Craigslist is filling up with bizarre ads for infant gas masks, bulk lab coats, and ginseng vodka as fear mounts in US over a possible coronavirus pandemic
- An outbreak of the novel coronavirus has spread out of China and across to 31 other countries and territories including the United States.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Protection has issued travel warnings, and cities including San Francisco have declared a state of emergency.
- As fear over the outbreak continues to spread, online marketplaces like Amazon, Facebook and Craigslist have been flooded with offers for gear to protect against the infection.
- Business Insider found a number of postings that appeared to draw on common myths and fears about coronavirus, offering gas masks, lab coats, and ginseng vodka - none of which are directly recommended by public health agencies.
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The novel coronavirus has spread across 31 countries and territories, sparking fear and anxiety across the world.
And while public health agencies issue struggle to deal with and contain fear over the crisis, Craigslist sellers are taking advantage of the global uncertainty, and the fact there is no simple cure, to market their own solutions such as boutique face masks that were never designed to protect against the disease, vodka with ginseng, and disinfectant solutions.
Some posts even seem to be trying use panic to drive sales. "Be prepared for fires or any power outages or the Corona Virus," a posting for what appeared to be dehydrated meal kits typically used for the military said.
Another post offered a buy-three-get-one-free "corona virus special" firesale on lab coats.
Online marketplaces have been flooded with offers to buy facemasks in bulk over the past month. And while Amazon has been cracking down on third-party sellers who are hiking prices up, as Wired reported, and Facebook has cracked down on ads that promise to cure the coronavirus, Craigslist seems to remain largely unregulated.
Here are some of the most bizarre ads Business Insider has seen so far.