Oh boy, we’ve got the pen in our hand… but where do we start?
The economy? Politics? A review of New York’s new brand of state-owned hand sanitizer?
Desperate times call for desperate editorial.
We need to dig deeper. We need to tread where others dare not go. We need to lurk behind the tree and see who’s back there… and what the heck they’re doing with all that toilet paper.
The nation has learned a lot during this coronavirus scare. But if there’s anything unexpected from it all, we learned that modern-day humans really, really don’t want to have to find an old Sears catalog to wrap up their business.
We can’t help but scratch our head…
What does it say about a country that stockpiles toilet paper?
What does it mean when a nation hears trouble is coming… and the first thing it does is load up the back of the minivan with double-ply Charmin?
It can’t be good.
An Odd Survival Skill
We’ve mused a lot about self-reliance in this column. We’ve taught loyal readers how to secure their food supply, how to prepare for disaster and, most importantly, how to think for themselves.
The folks who are hoarding toilet paper clearly didn’t pay attention.
In fact, we argue that what they’re doing is far more about psychology than any sort of physical protection.
That’s what’s so scary about all this.
Folks hear that toilet paper is sold out at the local grocer. So not wanting to miss out on what so many others are hoarding, they stand in line, tapping their foot as the tired stock boy worries about getting pummeled by the masses as he rolls out a fresh box of the good stuff.
They don’t bother to think about alternatives. They don’t bother to think about why a fresh bum should be the least of their worries if the health police nail a two-by-four across their front door. And they certainly don’t bother to think whether there’s something better they could be doing with their time.
Psychologists have a name for stuff like this. In fact, it’s right there in the first of six stages of an emergency… Stage 1: Warning.
That’s largely where America is today. Experts tell folks to prepare for trouble. There’s a storm on the horizon. It’s time for the average Joe to take control and make preparations.
It’s a critical stage. But most folks have no idea what to do… especially when the warning is about a tiny little bug they know nothing about.
It’s not like they can just board up the windows and toss some sandbags in front of the door.
Most folks have no control over this situation. But the warning stage is all about control.
That’s why it’s stirred so much trouble this time around.
It’s why folks desperate to do something… have done something desperate – like hoard a nonessential like toilet paper.
Bring in the Helicopters
Never mind that their freezer is empty and their pantry is filled with old VHS tapes of cooking shows… The masses have been conditioned to believe that somebody else will provide their food.
The national guard will hover overhead and drop loaves of bread, bottled water and, dare we say, wads of cash.
But toilet paper… oh no, you’re on your own for that one.
Isn’t it silly?
Folks are so conditioned to rely on somebody else that the only thing they feel they can or need to control in an emergency… is the comfort of their rear end?
The way we see it, the folks who are hoarding toilet paper are the victims of a much greater epidemic.
They’ve been trained to rely on somebody else. They’ve been taught that somebody else will provide their basic needs… that help will always come… and that all they need to do to survive is stock up on comfy double ply.
Perhaps Darwin was right.
Perhaps the coronavirus is merely nature’s latest way of seeing who’s fit… and who’s not.
After all, we’ve never seen a tortoise with a roll of toilet paper in its shell.