Remember the good ole days? And by good ole days I mean a month ago, when you could walk down the aisle at a grocery store and see endless rolls of toilet paper. Or the meat section with all varieties of parts. Or the fruits and veggie section stocked with… wait, was just there, it looked untouched… along with the soap aisle.
It seems we’re living out an apocalyptic movie that’s so unrealistic, it would have gone straight into the DVD discount bin. A world in which currency isn’t salt (Roman Times) or dirt (Waterworld starring Kevin Costner), but something that can be substituted by leaves or a shower – that’s right, toilet paper.
Just as hysteria started, we went to the supermarket to get groceries, as we do every week. On our list was (you guessed it), White Gold! Not because we wanted to stockpile. Oh no, we were down to our last roll. The shelf was empty and a little bit of panic kicked in. I must have invoked something I learned from watching The Secret, because at that moment, an employee dropped a pallet of softness at the end of the aisle… and then the Hunger Games began. People were grabbing whatever their arms could carry (two). I grabbed one. Why one? Because apparently in our house, toilet paper isn’t used in place of paper towels, bath towels, coffee filters or bed sheets. We use it for what it was intended…and an occasional nose blow. I can’t think of any other reason why so much is needed. Have you come into an abundance of kittens that need to play? I just don’t get it.
I do get one thing. It’s scary out there right now. I opened my garage the other day and heard a lawnmower start. I had to take a second to process if that was okay right now. Later that day, someone rang my doorbell. When I answered the door (he was keeping a safe distance), he asked if I wanted our yard aerated. I forgot that some people are still trying to work. I told him we weren’t interested (we actually don’t have grass) and stopped short of scolding him for making me come out from under the bed and removing my tinfoil helmet (that’s not for the crisis, but the aliens).
So what is the balance of this new norm? Do we take a page from the Germaphobe Introvert Handbook? My thought is remembering that we’re in this together. I once heard that there are two things that show the trueness of a person… money and crisis. We are definitely in a crisis. But remember, you’re supposed to put on your mask and then assist others with theirs. Not take two for yourself, just in case.