One thing disaster movies fail to note about pandemics is that, if you happen to be a lucky person who dodges the rapidly spreading illness, they're still very boring. And so you could do a lot worse than to be stocked up on video games in a time period where your social options are extremely limited and most things have shutdown.
That said, GameStop may be stretching things a little by reportedly arguing that it's an "essential" business that should remain open in an environment where a lot of retailers are shutting down voluntarily, or by government decree.
According to IGN, a GameStop rep has confirmed that their stores are staying open during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the basis that they're an "essential business." The rep further said that they sell "essential" items, which were listed off as: webcams, microphones, keyboards, and audio equipment, among other things.
Kotaku also obtained an internal memo sent by GameStop corporate to stores. That memo rationalizes the decision to remain open thusly:
"Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time.”
Interestingly enough, the memo also contains info on what employees should do if the cops were to show up to try and shut a store down. In that case employees are told to give police the number to corporate headquarters so they can talk to them. This number apparently goes to voicemail when dialed.
IGN and Kotaku both cite multiple anonymous GameStop workers who are angry at the company for putting them at risk.
At the moment, two major midnight launches, one for Doom Eternal, and the other for Animal Crossing New Horizons, have been called off in an effort to keep crowds small.
I love video games as much as the next person but, damn bro, this is a tough sell.