As I write this, I am on my “spring break” down in Tybee Island, Georgia. If you don’t know where that this, it’s about a 15 minute drive from Savannah, Georgia. What a better way to social distance than on a small island away from large amounts of people. I mention this because it is a 10 hour drive from my small college town and I have experienced several cities from there to here.
In that time, I saw one of the most empty highways I have ever experienced on a Saturday of spring break. I also heard people arguing at a gas station with a worker about how it is unprofessional of them not to be stocked with toilet paper. I have not stopped at a gas station once in 21 years of my life for toilet paper. For people to be driving from gas station to gas station looking for a single roll of toilet paper for sale shows how out of control this situation is becoming. At this point, it is likely for most places to be sold out when even amazon and eBay have sold out of toilet paper.
If you are a college student like me that lives on a set budget a week, you also probably aren’t going to run out and stock up on enough toilet paper for a quarter of a year. It’s just not realistic. It’s also unfortunate for those that are crunched on money and can’t afford to spend $300 on toilet paper or other needed goods out of the possibility of being quarantined.
This past week in preparation for spring break and just taking care of normal errands, I ran to my nearest dollar general and there were only 3 packs of toilet paper left. We needed just a few rolls for the house and a few to take with us on spring break to the rental. I wasn’t asking but for a 6 pack of toilet paper and there were only 3 left from a shipment that came in earlier that morning.
I’m not even going to talk about the cleaning or canned good sections. Keep in mind, I don’t live in a major city. I simply live in a small college town that seems to be based around our college. There currently isn’t a case with in 4 hours if our city, yet nearly as very store is was sold out if not almost sold out of most common household goods.
Father along our drive, there were more arguments. But there also was a lady who gave her personal bottle of hand sanitizer in her purse to a pregnant woman who was hoping to find a bottle to purchase. Moments a simple as this show how good humanity can be foreshadowing the pandemic that could be upon us.
There are also examples of people singing to each other from their porches and rooftops in Italy due to their nationwide shut down. I also saw a young high school-aged girl today in the news in a larger city that posted a sign offering to run errands to the grocery store and pharmacy for her elderly and immune compromised neighbors. I could continue on and on and I hope that examples like this is what dominates the news. It is extremely easy to focus on the negative in times like these and while having updates is important I don’t believe news outlets need to cycle through worst case scenario examples. We all know that death is a possibility, especially for some of us more than others.
In the following weeks and very possibly months, I hope to see the best of humanity despite the somber situation. It is in times like these that is we have the means, we should help our friends, family, and neighbors. If you are you and healthy, do as the one girl did and help those less healthy than yourself. Of course, take all of the necessary precautions, but do what you can. If you believe in the power of prayer, pray for your friends, family, neighbors, the nation, and quite frankly the world at large.
The coronavirus is going to have effects on the nation and the world we have not seen in centuries. That said, we all need to do our part to do what we can. Help those you can. Take the recommendations and guidelines officials are saying seriously.
I hope everyone is safe and healthy and will pray for this situation and all those affected by it.
~ Madison Eran ~