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Obligatory Coronavirus Post

With every other website posting on the coronavirus, I figured, why not jump on the bandwagon? I’m not poking fun at the seriousness of the pandemic. Believe me, I have family that are susceptible – in the high-risk category – so I’m keeping tabs on the reliable information that’s being released.

However, I’m getting annoyed by all the panicking and hoarding that’s going on. I live in Florida, sometimes referred to as the hurricane bait of the U.S., and I’m familiar with disasters. Hurricane Michael blew threw just west of where I live a few years ago and the area is still recovering and rebuilding. My family was lucky enough to catch just the outer edge. We were without power for two weeks and survived on a lot of canned goods heated up over a charcoal grill.

The weird thing is that when Hurricane Michael was threatening, people didn’t take it very seriously. Sure, they stocked up on some canned goods and water, filled up the gas tanks on their cars, but for the most part they played it cool. You could get into the stores to buy supplies, the lines at the gas stations were longer than usual, but manageable. And for what it’s worth, people were cordial and polite. Or as cordial and polite as usual.

But with this coronavirus panic, people are literally acting as if it’s the end of the world. I went grocery shopping this past Sunday morning and the store shelves were almost picked clean. Not just canned goods, but pasta, pasta sauce, dried beans, rice, toilet paper (which I still don’t understand, and the tissue was untouched), bottled water, and charcoal. It’s like everyone expects the water and electricity to be cut off, food supplies restricted, dogs and cats to start living together.

It’s like the lizard part of our brains reignited and suddenly we’re back living in caves and bashing each other’s heads in with rocks. I made a comment to a friend that it reminds me of all those times we saw characters do really stupid things in horror movies and thought to ourselves, “no one would do that!” Turns out that, yeah, people really are that dumb.

It’s the mob mentality and it’s scary.

Personally, I’m not going to panic. I’m going to live my life like I always do. I’ll go to work, I’ll hang with friends, I’ll write and create. If I show any symptoms of the virus, I’ll self-quarantine. Simple as that. But all this hoarding and panic buying isn’t going to do anyone any good. In fact, it’s causing harm to the less fortunate.

Consider the fact that all the people who are hoarding supplies can afford to do so, even though it isn’t necessary. The result is that the people who can’t afford to hoard aren’t going to have access to any of these things once they’ve been bought up. It’ also going to have a ripple effect. Some of the local food trucks here in my city have had to shutter their businesses because they can’t buy supplies. So people who were depending on them for food won’t get any, and the owners of the trucks can’t make any money because they can’t buy the ingredients.

Please, think rationally, think calmly, don’t panic. The coronavirus is not going to wipe out humanity. There will be economic hardships, but hopefully those who have will share with those who don’t.

Don’t forget your humanity.

RB

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