James Lileks went looking for a face mask.
I went to a drug store......The drugstore was out.
I went to another red-themed retailer. Since I didn't know where to look, I thought I'd ask the Friendly Neighborhood Pharmacist. She was talking to the man at the counter, and I heard:
"We are out of them, and we have ordered more. We also carry masks that are kept on the shelves, but we are out of those as well."
I hit two other grocery stores. Sold out.
I didn't have to stop at another drugstore on the way home, but I did. Needed, uh, some, er, paper clips. This time, I asked the clerk where they were, but I said "you know, the masks you wear when you're doing sanding, or painting, or asbestos removal." She took me to the proper aisle. Sold out. "Lots of people removing asbestos," I said.
My wife has needed masks in the past, so I have shopped for them. We usually got the blue ones from the hardware section at Wal-Mart, as opposed to the white surgical-looking ones near the pharmacy. We still have a few here, so I haven't looked lately to see if there's been a run on them. I tend to agree with James,though.
.....anyone who's buying facemasks at this point is jumping the gun.