So, how’s everybody doing out there?
I came down with a head cold on March 4. It’s likely also got some allergies mixed in there as everything here in California is blooming. My symptoms improved quickly, and, no fever. I really haven’t been concerned about that. I’m not ever around very many people at one time, and I’ve carried hand sanitizer with me for years. I’m feeling just about well. I was doing yard work right before, pulling weeds, so I wasn’t too surprised to have the sniffles.
I hadn’t really been paying much attention to the news. Then I saw these videos of people buying tons of water and toilet paper. I’d mentioned before that my husband drives a truck for a living. He delivers groceries. He saw the panic buying in the S.F./Oakland Bay Area when it started. It has since hit the valley. It happened fast. I went to the store on Sunday to get a few essentials and everything was normal. By Tuesday, the panic buying had started here, with stores limiting quantities of some items. I saw shelves cleared of water, toilet paper, hand soap, hydrogen peroxide, and isopropyl alcohol. The other item people seemed to be buying in bulk was rice. The limiting of quantities is resulting in some people having to go to more than one store to get what they need, what they would even normally buy. If you’re reliant on bottled water for drinking and cooking, four gallons will only last you a couple of days, at most. So that means some people are having to go out more often, to more than one store, and are thus having more contact with other humans. The other thing I’ve seen is people blaming the panic buying runs and empty shelves on Capitalism. Well, the fact is that Capitalism is the reason why those empty shelves will be stocked again in a day or two, or a week at the most. Capitalism is the reason why there will be more product and still be product again when things settle down. But, if you want an idea of what the very, very, beginnings of socialism/communism might look like? Take a long look at those signs limiting quantities and those empty shelves, because, with socialism or communism, those shelves would stay empty, and the lucky or the blessed, might get the opportunity to stand in very long lines for their voucher’s worth of whatever it is, and then that’s all there would be for however long. I took some pictures. Notice that folks are still comfortable taking fresh broccoli and grapes for granted.
What does this all even mean, as events are being canceled (October is looking busy with rescheduled events and that should give people hope, this moment of crisis is expected to pass) and places like Disneyland are closing up shop for the time being? I don’t know. I went from a moment of agnosticism in the midst of personal frustration at not being able to make sense of some things, to right back to praying and reading my Bible. I don’t know how such things go for anyone else, but the intellectual side of my being that questions things sometimes does serious battle with my faith. But, at the last, I do have faith. I do believe in God, and that Jesus was very real, is very real, and that faith certainly has helped me in times of crisis. Prayer has proved excellent for those trying moments of feeling otherwise “helpless.” I started watching old episodes of this really great show that was on a long time ago, called “The Naked Archeologist.” It’s like a thinking person’s guide to some Biblical, religious, stuffs, and it’s got great humor. So here’s a link to that, for those interested. Link to that.
I would say that I hope we, all us human beings, can remember that we are all human beings. Whatever anyone believes or doesn’t believe, whatever anyone’s political opinions are, or aren’t, we all have one thing in common, we are all only people, all human beings each and every one. I would hope we would all be trying to keep our wits about us out there, and be trying to be as decent as we can to one another, now and always. We’re seeing reports of things that are happening in other countries as a result of this virus that seem extreme, outlandish, horrific, I think it’s important to keep one’s mind where one is actually at. Now more than ever, we have to learn to disseminate information, to separate the wheat from the chaff, the truth from the propaganda and sensationalism. To be filled with a heart of kindness, and passion, but to think, and think for one’s self.
What I think we should take away from this is the understanding of our own fragility as a society. We tend to think certain things could never happen here, this is America, after all. People are hoarding toilet paper, but still willing to leave fresh fruit and vegetables at the check-stand, atop the seasonal candy. I’d venture a guess that’s a uniquely American thing to do. But it only takes overnight for the shelves to empty. That isn’t a reason to panic buy. It is a reason to appreciate what we have in this country, to educate ourselves to comprehension as to why and how that works, why we have it so good here, because it didn’t just magically come to be this way here, the land of plenty. It is a reason to be mindful of waste not, want not. To perhaps begin to do some things differently going forward from here, whatever that means to you and how you live your life. I’ve realized I was using far more paper towels than I thought I was, for one thing. It is a reason to remember that we are all human beings on this big rock hurtling through space.
Keep this in mind, the human race has survived many, many, pandemics, epidemics, viruses, some of them we now have vaccines for. I’m not saying that to downplay this virus, I’m saying that hopefully to lend some perspective to the proceedings. We are both more fragile, and far stronger, than we realize. Don’t let fear run you. Seeing those empty shelves in store after store sent my anxiety through the roof for a night. But, I took a moment to calm down, to really look around, to remember this is the beginning of a longer story. Stay calm. Think. The human race has proved to be pretty resilient thus far.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Philo
I hope everyone is doing alright out there. Keep your wits about you, your hearts and your heads, and be as decent as you can to one another, as humans. Rise to the occasion.
Peace and Love.