snowstorm hits, is people go crazy and the stores' shelves are bare,” she says.

Health officials say that the risk of contracting coronavirus is low – especially in New Jersey. But the concern is understandable, according to psychologist Morgan Murray. He says that this is because so little is known about coronavirus, compared to diseases like the flu.

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“We know so much about the seasonal flu. It kills a lot of people and carries with it a lot of danger,” Murray says. “We’ve been through it, we know the cycle, how it goes. We don’t get so anxious.”

Murray advises that people with anxiety over coronavirus should seek out reputable information about the disease.

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Jersey

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