The Essentials

The current crisis, in my mind, dates to Thursday, March 12.  That particular day, at least in my socially distant location, the pandemic became a panic.  Decisions were made to have employees work remotely.  Zoom or Skype meetings were substituted for the face-to-face variety.  Church services were cancelled.  There was a run on toilet paper.  This final aspect has me really vexed.  Why toilet paper?  Experts say if we kept to our usual buying habits there would be plenty for everyone, but the survivalist mentality kicked in and people began hoarding.  If the apocalypse was coming, they wanted to go down fighting with clean underwear on.  We were in Ithaca the next day to see my daughter.  We ordered out from a local restaurant.  When we got home we found a role of new toilet paper in the top of the bag.

According to my amateur dating technique, we’ve been in this state for 13 days now.  Toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels are nowhere to be found.  I looked on Amazon.  They can get you toilet paper, but you’ll need to wait until May.  Why?  Ironically, because it’s being shipped from China.  Yes, the nation where the pandemic erupted has toilet paper aplenty.  Here in the greatest [sic] nation in the world, there’s none to be found.  What does this tell us about a country that self-identifies as “Christian”?  Whatever happened to “if someone demands your coat, give them your shirt also”?  Or perhaps more to the point, “turn the other cheek”?  How has a nation of Bible believers responded to a crisis?  By becoming selfish.  By stockpiling toilet paper.

I’ve spent a lot of time camping.  I’m fairly comfortable with the ways of nature.  Like most other people I prefer a nice, private restroom with all the accoutrements, but if bears can do it in the woods, why can’t we?  I have my Boy Scout guide right here.  But it suggests using toilet paper.  If books could be ordered, I suspect How To Poop [this is the family friendly version] in the Woods would be a current bestseller.  Trump says he wants everyone back to work by Easter, but the toilet paper ordered from Asia won’t even be here by then.  And will offices have access to some secret stash that only those who buy in bulk can find?  Hoarding makes any crisis worse, but this particular one seems especially mean spirited.  It makes me realize just how great America has been made.

3 thoughts on “The Essentials

  1. Hi Steve,

    Yes, Like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we have our own Gold Ticket item: Toilet Paper.

    March 12 would have been correct, even here. The run on toilet paper in Montreal happened as well. Over the last 15 days, I have left the house approximately 3 times. To Grocery shop.

    I’ve never seen store shelves BARE in Montreal in the last 18 years, ever. But Montrealer’s went on a hoarding trip on 11-12 March, buying every roll of toilet paper, in a 10 mile radius of the city.

    There has been not one single roll anywhere. And all the store presidents sent out hurried emails telling their shoppers that the supply chain was still good and that shelves would be restocked immediately.

    They weren’t.

    Yesterday hubby did a shop run and came home with 2 packages of toilet paper. A huge score seeing we haven’t been able to find any anywhere since 11 March.

    People who hoard toilet paper must be full of shit, right ? What would you need of more than 50 rolls of toilet paper? Is there a tree or a house you want to hit up ? I mean really. Here in Canada we’ve had human beings spending $$$Thousands of dollars buying up cleaning stock and TP then going on Amazon and Kajiji and reselling the same for exorbitant amounts of money. It is sinister.

    It was all over the news from B.C. a reporter actually tracked down the Hoarder/Sellers to shame them, and Provincial leaders called them out as well on national tv. Amazon and Kajiji shut down those sales pages citing that they were price hike selling in times of great distress.

    But it is disgusting.

    Like you said, if the Apocalypse is coming, all those good Bible Pounding Christians, don’t want to be caught with their pants down and have skid marks in their undies.

    Mama always said, “Leave the house with clean underwear, in case you get in an accident. You don’t want to get caught with dirty underwear.”

    Pity the hoarders.



    • Thanks, Jeremy.

      I agree, the real pity goes to the hoarders. One of the lessons of any crisis should be how we can overcome difficulties if we work together. Another friend has told me that gun sales are booming. Our apocalyptic outlook will be the death of us!

      Stay safe,


  2. Pingback: The Essentials — Steve A. Wiggins | Talmidimblogging

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