We are living in strange times, indeed.
Who would have guessed that people would stockpile toilet paper in response to a respiratory illness? Not Kleenex, or cold medications, but toilet paper. And excessive amounts of it.
Crowd behaviour such as that is fascinating for sociologists; it’s mind boggling for many of us. And yet somebody saw somebody buying a cart full of toilet paper and decided to do the same. Leaving others without.
And it’s happened for things other than toilet paper.
That’s one instance of the dark side of the pandemic.
But for every questionable and even harmful decision like that, there are many acts of human kindness that will stand out after this is over.
Like people buying for a single dad who can’t go out and shop, or helping seniors, or returning travelers. Our neighbours stocked our fridge and cupboards, and continue to reach out to help us, to make sure we can be comfortable during our isolation period.
Our nephew and his wife traveled 250 km each way to bring us groceries (and beer) and got to walk the dog in isolation in return. We did a visit through the window. Thanks to the Internet, we can “virtually” connect regularly with friends and family.
People in cities are gathering on balconies to cheer health care workers. There are artists performing concerts online for us to enjoy.
And then there’s the humour. In times like this, we have to keep a sense of humour. The videos, memes, jokes, and cartoons continue in waves. First about bottles of Corona beer, then about isolation; talking dogs to kids, it’s important to laugh. The amazing creativity displayed is a silver lining in all of this.
So let’s not dwell on those who chose to stockpile toilet paper, or continue to go out when they are in mandatory isolation (although we should try and stop them!)
Let’s focus instead on the beauty of the human spirit, the helping, the caring and the love that’s being shared every day. Even when we can’t physically connect, we are still finding so many ways to connect.
Writing is one way that I work through my thoughts and feelings. I am writing my own reflections as a way to process what’s happening at this crazy time. It won’t be perfect, but it will help me. You can decide whether or not to read them. If you do, I hope you feel free to comment with your own reflections. Be safe.