Danielle K. Little, March 14, 2020
Last Sunday, March 15, 2020, my family and I decided to get some additional supplies and essentials to better prepare ourselves just in case we were required to stay in lock-down due to COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. It was a smart decision because, now, mere hours after my school district announced that we would not return to school until May 1, Governor Newsom was the first in the country to place our state — California — on a mandatory Stay At Home Order.
At about 7:00 am last Sunday, I was awakened by my mother who told me to get dressed as quickly as possible so that we could be one of the first people inside of the store. Honestly, I did not want to go. My mom known for planning ahead, had been regularly getting supplies for the better of a month which I often teased her about. She did not appreciate the teasing and told me that I was not taking “it” seriously. I thought she was paranoid and overdramatic. I was wrong.
Initially, we planned to go to about one or two stores to find what we need, which at that time, my mother insisted was margarine, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Weird, but OK. The shopping excursion, however, took us to about five different stores. It was an invaluable lesson, among other things as to why you should plan and prepare early for everything. I’m just thankful I have the world’s most Type-A mother who watches the progressive news incessantly, and knew we were headed for way more trouble than most people realized, including me.
The first store I went to was Stater Brothers, but when we first turned into the parking lot, there was a huge line that queued to the entrance and it was before 8:00am! We decided to go elsewhere, however the people in line were very interesting to me. It was clear that they had waited in the cold, very wet and rainy atmosphere, for who knows how long to have access to some groceries. I wondered if they were like my mom and I. Had they already stocked up on food and supplies and were just making some last minute runs? Or were they the ones who had dismissed the seriousness of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, early on and were only now realizing their mistake, resulting in panic-shopping for whatever they could find? I would never know, as we were quickly driving to a nearby Dollar Tree.
The Dollar Tree was an entirely different environment compared to Stater Brothers. There was no line at all and few people in the store, maybe because it was so early. It was completely tame and we were able to navigate easily. My mother thanked me for being able to reach top shelves, because she was too short to reach the larger size detergent bottles. There were smaller bottles next to her but I knew that she was trying to get the best bang for our buck. Besides the candy, snack and knickknack sections, the aisles with the toilet paper, paper towels an tissues looked like they had been pillaged. We were able to get necessary cleaning supplies, and my mom let me get $10 worth of candy and some Peeps, which she said was my Easter surprise, so all was not lost.
The next two stores that I went to were Rite-Aid and Ralphs. Rite-Aid, like the Dollar Tree, was out of many things such as toiletries, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizers and surprisingly, thermometers. We ended up getting up generic unflavored mouth wash because it was the closest thing with alcohol in it. After about 40 minutes, we went next door to Ralphs. There, it felt like our prayers had been answered. In the dairy section, I found stacks upon stacks of margarine which made my mother actually sigh in relief. Literally. A calm came over her. Then I remembered how she had explained earlier that she wanted us to have a sense of normalcy, because we would be eating lots of canned goods and rice, and we both shuddered at the thought of rice with no butter flavor!
After four hours of non-stop shopping, we finally went home. My feet felt like they were on fire. However, there were some important lessons that I learned which made this experience invaluable. First, and most importantly, I learned the importance of having a Chicken Little complex. That is, that you believe the world is going to come crashing down so much so that it pushes you to be prepared. In the early stages of this pandemic, I was nonchalant and dismissive about the coronavirus even to my own mother who was very concerned from the outset. However, as the disease has progressed and as cities, states and countries around the globe have taken draconian measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and as I myself have seen the growing consequences, I have begun to take it seriously and so should everyone else. If you are one of those people, who spent more time telling people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media platforms that they should stop panic purchasing because “people are just making a bid deal out of nothing” in regards to coronavirus, instead of being proactive and getting necessary supplies than I urge you face reality.
We know now, like many ofo us did not want to face last week, that the coronavirus is not coming, it is already here. It was just last week, that the County of San Bernardino reported that it had its first documented case of the coronavirus!. According to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has become the medical face and America’s doctor as concerns the COVID-19 pandemic: “things will get much worse before they get better.” Science is the ONLY thing that will save humanity in these dark times. Having an abundance of faith is fine, but no one, and I mean not a single soul, should honestly believe that they are going to pray the coronavirus away. We have a truly humanitarian crisis that needs to be handled by medical and scientific professionals; people who are anti-science, climate change deniers and believe in other such foolishness need to step aside for the good of the world. The general public needs to do our part by not spreading false and dangerous information like the person currently occupying the White House and his sycophants. We also all have a responsibility to limit the spread of the coronavirus as well. Do not assume that because you are young that this does not affect you. In a recent article posted by The Guardian, a new born baby in London became the youngest person to test positive for the coronavirus.
Everyone: Be smart. Stay safe. Be proactive.
New Times citation:https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000007028742/coronavirus-cdc-fauci.html
The Guardian Citation:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/14/newborn-baby-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-in-london