Thursday, March 19, 2020

This is Bullshit...

I am salty, y'all. I ventured outside my bubble on Saturday to get groceries. I got up and went out at 6:30am, just a half an hour after Smith's opened, hoping I would find the supplies I needed. Nope. Total waste of an early morning. No toilet paper, hand sanitizer, Lysol, hand soap, rice, beans, or pasta to be found anywhere. I could have slept in. I was on a 2pm-10pm work shift last week, so a few more hours of sleep would not have been unwelcome.

I went to Walmart and Natural Grocer, too. So many things out of stock, though I did manage to find Kleenex at Walmart, so that was something. I know everyone's worried about being locked down and running out of supplies, but this is long-past ridiculous; even more so because we live in Utah. Most people here are LDS and those folks already stash a ton of supplies. So, I had a glimmer of a hope that due to their prepping, they would have what they need for this disaster and not run out and buy up all the shit on all the store shelves. I mean, isn't this sort of thing the very reason they do that? Yeah, I looked into it, it is.

The thing is, I have no issue with prepping for bad situations. I have no problem with stockpiling a moderate amount of basic supplies for hard times. We have about a month worth of food hanging around in our cabinets. Buy yourself a few extra supplies, that's fine, but why the actual fuck are you waiting until the emergency is here to do that? Shouldn't you be doing that all along. Of course, we all should. This is a problem for me because right now, so many people who have so many months of supplies already stockpiled, are still going out and buying everything.

I have a problem with the way people forget about others in times of crisis. This isn't the first time I've see something like this happen. In January 2011, when we lived in Stephenville, there was a deep freeze and our pipes froze. We went to Walmart to get water and there wasn't any, not even one bottle. It was awful, because right then, it was the one thing we needed more than anything. People, many of whom had running water in their houses, had bought up all the damn bottled water. That was bad, this is so much worse. That hard freeze only lasted one week. This thing is going to go on for weeks, maybe even months.

When you rush out and buy up all of the supplies on the shelves, you prepare you own family for a hard time, but you leave others without. Your kids will have macaroni and cheese every day for the next 7 years, but someone else's kids will have to go without. You'll have more food and toilet paper, and Lysol, than you can possibly use in a year, while others will have to figure out how they're going to scratch together a meal for their kids in the same situation. And worst of all, it creates an even deeper panic that causes others to have to do the same thing, to buy up all the supplies they can find, because the tide is rising and they're afraid they won't be able to get anything if they don't.

These situations are generally temporary. Buying enough supplies for a month or two is fine. Buying every single thing the store has when you already have 6 months worth of food stockpiled in your basement, that's not okay. Panicking is not okay. Forgetting that you are a part of a community, that's also not okay. It's pretty pitiful, in times where everyone is struggling to get basic supplies, people don't care enough about one another to take stock of what they have before they buy everything in the whole goddamn store. It's okay to prep, it's not okay to sacrifice your neighbors in the process to add to your already abundant stockpiles.

I went to Walmart again this afternoon, because as much as I wanted to stay home and hide from COVID-19, I had to get meds for Matt. I didn't want to, but I sucked it up, and there were a ton of people in there. Many of them were just standing around, chatting with people they knew, like it was any other day and we weren't having a pandemic. Hasn't anyone told these people to stay the hell at home? I managed to get one 12 roll pack of toilet paper, one 12 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer, and two small packs of linguine because it was the only pasta they had left. It was pushed all the way to the very back of a bottom shelf.

I feel fortunate to have gotten a few supplies, what I feel shitty about is that Walmart has to restrict how many of these things can be purchased because people can't have an ounce of common decency. There were actually managers walking around Walmart trying to make sure no one purchased too many of these in-demand items. That's bullshit, it's crap they should have to do that. We could all be doing better.