Pharmacies in Boston report spike in sales, shortage of surgical masks as fears of coronavirus spread

BOSTON (WHDH) - In parts of China, many people are donning surgical masks to try and protect themselves against the deadly coronavirus that has already sicked thousands and claimed the lives of over 100 people.

Here in Massachusetts, some stores have seen a spike in sales on those masks as concern about the virus spreads among Bay Staters.

Gail Bray has worked at Gary Drug in Beacon Hill for two decades and says that the masks and respirators are more popular this year because of the Wuhan virus.

“This one is tougher, people are more aware.,” Bray said. “What’s happening in China has made it worse. That’s why we’re having a shortage.”

Pharmacies like the one Bray works in are suffering under the shortage leaving store shelves bare.

“People being very unhappy, people want to have the masks to, you know, protect themselves, which is understandable but unfortunately I don’t have any at the moment,” Bray said.

While masks may provide comfort to some, medical professionals and the Center for Disease Control urge common sense and healthy habits saying these will keep the public from getting sick.

“I’ve seen a lot in school,” one Suffolk University student said. “So, I see a lot of people wearing them. And I’m like, okay I see you trying to stay healthy but I don’t see a need for them.”.

The CDC says that the most effective ways to stay healthy are the simplest things like washing hands and avoiding touching eyes and face.

 

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