Watching the news, I have seen the chaos for the recent virus incident happen. Stores across America are being stripped of toilet paper and bread in a panic by the masses to prepare for a crisis that people are not sure how it will affect them.
Being that such events are important to follow and provide interesting observations to consider for future trends, and in addition to the fact that I needed to get food for myself and my family, I decided to pay a visit to my local Wal-Mart. It is a slight drive from my home, but not one I am unfamiliar with or uncomfortable making, and so I got into my car and made the drive.
I grew up among many people from the former Soviet Union, as when the great empire collapsed, a lot of people migrated to my area and as many were children of my age at that time, I came to know a host of people from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and more. Among the stories I heard not so much from them, but their parents and grandparents, was how the grocery stores would be “stripped” of food. One story in particular I remember was from a family from a major western Ukraine whose experience at the grocery store was regularly a few leftover pieces of bread loves, some shriveled up apples, and a piece of old meat if you were lucky.
The following video demonstrates the general state of grocery stores in the USSR many times.
Having noted this, below are videos I took from my local Wal-Mart. Keep in mind this is not in a rural area, but outside of a sizeable metropolitan area.
Now in fairness, these videos were taken today.
I went yesterday, and it was clear that the shelves were restocked overnight. Yet even in such a case, a lot was still empty.
I felt as though I was walking into one of the stories that I remember from the old Russian people.
My position remains unchanged on this whole issue.
One needs to be very careful about the virus, but one also needs to think through the consequences of one’s actions.
Buying a lot of toilet paper will not save you- if anything, one will have a clean behind for the paramedics to find if such happens.
Likewise, if the “world ends”, and the electricity goes out, one must suppose it is a good idea to have a freezer full of meat?
I do not mean to say that one should not prepare. To the contrary, I purchased extra supplies too- simply because I knew that it might be a while until food supplies normalize. However, it was not because of fear. Rather, I though carefully through my purchases and what I wanted or did not want.
I’m saying that you should get extra supplies, and stock up, but to do it intelligently. Calmly. Rationally. Methodically.
This entire virus episode is a good test of the stability of social systems. If this was a more serious crisis, one can only imagine what things would look like.
It is motivation to prepare for the wise. A little cold “blast” in the summer to remind one of winter that will inevitably come upon all.
But think as you react. Don’t be a fool.