At one time, the men standing on street corners in downtown New York City were there for one reason: the sale of illegal substances to get you through until the next day.
All that seems to have changed at the moment, after one man, in Brooklyn, minding his own business trying to ply his illicit trade, was approached by four men in a vehicle who asked him if he had any toilet paper.
"I was like, taken aback, y'know? Sorta, 'creeped out', if that makes any sense," said the man, 'Larry'. "I didn't have any, but I do now!"
Similar incidents have been reported all over New York, and other big cities, and a new 'black market' seems to have sprung up overnight.
"As well as toilet paper, people also seem to want hand-sanitizer and mouthwash," I was told, in Queens.
Other 'red hot essentials' include soap and toothpaste. A man, who gave his name as 'Archie', said:
"Normally, I'm your 'Crack man', but, in the last few days, I've been approached for hair gel, underarm spray, potatoes, turnips and lip balm. It's a crazy situation!"