Life

Pandemic Paranoia on Display at Grocery Stores

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I’ve been to the grocery store twice this week. Both times, I’ve seen plenty of examples of pandemic paranoia in the aisles.

If you ever needed to see what pandemic paranoia looks like, risk your health and visit a grocery store.

I went to two different grocery stores this week where I found the items I felt I needed to be able to not leave home for a while. The first example was the empty shelves. There’s no sign of Clorox Wipes or hand sanitizer. And, as I’ve already mentioned this week, the toilet paper aisle is like a ghost town.

Part of the reason for the second visit was that I couldn’t find rice at the first one. I found almost no soup. Shoppers also cleaned out the bread aisle.

Maybe they really believe they’re going to seal themselves up in their homes until winter.

As more municipalities announce “Stay at Home” ordinances — or at least beg people to do so — I guess shoppers think they’re going to be locked down. That’s not the case, of course. Charleston passed a “Stay at Home” ordinance this week. Trips to the grocery store or the pharmacy are acceptable, it says.

I think that’s common sense.

Apparently, some people don’t.

But it’s not just the overreaction demonstrated by the empty shelves. I saw a few cases of pandemic paranoia at the second store, which was a higher-end store.

I saw a few well-dressed people wearing surgical masks and thick plastic gloves. One of them had to be wearing those super-thick dishwashing gloves that I didn’t know they still made.

Another wore an exaggerated baggy outfit that resembled a homemade hazmat suit.

Okay, maybe these people have some immune disorder. Some of them appeared to be older than 60, and people over 60 are more susceptible. But some looked younger.

And a few looked absolutely ridiculous.

I hope they don’t come down with this novel coronavirus. I’d love it if we could just snap our fingers and make it go away in an instant.

At the same time, if they have to go that far in protecting themselves, maybe it’d be better if they just stay home and call for delivery instead.

Have you seen any examples of the paranoia in your area?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.