COVID-19 Omicron variant, increased prices concern Bay Area holiday shoppers

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Around the Bay Area, stores are welcoming a huge number of shoppers in the remaining days of the holiday shopping season, ABC7 reported.

Corte Madera and The Village were among the famous spots for shoppers, who purchase different amounts of items as the year nears its end.

“I don’t really have a plan of what I’m going to get. I’m just here trying to find stuff,” one of the shoppers, Quincy Smith, said.

Several retailers enjoy the rush of shoppers after last year’s hard holiday season.

“It’s been bananas. Today it’s just been ongoing traffic back-and-forth. We really haven’t had any down time,” UpWest manager Brittney Woodards, said.

But some of the shoppers cannot brush off concerns about the new COVID-19 omicron variant as the pandemic restrictions are more relaxed this year.

“I have older grandparents and people that I want to look out for,” Smith said.

In fact, at-home COVID tests are one of the in-demand items this season.

About 1, 500 of these tests were sold by a CVS in Marin County in less than a day.

One of its customers, Dan Heller, said: “You get together with people that you don’t know where they were. And you just want to have it on hand.”

Apart from the virus, prices are also among the concerns of some shoppers. Karen Blandino said the increase in prices is highly noticeable.

“In comparison to years past, it’s at least 10 to 15% higher, if not more,” Blandino said.

Several people are just looking forward to spending quality time with family despite the concerns this holiday.

“We’re all doing what we can to, you know, stay healthy and safe, but at the end of the day on Christmas I have to be with my family,” Nadia Ward said.