KODAK, Tenn. — A truck driver from eastern Tennessee is asking consumers to stop stockpiling goods, as panic shopping during the coronavirus pandemic is causing empty shelves at stores nationwide.
Quinton Pratt, of Kodak, has been driving a truck for two decades, WBIR reported. He said he and his fellow drivers have been putting in extra hours to deliver goods, but they have been unable to keep up with the demand.
Slow down, Pratt said.
"If you've got to buy stuff, don't do it every day," Pratt told WBIR. "You want to do it on Monday and Friday? Cool. You want to do it on Monday and Wednesday? That's cool. It doesn't got to be Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday. You know, you've got to stay home. Let us catch up."
Pratt said he has logged thousands of more miles since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. He also has put in plenty of overtime over the last few weeks to ensure products are being hauled to stores.
"Whenever we're working overtime, we're doing our job, Pratt told WBIR. "Just let us do that.
“Whenever you have 150,000 trucks delivering every day, if you have a million people buy the exact same thing over and over every day, multiple times a day, we can’t keep up with it."
While delivering goods to a frantic public has been stressful, Pratt said there was a silver lining -- fewer cards on the road due to self-isolation.
"The traffic I have to say ain't as bad," Pratt told WBIR. "That's the good thing about the coronavirus.
“But we’re out there missing those times with our family so you can go home and you don’t have to worry about it."