April Fools?

This essay concerns COVID-19/Corona Virus effects on two certain segments of the population. I would like to think that both segments of the population are in the minority. The first segment tends to be greedy and selfish. The second segment of the population seem to be genuinely concerned for others, but tend to come off as misinformed or worse yet, just trying to be helpful to make themselves feel better. Unfortunately the times that I have been out and/or braving to dive into “social” media I have been proven otherwise. Unfortunately it appears as if both segments of the population are much larger than I or anyone else would care to admit.

My wife and I were visiting her parents in the USA and luckily for us we returned to Canada on February 15th, a week or two before COVID-19 exploded not just in China but worldwide. As a little background information my wife’s parents by and large paid for our trip because are now living exclusively on social assistance programs. This is because recently I became unemployed. So now we get paid on the first day of every month. Whereas before my job paid me on the 15th AND the 1st day of every month.

Do you really need 300+ rolls of T.P.?

In the meantime COVID-19 exploded here in Canada too. The most unsettling evidence is not the people wearing PPE, not government pleas to stay at home or practice social distancing when going outside but people doing the EXACT opposite as well as panic buying. So far panic buying has ranged from products that make sense (cleaning products & some paper products) to food (vegetables & dairy products) to feminine hygiene products. Then there’s products being hoarded that make absolutely no sense, like toilet paper.

Here’s what I take issue with, panic buyers are buying so much that if one, such as myself, only gets paid once a month then these panic buyers leave absolutely nothing for anyone else. When you are a low income earner such as myself, you are literally screwed. Literally I went to 8 different grocery stores over a 3 day period to find ONE bottle of a disinfectant cleaner and without a word of a lie, every store was sold out. Finally I found one bottle on the 4th day in the 12th different grocery store that I had been too. Mission sort of accomplished.

What I encountered going to the grocery store for the first time in 4 weeks.

The next I take issue with is that a good portion of the population do not practice social distancing and/or wear PPE. Not only is this dangerous to all concerned, it is extremely selfish too. I have gotten so much flak for wearing PPE and politely asking people to distance themselves from me that it makes me wonder if these same people understand the definition of “pandemic” and how grave this situation is.

I am glad that the media are doing stories about human kindness but I have yet to experience any of this human kindness outside of my circle of friends. When a lot of the time I feel like I’m the only one in this Godforsaken city who practices social distancing and wearing PPE when I’m out. Being swore at or people’s failed logic that wearing PPE is a terrible thing to do because they assume that I’m sick. If I am sick (which I am not) what the heck is wrong with trying to protect THEM from getting sick too?

I’ve been following news from other countries such as China, Russia and Japan and they, by and large, are pulling together not be selfish jerks. Granted the news is highly regulated by the Chinese and Russian governments but what about Japan? Even during the Japanese Tsunami of 2011 most Japanese citizens pulled together. The people who looted and/or did panic buying seemed to be a very small minority. Which is just the opposite of people in Canada and the USA where it took me damn near a week to find ONE bottle of disinfectant cleaner.

The second segment of the population are the first ones to bark at you to “Stay home!” Then they qualify it by saying if one does go out practice social distancing and wear PPE. Well, which is it? Stay home or go out? In this second segment there are also a number of good natured groups that will go out for people to get supplies for others in need. This seems a little odd when I’ve been told to stay in. So they can go out but I can’t? I’m not being selfish, but it seems strange to me that some people are allowed out and some aren’t. Personally, I’m going to stay in as much as possible.

Unfortunately at some point in the middle of the month, or later in the month, my wife and I may run out of food and other supplies. In my brief forays into “social” media I’ve encountered some people who seem to be genuinely concerned about people in situations like my wife and I are in. These people have reached out to tell me that if I need help to let them know. Unfortunately when I have informed them that we need hundreds of dollars of groceries and prescriptions they usually back down or the conversation is abruptly closed.

All of this ties into the subject of “Man’s Inhumanity To Man” especially here in the west, where overall crime appears to be much higher. Crime includes theft, vandalism and much more nefarious crimes such as fraud and domestic abuse. I’m not lumping the well meaning people offering assistance to those in need in with theft and domestic abuse. I am however lumping people who commit theft and domestic abuse with the selfish people who hoard at the expense of all else people.

So now the calendar has changed over to April 1st and all of this sort of irrational and antisocial behaviour is continuing. Which by the way, so is COVID-19 and it most likely will get a lot worse before it gets better. Which means we in Canada could be dealing with this pandemic for months to come. Let’s just hope that the large foolish segments of the population change their ways so that together we can get through this sooner rather than later.