NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Empty store shelves, medical supply shortages and a declining stock market are all signs of what could be a coronavirus panic spreading to North Texas.
There’s not one documented case of coronavirus in North Texas, however the fear of what it could do — not only to one’s health, but to the economy — has some North Texans taking drastic measures.
Jesse Colombo doesn’t even like Spam, but it has the long shelf life he’s looking for.
“What you’re seeing right here is about a year and a half’s worth,” Colombo said. He has six cases of it in his living room along with a dozen 20 pound bags of rice, large bags of uncooked beans, canned ham and other non-perishable foods.
“Easily tens of thousands of dollars. It’s basically an insurance policy against chaos,” he said.
The financial analyst from Irving calls himself a survivalist. He’s been that way since the 2008 financial collapse.
“Ever since the global financial crisis hit, that was a wake up call to me that I need to be prepared,” Colombo said.
Now, he believes the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China will cripple the world’s economy to the point where he needs to stockpile medicine, water and MREs for years.
“My immediate concern is not so much getting coronavirus, it’s more so economic collapse is caused by the coronavirus outbreak,” he said.
There are already reported shortages of surgical masks and certain medicines caused by coronavirus related hoarding.
“I believe everyone should be prepared,” Colombo said.