Given the shocking restrictions, closures and cancellations during the past two days due to the coronavirus threat, it’s understandable some people in Longyearbyen are engaging in the panic-buying emptying shelves on the mainland. But while Svalbard is isolated far from urban supply centers, that means the warehouse at Svalbardbutikken is already carrying two months’ of essential supplies for long-term situations.
And that’s if normal deliveries by air and ship are disrupted, which they’re not as another cargo ship carrying many tons of pretty much everything aside from fresh produce, daily and meat arrives in town Friday.
So while it’s understandable people might want supplies at home if they suddenly find themselves quarantined (such as if they’ve returned from non.Nordic countries since Feb. 26), the official reassurances supplies will remain available seem to be reasonable for those inclined to hoard.
Also, besides Svalbardbutikken, the Mix kiosk and Longyearbyen Thai Shop remain open with smaller stocks, but for many staple items including noodles, rice, dairy and, yes, toilet paper.