Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Toilet paper and paper towels? Really?

I hate to say it, but I don’t have a whole lot of faith in the American public. After seeing the run on toilet paper and paper towels it’s obvious that the people have developed an every-man-for-himself mentality. Why paper towels and toilet paper? The shelves of my grocery store were stocked full of actual food items. Bread was gone. I’ve never understood that one. During impending snow storms people clear the shelves of milk and bread. Are they making French toast?

I went to the grocery store because we were actually running low on paper towels. I went to three different locations and it was the same story. Who started this? That’s the problem. Nobody really knows. Someone started buying up toilet paper and the madness started. Then it spread to toilet paper. What’s next?

Toilet paper aisle at Target
I started a hashtag on Twitter. #PanicIsTheVirus. I’m not suggesting that the coronavirus isn’t serious. If you’re over 70 and/or have health problems you should probably stay close to home. I don’t have any problem with the social distancing. But cancelling NASCAR? Sure, make the fans stay home, but race. And I’m not even a big NASCAR fan. What are the chances that someone in a full driving suit and helmet is going to either get the coronavirus or spread it? Zero. I certainly understand cancelling mass gatherings of people. I just wish we’d been a little less hysterical about it.

We’re having to walk that thin line between precaution and panic, and we’re solidly on the side of panic. Anybody remember the Hong Kong Flu of 1968? It killed over a million people worldwide and around 100,000 in the United States. I don’t recall the government shutting down all public events. The Asian Flu of 1957 killed almost 70,000 Americans. Where was the freak out?

The common denominator is Donald Trump wasn’t president. The people on the left have shamelessly used this crisis to try and topple the president. Again. The Russia hoax didn’t work. The Ukrainian hoax didn’t work. They’re hoping this time they’ll be successful. I doubt it.

These pandemics can last for years, but they usually peak within a few months. This one appears to have peaked in China. If we’re lucky we’re only looking at a few more weeks here in the United States before things can get back to normal.

What’s really interesting is how Taiwan, which is only 140 miles across the Taiwan Strait, has managed to keep its cases really low. Like us they’ve instituted tight border restrictions and limited public gatherings. That seems to be the key. All of these open border advocates are looking like idiots now. There’s a great reason why countries have borders. That’s never been more clear than today.

We’ve not yet peaked in the United States. It will surely get worse before it gets better. Probably several thousand deaths before it runs its course. If you’re in a high risk group then you should confine your movements. If you’re anyone else you should limit yours. No need to rush out for toilet paper and paper towels. And bottled water? Don’t people have taps in their houses? If the end of the world to you means drinking water from your sink and doing your business with a leaf then we’re much weaker than I thought.

Get it in one bag, people. This is not a time to be selfish. Buy what you need and stop hoarding. Leave something for others. We’ll get through this if you’ll just stop acting like animals. BTW, animals don’t need toilet paper.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

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