I didn’t want to join the bandwagon of what seems like the entire population posting articles and comments about the latest Coronavirus situation, but here I am! No, I’m not trying to sell anything or profit from it. Not even really whinge that much (yet anyway, because I don’t have it and neither does anyone I know….…yet).
The whole “toilet paper” situation has been a new and novel experience. Who would have thought that toilet paper would have been the first to be “hit” by the virus? A week after the news came out regarding the Coronavirus, our local shopping centres were out of toilet paper. It might be restocked now, but they had none for a while. Owning a bidet seemed a good idea at the time. Luckily, we had a packet of 24 rolls in the cupboard. Then there were also no tins of food or packets of rice, oats and dried fruit……… That’s when it really started to hit me that maybe this was a bit more serious than I thought. To be honest, I didn’t really think it would reach the shores of Australia or my own suburb (naive maybe?).
On another trip to the shops I noticed that ladies’ sanitary items were also running extremely low. What the heck? My last trip to the shops was what really got me annoyed though. I usually take pain killers for one thing or another (that I’m not going to go into) but I couldn’t buy one single packet at the two supermarket shops in one centre, nor another big centre. I went to the pharmacy and they were sold out too. I explained to the assistant that I took them regularly for minor health situations and she offered me one of the last packets of Panadol (slightly stronger than what I usually take, but I was happy to have it). It also cost me nearly $8 (more than my cheap brand for around $2!). She said it was labelled for “Osteoarthritis” but that didn’t mean anything, it was just for marketing.
I didn’t buy all of her remaining packets either. I bought ONE packet, leaving other packets for other people. This is called sharing and is what we teach our children to do, yet as adults, we seem to be forgetting this. On our way home from a family get-together today, my husband stopped by a pharmacy to get his Ventolin inhaler (he has one left). They were sold out! What? So, there are undoubtedly people with an excess and they don’t require them. Then there are people, like my husband, who may not have an inhaler and need one.
These experiences really made me feel for people who have genuine and serious illnesses. People who need pain killers, Ventolin inhalers and other medicines, just to survive and cannot purchase such items. Surely this situation is only occurring because people are buying what they DON’T NEED! I get that we may need to stock some essential extras in the cupboard in the case of being housebound for a couple of weeks. This is quite different to stocking for some kind of Armageddon. The current suggestion for those returning from countries “at risk”, or those who have the condition, to isolate themselves for TWO WEEKS – not a year!
This situation has also made me reflect on how we live in general too. We are so reliant on other people for everything. Other people to grow our veggies, fruit, make our clothes, make our furniture and everything else that sits inside our homes. I’ve always liked the idea of being a bit self-sufficient. Having said that though, I also enjoy the comfortable lifestyle of having these things provided by these others and having “free time.” I enjoy going to a coffee shop and going out to lunches instead of sewing my clothes, tending to a garden that I rely on for food and so on. Maybe it’s time to change some of these practices though and in the very least, start to grow some fruits and veggies in my own home. Those “free” Woollies seeds may come in handy very soon!
Wishing you happiness and good health. Use common sense by avoiding crowds and staying home if unwell. Remember that “sharing is caring.” Share the toilet paper and Panadol – please! Good luck everyone!