If you’ve got groceries to buy tonight, be prepared for mega-lines. Just days after the city’s first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed, it seems panic buying in Ottawa is getting serious. As shelves are emptied and toilet paper is scarce, locals are taking to social media to share their experiences.

While scenes in the capital had initially appeared relatively calm in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Canada, it seems that things have finally taken a turn for the worse.

Just days after the city’s first case was officially diagnosed, locals are buying-out supplies of hand sanitizer, toilet paper and even bottled water.

In both Loblaws and Walmart’s South Keys locations, customers were lined up around the store, after stocking their carts with non-perishable foods and cleaning supplies.

For those looking for toilet paper, it was a sorry scene.

With absolutely no toilet paper in either store, frustrated individuals were stocking up on kitchen towel and packets of tissues, instead.

According to CTV News Ottawa, it’s a similar scene at Costco, where essential supplies have been selling out as early as 10 a.m.

To get what they need, residents have reportedly been waiting at the store for the doors to open, "because by mid-morning, it’ll all be gone.”

Taking to Twitter to share their experiences in Costco, one person explained, “Doors opened at 9:30. Toilet paper sold out by 9:45. Doors usually open at 10:00.”

Another shared a similar tweet, writing, “A 4-5 hour counter queue at the local Costco in Ottawa now. Panic started yesterday and continues now.”

Last night, another Ottawan shared, "I fell into the Costco trap tonight. It was like a movie. Frightening."

One of the hottest commodities in Ottawa right now, much like the rest of the country, is toilet paper.

Reports on social media revealed that many nearby stores are completely sold out of bathroom supplies, with others having little to no stock left.

One Twitter user summed it up by saying, "Well the toilet paper maddness is officially in Ottawa now ... "

In some Walmart locations, “shopping cart sanitation kits” have been set up, to help customers clean their baskets and carts.

One local simply tweeted, “Walmart in Orleans in chaotic…” 

Despite all of the chaos, it seems the city's store staff are doing their best to control the madness.

One user reminded their fellow locals, "Spoke to a few staff that are working. They are exhausted, overwhelmed and tired. Let's be kind and thankful to them."

Stay safe, Ottawa!

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