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COVID-19 pandemic: Hand sanitizer evaporates from Quad-City shelves
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COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic: Hand sanitizer evaporates from Quad-City shelves

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On Wednesday morning, hand sanitizer all but evaporated from Quad-City in response to COVID-19 Coronavirus, characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.  

Throughout the Quad-Cities, stores reported customers in search of the elusive substance.

Casey Keller, an owner of K&K Hardware, Bettendorf, said the store was out of hand sanitizer early Wednesday. By the afternoon, the store was restocked with six cases of Purell Hand Sanitizer, which were fast sellers.  

"We got wiped out pretty quickly," Keller said Wednesday afternoon. "We have it on order. I imagine we'll be waiting for it along with everyone else."

At a Family Dollar, Davenport, empty shelves near soap products formerly were stocked with hand sanitizer.

No hand sanitizer was available at Walgreens at Five Points, Davenport, where some Lysol sprays and sanitizer wipes remained in the early afternoon.

Dittmer's Service, a gas station on West Locust Street, Davenport, has been out of Purell Hand Sanitizers for two weeks. 

At the West Fairmount Street Walmart, lots of shoppers had multiple packages of toilet paper — a sought-after item throughout the nation while people consider the possibility of quarantine — in their carts. Toilet paper still was available for purchase. But no face masks or hand sanitizer was available. 

On the online store eBay, a search for "hand sanitizer" items results in an error message that the page can't be found. 

A message in the "community" section of eBay says: 

"Due to regulatory restrictions across the United States, we have chosen to ban certain items listed on our site.   

"Effective immediately, eBay will block new listings and start to remove listings that sell:

  • Health-care masks including N95/N100 and surgical masks
  • Hand sanitizer/gel
  • Disinfecting wipes

We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and quickly remove any listing that mentions COVID-19, coronavirus, 2019nCoV (except books) in the title or description."

The listings may violate United States laws or regulations, eBay policies, and "exhibit unfair pricing behavior for our buyers."

The message directs eBay customers to its prescription and over-the-counter drugs, disaster and tragedy policy and search-manipulation policy. 

The message says eBay will update its announcement board.

"Our thoughts are with all those affected by Coronavirus," it says.

On, another online shopping site, a 64-pack of 7.4 fluid ounces of Artnaturals hand sanitizer was listed Wednesday at $499.98. 


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Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Society of Professional Journalists, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists member. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church.

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