Coronavirus fears keep pantries full and corporate profits tidy

Amid fears of a coronavirus epidemic hitting America, cautious shoppers are stocking up on nonperishable items like peanut butter, canned goods and dried beans, while stores are selling out of items including toilet paper, antibacterial cleaners, and bottled water. But while keeping a 14-day stash of food and supplies can be prudent, experts say fear-induced stock-ups that go beyond that really only help line corporations’ pockets. “Panic buying is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Karan Girotra, a Cornell University professor of operations. “If everyone thinks things are going to run out, they go and buy out things and they do run out.” Vice has more.