Folks…we are out of control. We are as close to mass hysteria as I prefer to be. However, we may just be experiencing the beginning of the beginning of craziness. We certainly hope not! But, you gotta wonder when masses of people worldwide believe that toilet paper is the most important of their commodities. Did you ever think that toilet paper would receive worldwide headlines? Where the heck is everybody putting all these paper goods!? Must be floor to ceiling for many!
You gotta wonder what passes through people’s minds as they rush to stores to engage in panic buying. No matter what or who gets in their way, they will secure what they want (not necessarily needed at the time). One would think that this is the final time anyone can buy toilet paper – forever!
One blogger reported, “A woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly knifed a man in a confrontation over toilet paper. A student of Chinese ethnicity was beaten on the streets of London and left with a fractured face. Protesters welcomed returning cruise passengers (none of whom was infected) by hurling abuse and rocks at them.”
You gotta wonder, with reports of people getting ruthless in the course of all this, who you are standing next to, if you do find yourself in a check out line. Are they scrutinizing what I have in my basket? Will they attack me on the parking lot and take my stuff? Will they drag me into their petty selfishness? Not serious of course…as yet. But this is the way fear mongering can escalate.
Our daughter told us she and her husband were in a Chili’s restaurant in a rural Texas town. There were no dinner napkins, only the cheap, flimsy kind. They were told that customers were stealing the regular dinner napkins, so they had to buy cheap paper napkins at Walmart and only provide one per customer. Now, who steals napkins from a restaurant!? Those that fear the paper crisis will continue and they will find themselves without. You gotta wonder…
Thankfully, there are those still among us who can bring some humor to all of what we are witnessing. One said regarding the self-quarantines, “Prediction: There will be a minor baby boom in nine months. Then one day in 2033, we shall witness the rise of the ‘Quaranteens.’” You gotta wonder…
A joyful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22), and we can hope that we all will be able to eventually find levity in some of the things happening these days. Panic plus time equals humor many times. This is not to minimize the serious nature of a pandemic, but to show the misplaced priorities of some among us.
We are witnessing the selfishness of the human condition today. The hopelessness of mankind is on display in such graphic fashion. (The Bible calls it the sinful nature of everyone that is a member of the human race – Oops, that is not politically correct today!) The ‘It’s All About Me’ culture is full steam ahead and do not get in their way! These are the hoarders, the grabbers of stuff, before you can get it folks. Sadly, the masses have nothing but themselves to live for, and everything to fear.
I realize this is not a snapshot of all of America. Americans are a very giving people and this has been evident throughout the life of our country. But, probably most of these selfish people have rarely or never experienced the satisfaction of putting others first, of serving with open hands and hearts instead of selfishly clutching tightly their material things. You gotta wonder…
Dr. Abdu Sharkawy, a doctor and infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto in Canada gives his professional understanding, “The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and “fight for yourself above all else” attitude could prove disastrous…I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education.”
I believe we all must be proactive here and encourage those around us to be sensible and not operate in the panic mode. Let calm spirits rule the day and guard against selfishness. Let’s help each other through these uncertain days and look for places where we can be used for the benefit of others. Churches and local organizations are attempting to reach out to the elderly and those who are restricted. Join with them in their effort. That is what we do as Americans, seek the good of others. Let’s not just stand back and wonder, doing nothing.