So here we are in the midst of surviving the coronavirus. COVID-19. The virus of all viruses.
Life as we know it has changed, at least temporarily. Because this too shall pass. In the meantime we need to get through it. And I’m certain the majority of us will. But along the way, we are going to experience some new “norms”.
School now takes place outside of school. Work now takes place outside of work. There aren’t any sports to watch, but you can binge watch “Cheers” on Netflix. Finally we have the opportunity to catch up on our reading, or anything else we may have not had time to do. More time with the fam, which may, or may not be, a good thing.
Along with so many others I have experienced the empty store shelves, emptier than I have ever seen them during major blizzards. With a pending blizzard I have always been able to find cleaning supplies, pasta, soup, bread and toilet paper. Not so with this thing. Remarkably, there was plenty of milk when I hit Walmart on Friday night.
Earlier in the day I was having a conversation with two of my sisters about the craziness of not being able to find this, that or the other thing at the store. Both of my sisters said they were down to only a few rolls of toilet paper. I told them we had a 12-pack and could spare some. That would give us all four rolls. To get us through until who-knows-when. I figured I would try to obtain some more at Big Y that night, as they have it on sale. And I have a coupon. Even better deal.
It had been a week since I’d been in a store. I only shop once a week. Last week there was toilet paper I had heard the stories from many about how there is not a single roll to be found anywhere. Because, as you know, COVID-19 makes you shit yourself into oblivion and hey, when you run out of food, you can eat it. I digress…
I left Big Y disheartened because there was no toilet paper. There weren’t any tissues, paper towels or napkins either. I knew I shouldn’t have been surprised. I wasn’t. I was shocked. Family Dollar: nothing. CVS: nothing.
I arrived at Walmart and resolved by then that we didn’t need the toilet paper that bad. Four rolls could probably get my family through at least a week, maybe two if we didn’t piss or shit too much. But the fact that no stores have it and that it’s disappearing faster than it can be stocked, was scaring me. Not knowing when I’d be able to get more toilet paper was scarier than there not actually being any available. I have the same feeling with the missing food.
I’m walking down the aisle adjacent to the paper goods aisle when I hear a loud “clang” that made me jump. I looked over to see a stock boy throwing a 30-pack of toilet paper on the metal shelf. I casually went over and grabbed it, feeling joyous for the first time that night. That was the only pack of toilet paper I saw him put down. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know if he had any more to put down. I didn’t care. I guarded that 30-pack with my life and made my way out of there.
Suddenly I had toilet paper not just for myself and my family, but also my two sisters and their families. Ten rolls for each of us. I felt like I had been blessed by the Toilet Paper Gods.
I also think it’s great that now most of the world is finally washing their hands and cleaning their respective places. Because I know for a fact so many were not doing this before COVID-19. I’m sure people who have never touched a disinfecting wipe in their life have now learned how to use them. Because I can’t find those anywhere either.
I know this situation we’re all in right now isn’t going to last forever. And it sucks not knowing when it’s going to end. But until it does the majority of us will trudge on, scrapping to get the last can of soup, the last loaf of bread or if we’re really lucky, the last roll of toilet paper.