Published: 16:05, 16 March 2020
| Updated: 16:05, 16 March 2020
It is only Monday and already loo rolls, soap and dried goods are rare sights in Maidstone.
Despite a plea from supermarket giants over the weekend, asking shoppers to stop panic buying as the number of coronavirus cases increased, many shelves in the County Town have been stripped bare.
A solitary packet of lasagne sheets stands in the pasta section in M&S in Weak Street, while there are many empty boxes of nappies in Aldi.
Only the humble soap bar remains at Savers in Week Street, as hand wash is in high demand.
However, as the prospect of being stuck at home and forgoing outings to favourite restaurants and bars looms ever closer, shops are also running out of non-essential, 'luxury' items, such as vodka, chocolate and ice cream.
Clearly, if we are all facing months of pacing around the living room and not seeing our friends, we need treats to keep us going.
M&S was running dangerously low on profiteroles, chicken korma, chicken madras and other Indian dishes.
Meanwhile, in Sainsbury's, shoppers, perhaps panicking with the thought of spending months cooped up with their other halves, have purchased wine, beer and spirits.
The Romney Place supermarket had run out of house pino grigio, chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Malbec. However, the more expensive options were still available.
There was also no raspberry Absolut vodka and multiple packs of Stella Artois cans.
Those with taste for the sweeter things had also paced the aisles with their trolleys, with no Cadbury giant chocolate buttons, Maltesers or Smarties to be seen.
In Lidl, in Broadway, biscuit supplies were running low. Packets of McVitie's Digestives and Tower Gate rich tea biscuits had been grabbed.
Stella Artois Premium Larger and Häagen-Dazs had also disappeared.
There was however, plenty of Prosecco left, symbolic perhaps of all the parties and events which have been called off because of the virus.
Kent Online asked shoppers in Week Street their opinion on the panic buying and what treats they would stock up on, if they were advised to stay at home.
A mother who wished to remain anonymous said: "I haven't been panic buying but I am just making sure that I have enough.
"However, I am not letting the food in the fridge run low, but doing lots of shops throughout the week. I think it is ridiculous, people are just being silly.
"I am not thinking of treats, but more like healthy things. However, I bake so I have bought things like flour and sugar, so I can make cupcakes."
Chloe Wass, mum-of-one, said if she were to self-isolate she would make sure there was plenty of red wine and coffee in her kitchen.
Mrs Wass, from Headcorn, said: "I refuse to shop like a maniac. We will be fine. My son's favourite food is chickpeas so as long as there are chicpeas we will be fine. I used to be a wedding cake decorator so if needs be I can bake something."
Delwar Chowdhury, 40, a shop manager and father-of-four said he hadn't yet thought about the food he would buy, if he had to stay at home.
Mr Chowdhury said: "We have not got a plan yet but I am worried about the virus. I have four children all at school and I think the schools should close."
More by this authorKatie Heslop
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