Coronavirus and me – no, I’m not sick

Well, everyone is talking about coronavirus / covid-19. And rightly so. But in all of it, there’s good and bad. People are focusing on the crazy. Wait – did I mention there’s also crazy? There’s a lot of crazy.

For me, it really hit home, so to speak, last week when I went to the grocery store and discovered it full of people and nearly empty of a lot of things. You’ve probably already seen those posts online and from a lot of people, but I’m talking about ‘staples’ – bread, eggs, meat and poultry, milk, flour, dried goods (beans/rice), pasta and bottled water. Also, anything antibacterial, cleaning products and wipes, toilet paper, paper towels. In the parking lot as I started towards the store, I watched as a guy built a Tetris-like wall of soda in his little sports car – 12-packs of coke, diet coke, etc and he gave me a look that clearly said stay away.

The affect of seeing so many people panic shopping was immediate. I was there as part of my normal routine of picking up a few things to cook over the weekend. But there was nothing I normally buy – no fresh beef, chicken or pork. A little fresh fish, brats and sausages. I picked those up. Endless rows of corned beef. I picked one up. I also grabbed some frozen hamburger patties cuz I felt his urgency to buy food. Any food. Because what if there wasn’t any later?

I have never had that particular panic before. My mom has. I used to joke when she wold buy things just to have them in the cabinets. Today, I get it. Having never lived through the kinds of shortages she grew up with during World War II, the Korean War, etc, I didn’t have a clue. The psychology of it all… It hit me there in the store and I methodically went through the aisles looking for STUFF.

I bought more frozen than I am used to anymore. Mostly because those sections were not as picked clean as the rest. I also bought bulk sizes I don’t normally buy for the same reason, or because it was all they had available. All in all, I set my house up to be able to get through for a time. My cabinets are nearly bursting with canned goods and the freezer has zero free space as of this writing. But I will need to go back soon for certain things like milk. Some folks are posting about fresh meat being back, and I’d like to get some of that, too.

When I got home, I stood there with my brother and tried to explain it, the feeling of it, the urgency, the imperative to get food just in case. He shook his head and said people are going crazy and need to calm down, but he also understood how I reacted to it.

On the work front, my office closed and offered everyone who could work from home, that option. They’ve also added special PTO availability for anyone testing positive and/or getting sick. It’s been a fantastic and caring response, and with an at-risk elder in my house, I am extremely grateful for the decision.

So. Things are going well. I’m not stir crazy yet. How about you?