Where Is All The Toilet Paper?
I’m not the type of person to stand on a social media soapbox when it comes time to vent, pretend to be a self righteous judge, or act like a specialist because a crisis pops up in modern day America. Most of the time, I bite the inside of my cheeks until they bleed because some of my observations would be too straightforward for some people to stomach. Some would consider that trait to be admirable while others would think it to be cowardice. I have found that life is safer for all parties involved for most of us to be the positive amongst the negative and let things pan out because it is going to do that anyway.
I started this blog in December with Introductions First and talked about 2020 being the year I put certain things in my life on cruise control. Yeah, way to go on that one, idiot! We’re pumping the gas with the brakes now, huh? I then shared a couple of posts about a lengthy sixteen hundred page book I was trying to publish and the journey surrounding that one particular story. Yeah, best wishes! Keep going! This should be grand! Since then, I’ve tried to share tidbits of my fictional style while also trying to engage the reader by sharing epiphanies I have experienced since opening my finger taps to the world. ZzzzZZzZZ *snore* ZzzzzZZzz, wake me when it’s over. I’m currently waiting on copyrights to return from eight of my other fictional novels so I can share them with my editor, and then, dun dun dun, the calamity of all calamities hits.
Toilet paper shortage.
If there is another country with cleaner backsides than America right now, I’d like to visit it (like in a year or two or whenever – maybe). I have lived my entire life in America’s Hurricane Alley, and a storm of that magnitude is visible to the naked eye. You can see it churning on a live map, and news stations send their agents to places of first impact so they can await the salty aired beast and provide us with live coverage. You cannot predict a hurricanes exact path until it approaches land, taking into account where any high or low pressure fronts may be, but any viewer can watch the tropical monster as it slowly shuffle steps toward you.
A virus, well, as all of us social media scientists already know, is invisible, and the only way you know where the virus is manifesting is when people start showing symptoms. I must advise that I am the farthest thing from a medical professional, but in a time when a global pandemic is transpiring, one must be careful going back to work a couple of days after contracting seasonal flu even if one does not show symptoms. There is going be a new standard after this is over, and all of us are standing on the front lines against this threat.
We find ourselves weighing a heavy decision and trying to balance the health of a community and the health of a business. There are thousands of scenarios where only one person in a small office has yet to get sick while all their co-workers came down with the unforgiving seasonal flu. I work at a small family business, and it is going to be affected by this travesty of a situation. This may be the same scenario for a lot of you and others, I’m sure.
Some of us are going to need stimulus money to help pay a couple of bills because our job is tied in with businesses who are affected by this virus. I know everyone is worried about work and paying bills and not going insane while being forced to stay at home (people’s complaints sometimes rattle me), but we need to look at the bigger picture. Do we stay home, social distance, and let our bodies adjust so all of us can survive, or do we throw caution to the wind and expose ourselves to something that has already taken many innocent lives away? The common sense answer is not hard for me, and I don’t know how I would feel if I infected someone else, who then took it home and infected someone they hold dear to their soul, and the end result became them losing that person forever because I wanted to be selfish or because I wasn’t momentarily thinking.
This all shadows my next observation. I saw this sassy sentence scroll across as a headline for a major news station the other night.
“We can’t make it because we don’t have the right parts.”
Huh? Wait a second! The right parts? America, are we serious right now? We have the most brilliant minds in the world and that’s the best answer we can come up with? MacGyver could stop a bomb from exploding and save an entire city with a bent paper clip, a Q-Tip, and a piece of chewed up gum stuck to the underside of his boot. Rambo could free an entire village with some vine cord, bamboo spears, a bow and some arrows, and a military issued knife. Chuck Norris could fire a sub machine gun left to right once over a dusty hill and eliminate twenty threats in one wave then grin about it as the wind blew through his shaggy, sweaty hair. (Sorry! I had to be dramatic first before I bring it together here at the end!)
Over a hundred years ago, two American companies competed and built railways across the entire continent and met in the middle, and that is who we are, as a nation. We, the people, are America! All of us! We should be a nation of problem solvers, not problem starters. It’s going to take all of us to hammer through this, and we will put our footprint in the history books of tomorrow.
A quote sticks out in my mind since this pathogen has struck, and for the life of me I cannot remember who said it.
“A virus is one thing that will wipe out an entire population and leave its treasures intact!”
In the days to come, we are going to realize that treasures are more than possessions. Treasures are people. Treasures is good health. Treasures are the truck drivers plowing through long hours and distances to make sure our stores are stocked with food and necessities that we need. Treasures are the people working at the grocery stores and other distributors to make sure those goods are delivered to we, the people. Treasures are the doctors, nurses, and medical staff that keep clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes open so we can get the care that we need in this time of crisis. Treasures are the bright minds, scientists, and laboratory technicians who are currently researching together in order to put an obstacle in this virus’ path. Treasures are the kids who are able to enjoy time being kids, and the mother’s, father’s, and caretakers who are spending time with those children while balancing work. Treasures are the restaurants that will one day reopen and be better than ever, and the other eateries that are maintaining their business with drive-thru service only. Treasures are the pharmacies, pharmacists, and staff that continue to show up at their place of business so we can have the medicines we need to combat the symptoms of the virus, as well as keep our pre-existing conditions at bay. Treasures are the people in uniform, whether domestic or military, who continue to hold their countries safety and freedom close to their chest and will do anything to protect the citizens of their great nation. Treasures are me, you, or whoever else out there that reads this, and is scared, yes, nervous, yes, but determined to pilot these uncharted waters and come out as a better America, as a better Earth, once the storm has passed.
America, much less every other nation, will survive, and mankind’s civilizational history of struggle should be evident of that. My heart goes out to those, locally and globally, that are sick, have lost someone due to this pandemic, or are stuck in the trenches. Everyone’s community just became bigger, and together, regardless of race, gender, orientation, religion, social status, political party, or one of the other one million stereotypes that currently exist, we will make it through this dire time in history.
The key word is together!
We are the pioneers of tomorrow, and our journey starts today!