Same Pandemic, Different Panic

Different Panic

A year ago, on this very weekend, everything and everyone was shuttered, crawling into quarantine with unknown repercussions on the other side. Uncertainty gripped most of the world. Conflicting reports of doomsday scenarios were announced from the rooftops and whispered between kin. To what degree this time in 2020 affected your psychological state varied, of course, but things changed for everyone. The fundamental shift in the way we operate was permanent. If you don’t think so, and you assume we will go back to the way it was before, I would encourage you to take a closer look. The footprints of this pandemic and the subsequent response will not go quietly into the night. We might forget but the policy that is implemented will not. I bring this up not to sound paranoid or dramatic, but to remind myself and others of the cyclical nature of human behavior no matter what the circumstance. 

Springtime in the Rocky Mountains is temperamental and invasive in the way it surprises and pummels you with erratic behavior. Weather changes at a moments notice — sunshine filled days can turn into two feet of snow in a matter of hours. It’s a savage time of the year to live here. It reminds me of my powerlessness in the face of mother nature. It’s good to be reminded of how small we really are. 

Same Pandemic 3

Well, on this shutdown anniversary, we are told that a snowstorm is coming. Experts on the TV are saying this “could” be a monster. Not just a casual foot of snow, but perhaps, a city-crippling dump of frozen water vapor. I’ve seen it big spring storms before and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a massive one. But at this point I kind of doubt it with only wet streets in my view.

Now I am more curious with the response — my store looks like an end of the world scenario. I started having flashbacks or some lame, suburban version of PTSD walking around the store yesterday. Our sales are in the top ten around the country. That panic-stricken gaze is back in so many faces. People are shopping like they will be locked in their homes for weeks. I want to tell them we have snow plows. This is not new. Calm down. But it wouldn’t matter. I guess I’m more of an optimist than I should be. Hopefully, that will never change. 

The produce section of our store was ravaged when I left last night. Shelves in different departments were empty, again. Have we learned nothing? Of course we haven’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s the start of a pandemic or possible blizzard — people are drawn to fear like animals to water. Linda and Dave forget the lessons of the past. We all do. That is result of a hyper-sensationalized and entirely too wired in society. It’s the curse of modernity. 

Different Panic 2

There is one major thing that is different about this recent run on grocery stores — I saw some cheerful faces peppered among the crowd. I had pleasant conversations yesterday. I could tell they were smiling behind their mask. They might’ve been hoarding food but at least they were having fun while they did it. I’m reminded to fall back on the humor in this silly existence. What is there to worry about? You die in the end. And it could be so much worse. Is that a good take away? Probably not, but it’s the only one I have as I wait to go back to work at 2pm on a Saturday. 

2 thoughts on “Same Pandemic, Different Panic

  1. Quick, hide the toilet paper, Adam! Hope you’re having a good shift and find more smiling faces under those masks! 🙂

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