Fear is a terrible and mind numbing force. Fear leads to panic which leads to irrational emotions and actions. I had been reading, on social media, that there was a shortage of toilet paper at stores throughout the country. I thought that it was a joke. Yes we are in the beginning of a pandemic…but toilet paper? What about beans, or peanut butter, or coffee, or flour…or rib eye steaks? Today, Jonathon and I traveled to our nearest Sam’s Box store and discovered that, indeed they did not have a square of toilet paper. Also there were displayed many empty areas in the massive freezers sections illustrating a general run on food…and especially…paper! I engaged in the great toilet paper search last evening. As I walked the aisle of our local Wal-Mart I saw the barest shelfs that I had ever seen. I asked a friend who was working in the store if there was any toilet paper to be found? He told me to make my way to the automotive section, and specifically the RV area, where a little toilet paper could be found. I hurriedly, for a 62 year old, pushed my large cart, that was intended to hold my toilet paper purchases, to the automotive, RV, section of the humongous store. There was a young man who told me that, sadly, all of the toilet paper was gone…and all that he had left was some, ‘Dude Wipes.’ I said show me where they are, and he took me to a hook that had a few small packs of the magic product. I took a few…but not all of them. I then proceeded to the check out where I found two packs of equate sanitizer wipes. I told the nice young lady at the checkout that I had thought that the toilet paper shortage was a joke. She told me that the day before she had checked out a woman who had purchased $300.00 of just toilet paper.
Hand sanitizer, a product that is customarily as lonely as skate keys and button hooks…is now in such demand that there is not a drop to be found. Soap is an excellent hand sanitizer.
If you are prone to allergies or colds and coughs as the character Archie Bunker of the 1970’s television hit, All In The Family, would often say to his wife…’stifle, Edith!’ Be ready for the dirty looks and judgmental gazes of those around you. But, with all of the illogical emotions that come with our herd mentality that dictates, I will get mine…and the hell with you…we face a real and imminent threat. Decisions are difficult and, temporarily, life changing. Our University has extended it’s spring break and then will rely on on-line teaching of courses for the near future. Our Governor has ordered the closing of all schools in Illinois, beginning this Tuesday. Infectious disease experts have cautioned the American population to practice social distancing. Their professional advice is for us to attempt to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19 cases in order to allow hospitals the ability to not be overrun by people who are ill with the disease. We can comfort ourselves, for a short time, that no one has been identified as having the virus, in our town. How can we be sure of this…when there has not been testing available? Perhaps we have no one ill…perhaps we have many more than we can imagine.
I had a painting of Jesus looking over Jerusalem, when I first became a christian. It hung in my bedroom. The painting spoke to my young zeal for following Christ, and my belief that he watches his creation with, sad eyes.
‘Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thous that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’ Matthew 23:37 KJV
I am a retired from Southern Illinois University after thirty two years of service. I enjoy traveling and writing and I have been able to do more of both over the past two years.
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