Texans are currently asked to avoid leaving their homes if at all possible to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Many of us are trying our best, hoping to prevent a rush on hospitals that could prove disastrous.

That said, we still need to shop, and not everything is available online. Sometimes we need to make physical trips to the store, and many of us don't want to risk the health and safety of others or ourselves and our families just to find that H-E-B, Walgreens, or Walmart is out of what we need.

Two University of Texas students have created a website to help with that.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that computer science majors Rithwik Pattikonda and Darshan Bhatta designed InStock.org to check the inventories of big box stores and give users an idea of what's in stock and where. It's not 100% accurate, as obviously someone could be buying whatever's in stock as you're checking the site. Still, it's something to go on.

Honestly, it can be a little heartbreaking to type in something you absolutely need and see that it's out of stock everywhere, but you can have the site send you alerts for those items so you know when they're back in stock.

Pattikonda told the Statesman he came up with the idea after watching his parents struggle to find essential grocery items. He and Bhatta spent about a week creating the site, and like the best netizens, they don't charge you a dime to use it.

I've got alerts out for the disinfectant spray I need to protect a family member I care for. So far, everyone's out of stock, but I'm hoping to hear that new message chime soon.

Before all this COVID-19 panic, I took being able to hop in my car and go pick up some cleaning spray and snacks for granted.

Never. Again.

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