LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — There has been a surge of customers inside stores across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic and a national emergency declaration.

People are on edge and store shelves have been wiped out.

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The Southland is no exception.

Some customers reported spending half an hour just to find parking spots and then finally entering stores only to find more gridlock.

There were also reports of anger building up as customers fight over critical products that are now in limited supply both online and in stores.

A local mental health expert spoke to KCAL9 about anxiety surrounding the virus and uncertainties about the extent to which it could spread within communities.

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Dr. Anil Sharma of Dignity Health Medical Group said he has three tips:

  1. Educate
  2. Do not panic
  3. Prepare

He advises parents to also spread the same messages to their children in age-appropriate ways to help prevent panicking.

Ways to protect yourself and others

  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect

Monitor the CDC website for information about how to stay safe.

To stay up-to-date on local L.A.-area coronvirus news, check out CBSLA’s dedicated webpage.

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