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Not the time to panic

Who would have thought no-bake cheesecake would be on the coronavirus’ hoarding list?

Well, it was.

I am not a panic-shopper, so I waited until Sunday morning to head to the grocery store. I like Sunday mornings because the stores are usually pretty quiet and well-stocked.

Was I in for a surprise.

The parking lot was packed and so was the store.

Not only were all the water bottle shelves almost bare, the frozen pizzas, with the exception of the pricey organic pizzas, were gone, so were paper towels, toilet paper, hand santitizers, soap bars, clothes detergent, Meaty Bones, cat food and yup, no-bake cheesecake mixes.

Trust me, I looked several times to be sure I wasn’t just missing it. They were out of stock.

While checking out, my cashier mentioned the worst day was Friday and the first people to check out that day had three shopping carts loaded and spent more than $900.

Lucky for the couple they had the resources and spare time to be at the store when it opened its doors on Friday or they may have run out of cheescake during this national crisis.

They won’t be running out of toilet paper anytime soon. Or hand sanitizer.

I, personally, find mass shopping during a potential crisis an act of selfishness. It is not caring about your neighbor or the other guy. It is only looking out for numeral uno.

The supermarket I frequent has a busload of senior citizens who live independently in senior housing, and they shop every Tuesday. So when these elderly people, most who are on a very limited budget, go to the store today, they will find bare shelves of some of life’s basic necessities.

Many more of us live paycheck to paycheck and do not have the resources, or space, to stockpile toilet paper.

The seniors and minimum wage earners won’t be able to buy the inexpensive mini-pizzas or clothes detergent. Bottled water? Forget it. Drink from the tap.

Panic shoppers don’t seem to care about the people who do not have the time and resources to buy and store mass quantities of hand santitizers.

One of my neice’s is almost nine months pregnant and lives in Austin, Texas. She said she cried Sunday when she got to the store. She said how they actually needed certain groceries and items and left pretty much empty-handed because other shoppers with the time and money had beat them to the store and emptied just about every shelf. She is trying to nurture a baby, as are millions of other mothers and fathers.

Another friend told me about her and her husband getting up at 4 a.m. Sunday to shop at the Wilton Walmart and found only empty shelves, so they went to Hannaford, where the shelves were just a tiny bit better.

Then there are the pair of brothers in Tennessee, who have become experts at finding a trend and then mass buying the products and re-selling them on Amazon for a hefty profit.

Recently they posted 300 bottles of hand sanitizer on Amazon priced between $8 and $70. They sold out!

At one time, they had amassed more than 17,700 bottles of the stuff.

Amazon did the right thing by pulling the brothers’ items, along with thousands of similar listings, citing price gouging and an investigation into the brothers’ practices is ongoing.

Wanting to take care of yourself and your family is important, but right now, especially in these times of divisiveness in our country, we need to care about our friends and neighbors as well.

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