Me First

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

My thoughts on the current and ongoing disruption to normalcy



I walked to the grocery store today, only a short walk, a neighborhood market.  I only needed a few items, mostly fresh vegetables for dinner.  Nothing special.

I was a bit surprised to see that many of the shelves were empty.  I knew that toilet paper was being horded, and I had heard about a run on organic vegetables.  But, why?  What had happened to common sense or caring about others?  Has the COVID-19 epidemic created a ME FIRST mentality?

Yes, it has.  I saw it first a few days ago when I watched as people left COSTCO with carts loaded with toilet paper and paper towels.  Did they really need six packages of toilet paper, each with 30 mega rolls?  That was more toilet paper than the would use over the next six months.  I had to ask so I did.  I stopped on lady who had three packages of toilet paper why she had bought so much.  Her response was quite simple…  What if they run out?  What would I do then?

So that is it.  Buy more just in case there isn’t any.  But, for when, for how long?  We have been told that we need to “shelter in place”, whatever that means, for at least two weeks, perhaps a month.  Great, yes, but not the end of the world.  If I have to stay in my house for a month, what do I really need that I don’t have.  Toilet paper isn’t on the top of my list.  Milk, maybe, Bread, definitely.  Peanut butter, cooking oil, butter, fresh veggies.  I could easily make a list, but that list would not include multiple packs of toilet paper or paper towels

So, what has happened?  Mob mentality is my first thought.  But then there really isn’t a large group of unrulily people storming the capital.  Maybe there should be, but that is a different discussion.  It is more a panic mentality, completely without any resemblance of common sense.  It is a ME FIRST mentality.

Perhaps the run on toilet paper was only the first indication of the shift in attitude.  What would be next?  Well, I didn’t need to wait long before I learned that eggs were in short supply.  Followed quickly a run on anything that looked like a disinfectant spray or wipe.  Next came a run on pasta and pasta sauce as well as all kinds of meat. 

I asked a man who had pushed past me to get to the spaghetti why he was taking so many?  He looked at me a bit surprised but told me that the supply of pasta was short.  I asked him how often he eats pasta and he told me that he seldom eats pasta but was sure he needed to buy some because it might not be there tomorrow.  Wait.  You don’t eat pasta but since there may not be a huge supply, you need to buy six packages?  That is panic mentality.  That is what creates shortages when none should exist.  That is why there is not a single roll of toilet paper on the shelves. 

Maybe I am naïve.  Maybe I am in denial.  Maybe I don’t understand the situation.  Maybe, but I doubt it.  First off, I have fourteen rolls of toilet paper, enough to last me two months or more.  I have meat in the freezer, I have pasta in the pantry, What I don’t have is fresh vegetables and fruit.  Those are the things that I need to get.  Those are the things that are in the stores that have no toilet paper.  

Buy your six-month supply of toilet paper, your sanitizing wipes, your hand gel.  Leave me the fresh vegetable, the fresh fruit, the bread, the basic necessities for preparing a meal.  Go home knowing that you took care of yourself first.  Proudly post a photo of your stack of toilet paper: #me-first.

Submitted: March 21, 2020

© Copyright 2021 ratwood2. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


sprinkly biscuit

Whoa, very true and well said, it flowed really well with that teensy sprinkle of sarcasm,,

Sat, March 21st, 2020 7:24am


Thanks for the read and stay safe

Sat, March 21st, 2020 7:42am


There is definitely a resurgence in the ME FIRST mind-set. Thursday, when I went to the store, all the canned food had gone. Pet food seems to go pretty quick too. The demand for toilet paper seems to have calmed down though.

Sat, March 21st, 2020 8:42pm


Today, I was at the store. Water was restricted to only one gallon per household but you could by all the beer, wine and whiskey that you wanted. Hmmm... are our priorities a bit off? Thanks for the read and comments.

Sat, March 21st, 2020 7:04pm

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