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  • Writer's picturePenny Nowak

What scares me about Coronavirus

Can we talk about the #Coronavirus for a minute?

Terrifying isn’t it?!!! Not the virus itself – I mean I have a toddler (aka tiny human who enjoys eating snot even if it’s not her own) and a husband who is a first responder… if the outbreak comes to Ontario, and all the experts are saying it will, I know we are at a higher risk than others for it to come into our home. For those reasons we are making plans to take precautions, like if there is an outbreak where my Husband works, even if he doesn’t need to be quarantined, he will stay somewhere else to reduce the risk of spreading it to us. While the idea of any or all of us being sick sucks… I’m prepared for it, mentally. Maybe I’m naive, but we are all in good health, and even if one or more of us end up sick or even in the hospital, I believe at the end of the day we will be fine! It will be scary, but we will be fine.

What is truly terrifying to me? Toilet paper.

Yes, the amount of people hoarding #toiletpaper makes me fear for humanity. At the grocery store today, they had implemented a limit of 10, and still the shelves were bare. There was a woman who was so pissed off about it that she was muttering angrily to anyone who dared look her in the eye… and to one lady who actually had 10 packs in here cart. While the dramatics may have been unnecessary, she had a point. What about everyone else? Do you truly need 240 rolls of toilet paper at this moment, which therefore caused someone else to have zero? I feel fortunate that I ran out last week and snagged a huge mega pack, which I typically buy, so I should be good for a while.

While I was out I also needed bathroom cleaner and I noticed the other item that is completely out of stock, disinfecting wipes. Ok, makes sense I guess, but the shelves were still fully stocked with disinfecting spray cleaner. So, people want to kill the germs… but spraying AND wiping… that’s just too much. Also, the shelves were still full of canned food… brown beans, green beans, peas and carrots… canned fruits and veggies as far as the eye could see. Also, soup and pasta, basically everything but toilet paper, hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes… they even still had water. I understand the fear, I do! I even understand the urge to stock up, just in case. I’m even guilty of it… I now have a quarantine supply of tampons, chocolate, and green beans. Now, let me be clear I am in no way suggesting people start clearing the shelves of non-perishable items, but I understand the idea of being prepared.

What I don’t understand is what does hoarding toilet paper accomplish? I mean other than depriving other families of toilet paper.

So yes, that is what I find truly terrifying because in my mind it can only mean one of two things. Either as a society we have absolutely no idea how to prepare for anything that even toes the line of being an emergency, so we are all doomed, OR this is just another example of how self-centred our society has become. Instead of seeing a potential shortage and therefore just taking what you need and leaving the rest, we hoard as much as we can, who cares about the guy next door.

So, I guess what I’m asking is can we all just take a deep breath and think about how our actions affect other people? Let’s agree to use a little common sense, wash our hands, and please, stop hoarding all the toilet paper.

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