Emotional Reactions and Grocery Shopping

I read a twitter announcement of another state issuing a Stay At Home order. The thing that was most interesting to me was the responses to the announcement. There people angry that the governor had decided to participate in “this unnecessary hoax and farce.” There were people asking fearful questions trying to determine how their particular situation was impacted. Some advocated ending the craziness by letting people go back to work. Some were doing the terrible math of cost benefit and were more afraid of permanent economic damage than the body count. Some were grateful that the step was finally being taken. Some praised the decision. I did not spend too much time reading these comments, the first two dozen were emblematic of what I expect the remaining thousands would also say. As I read, I felt so much sympathy for all of these frightened people whose worlds have become uncertain. Yes I even feel sympathy for the ones who are defiant and angry about disruptions they consider unnecessary. I’ve heard each of these opinions inside my own head as I look at the world around me. I think all of these things and then I choose which of those thoughts get expression in word and action. I hope for the sake of the angry defiant people that they get to keep their angry denial rather than being a person who ends up in the hospital or being a person who loses a loved one.

This morning my church issued a statement to remind all the missionaries who’ve been pulled back home about the importance of isolating for 14 days. Apparently a large mass of missionaries came home all at once and they were greeted at the airport by a large mass of family and friends who came to greet them. The perfect mix for a transmission event. I understand this behavior too, the longing to hold onto some fragments of the things we expected to have. Missionary families look forward to that reunion moment for years and it has always taken place at the airport. In fact the new construction at the airport is designed to allow for exactly that. It hasn’t hit everyone yet how much has changed, how much needs to change. On a smaller scale, my family had to decide whether my married daughter and her husband are allowed to come into our house bringing their different germ exposures with them. It is the same decision as greeting at the airport, do we get to continue doing this thing the way we’ve always done, or do we have to lose this thing we enjoyed. The answers are not easy because the emotional need to retain what we can is critically important.

I set my alarm this morning so that I could be at Walmart when the doors opened at 7am. There was a line outside of about 15 people. Everyone entered politely and most scurried to the toilet paper aisle. I went for baked goods because the first item on my list was flour. Flour wasn’t available, but I was able to get a pack of toilet paper and a pack of paper towels. One per customer. By 8am the small supply was all claimed. Supply chains are still functioning and still trying to adapt to the shifts in consumer behavior. Flour will probably become available again in a week or two, but I’ll probably have to be present when the doors open to be able to get it. I had yet another expensive shopping trip, because we’re still doing our initial stock up on essentials. Flour is the last item. After this the trips will be smaller because we’ll simply be replenishing.

And now I’m off to learn how to run a Zoom meeting because apparently I’m drafted to run tech for TypecastRPG while they can’t meet in person.