I’m sure everyone at this point is aware of the pandemic sweeping our nation and world right now. We have all heard of it, but have we done our own research on it or are we just running around like chickens with our heads cut off because of what others are telling us via the media and hysteria?
COVID-19, or “coronavirus disease 2019”, is the disease caused by the virus itself. This disease has been escalated to a pandemic level across the globe. Read through to the end for a link to all of the factual information mentioned in this post.
The World Health Organization, WHO, declared this viral respiratory disease as a pandemic (def. a global outbreak of a disease) on March 11th, and on March 13th the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a National Emergency by President Trump in the U.S. Individual state’s and local city authorities are taking things into their own hands for their residents as well. Everyone is working tirelessly around the clock for new information, ways to test, treat, and prevent the spread of the disease.
But, you know all this right? It’s been floated across news channels, websites, apps, etc on a repeating loop it seems like.
With all of the bad news, the fear, and terror that it has struck in people’s hearts and minds around the world we see this fear in the U.S. as a shortage of toilet paper. Somewhere in the past week, grocery stores ran out of toilet paper, then paper towels, baby wipes, tissues, meat products, and various other canned goods and non-perishables. As for why people decided to wipe out the toilet paper aisles first, I wish I had an answer for you there. My best guess is that they want to make sure if they are stuck at home, they don’t have to leave for toilet paper? They still need groceries and food, but who knows. All I know is more than half the aisles at Target, Aldi’s and Walmart are all completely empty.
Okay, listen. I understand what a pandemic means, we all do. It means that a very high percentage, if not all of us, will be affected by the disease at some point. The hoarding of paper products, hand soap and sanitizer, canned goods, and grocery items has got to stop. We all need to eat food and have good hygiene. This is not one citizen versus another. This is all of us in it together to slow down the spread and to be better equipped to handle the outbreak from a healthcare standpoint.
Personally, we were late to the game. Armando and I don’t get a paycheck for another 3 days. Our car got towed last weekend that we unexpectedly paid $300 to get out of the tow yard. We quite frankly had $170 dollars in our bank account with no savings and bills that still needed paid. I couldn’t afford to run to the grocery store and stock pile any groceries, freezer foods, or paper products. I walked into Target yesterday at 8am (March 16th, 2020) to find some toilet paper, baby wipes, cold medicine, ibuprofen, deodorant, and a few other necessities. Then I stopped at Aldi’s to try and find us some meat to put in the freezer and some other fruits and veggies to hold us over. I used the remainder of our money with $24 left over.
(If you ask me if we have credit cards to use the answer is no, we do not. We follow Dave Ramsey’s money makeover/financial peace plan – we paid off and cut those cards up about 2 years ago.)
I couldn’t afford to stock pile these items like so many others are doing, I could only grab what was necessary and some medicine for when my family is exposed to the virus. I can also guess that I’m not alone on this either… Many of us live paycheck to paycheck, whether by decisions we have made or by other circumstances. Some of us don’t. For those of us that do or may have experienced financial hardships, you can relate to the horror and embarrassment I felt swiping my card at Aldi’s saying a silent prayer that I calculated correctly and had enough money to cover my groceries.
Do you know what I have seen a lot of throughout this outbreak that hasn’t been talked about? Kindness.
Yes, we do have people hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer and up-charging it on Facebook Marketplace – there will always be those living for their own interest or trying to make an extra dollar off of others, but there is a far larger population that have come together. They have rallied in their own neighborhoods and communities to help each other out by sharing resources, offering child care or even a helping hand to the seniors and elderly in their communities to get groceries and other items they need to stay safe. Seniors are the demographic discovered to be most vulnerable to the disease and more likely to turn into a critical situation, along with those suffering from chronic medical conditions.
Kindness reaches farther than fear.
How many of us have been on the receiving end of kindness during this time?
I have. We were actually gifted $150 of the $170 that was in our account this past week. Talk about a blessing! Someone close to us wanted to make sure my family had the resources and medicine needed in case additional measures are taken in the next few days. I’m incredibly grateful for the love and kindness shown to my family this week.
Let’s spread kindness, instead of coronavirus.
Cheesy, I know – but it’s true!
In a world and a nation that is reacting with fear and terror – let’s continue, or start, to show kindness to those around us. While this social distancing and quarantine is in practice, let’s not forget that we are all in this together, not against each other. The worst thing we can do right now is pin ourselves against each other.
Be kind, wash your hands, check in on your neighbors, and call your friends and family to make sure they are safe and have enough groceries and toiletries.
PSA: Target now has a 1-pack limit on paper products if you are actually in need of a a single pack of toilet paper, not 12. You’re welcome.
Stay safe and healthy out there friends. Say a prayer for our leaders around the world as they do their best to research and guide us through this difficult time.
All information in this post regarding COVID-19 were found on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website and can be accessed here for your own research and education.