How did we survive before hand sanitizer?
This is a question I found myself asking a group of friends as we recently pondered the shopping craze by way of the “threat” of Coronavirus.
The conversation started as we each openly shared confusion the amounts of water, toilet paper and, lo and behold, paper towels? … that people are currently purchasing. I experienced this firsthand as I traveled to Costco last week to stock up on a few staple items.
A trip which is the norm in our family and was not prompted by all the latest “breaking news” and buzz of threat of illness. Much to our surprise there were no paper towels to be found, nor water, nor toilet paper or rice.
As we confirmed our finding with the clerk at check out, my son read a sign which had been posted at the check out desk. Apparently the next day each of the above mentioned items (and a few more) would be limited to a certain number per customer. As we spoke to the lady processing the order, she shared it had been “crazy” and she like us was a bit confused.
Before expanding further, it seems prudent to remind readers that I am not a medical expert. I have no formal training in medicine, pharmaceuticals or disease control. This is a column space and as is customary and the age old tradition, it’s quite simply the thoughts and opinions of the writer.
That being said, I’m openly confused about all the hysteria and drama surrounding the latest illness to hit the media. This will likely be the place where some of you stop reading to pen me an e-mail on facts you’ve heard, watched or learned in an effort to “school” me in my ignorance – fair enough.
I accept by making my thoughts public I equally open myself up for criticism.
For those still reading, I might also share I have done my fair share of article reading, Dr. interview watching and the like; I’m still confused. Much of what I have learned from those trained in medicine has indicated a few things: more people have died from the flu than the Coronavirus; of the large number of cases reported only a small percentage have died; persons with compromised immune systems are the ones who should be the most concerned.
Read that last fact again. For those readers who are elderly or battling an immunity illness/disease please do all you can to remain healthy and protected from the unknown. These thoughts aren’t for you. Your concern seems valid to this writer.
To the parents and community members who have shifted to seasonal hoarders, please take a breath. Please stop simply listening to a three minute sound bite or worse, the hearsay of another to base your decisions on. Close your social media apps for a minute and read some medical findings/documentation.
Reading an interview doesn’t count and here’s why. As journalists we pick and choose the quotes we want to use for the purpose of any given story. The quotes support and shape the tone of the overall piece. Follow what I’m throwing down? In short using the right quotes in just the right context can shift anything to the way of the writer’s view.
Perhaps my nonchalant, lack of hysteria/concern has caught a few off guard. Let me help you with that as well … I just have crazy faith. Weird, right?
Not for this girl.
Last week, as my partner and I discussed all of this over coffee he shared with me much of what he had seen on the news. As I listened, my face showed little concern and well, that concerned him. As his report concluded I smiled and inquired if he wanted to hear my thoughts on all of it. Naturally he said yes.
“We’re all going to go at some point,” I said. “Our paths are each predestined, that’s what my faith has taught me. I can’t live in fear or worry about something which really is bigger in the media than it is in real life. When it’s my time it’s my time.”
So that’s where I stand. I still wash my hands, just as I did last year and the year before, etc. But I also still hug people, shake hands and buy the appropriate amount of groceries for any given visit. My views perhaps are simple but my rest is well. Godspeed.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 847-3021.