Self-Isolation. Yes, Please.

I’ve been preparing for self-isolation my entire life. I am introverted and I relish those days in which I can putter around in my underwear all day long, brushing only my teeth, adorning no makeup while eating peanut butter and honey from the jar. So when talk came of shutting down the world to contain the corona virus I said, “There is a God and he loves me the most”.

As a girl who was raised Jehovah’s Witness and from Oklahoma, I grew up with this kind of buy-all-the-toilet- paper hysteria we are seeing play out. My whole childhood was spent listening to spiral-eyed men preaching eminent death and world annihilation (and that was from the Oklahoma weathermen). Oklahomans hear about a possible tornado coming on Friday and by Sunday people have bought all the toilet paper, flashlights and generators in a 100-mile area. Trailers are loaded with bottled water. So I am familiar with the hyperbole that the corona virus is causing.

But yesterday The Husband and I had to make a Lowe’s Home Improvement Store run. We jokingly looked down the toilet paper aisle and it looked like a ghost town. I think I heard a shingle squeak and a rooster crow. This was unnerving.

Next we went to Home Depot. Again we laughed and scurried around the store in a veritable scavenger hunt seeing if we could find a coo-coo for coco puffs hoarding toilet paper. What we found instead was vast empty spaces where toilet paper once lived in perfect harmony with paper towels and shop towels (which were also oddly disheveled and scarce). Weirder still, and I promise I’m not making this up, checkout Lane 3 was open. This shook me to my core.

Next stop, grocery store. Just to be on the safe side, I think, maybe we should buy some toilet paper, but no. There is not a stitch of toilet paper here.

They say we are all born with a fight or flight response. As an aforementioned Oklahoman raised by a Jehovah’s Witness and who is currently reading a book about the Donner party, folks, we have here what is known as a Perfect Storm. My fight response kicked in as my mind flashed to my dog. I don’t want to eat my dog but I will eat that damn dog if it comes down to it. I began hurriedly chasing down frozen foods and canned foods, dumping them in the shopping cart. And yes, I bought bottled water. I also bought several cases of La Croix because I am not a savage survivalist.

I have been trying to decide whether to fly home to Oklahoma to visit my 92 year old mom. Should I risk seeing her once I’ve been around people who might be carrying the virus? Then I remember my mom has one of those Life Straws and I’m betting she has toilet paper. I know she has buckets of hand-sanitizer.

I’m getting on that plane.

I know that there are people dying from this and others who would die if they contracted the virus. I don’t mean to be unkind. It’s just an offer of levity in this time of chaos and fear. Stay safe everyone and for God’s sake wash your hands.

43 Comments

  1. His sense of humor is so overwhelming that he meets his goal: to bring out a smile amid the chaos that has arisen.
    The pressure must be reduced and it has been done in the best way.
    Good weekend and your advice is very well received.
    regards
    Manuel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You always crack me up, Alison! Great blog post! I needed a good laugh as I sit here with my fractured tibial plateau elevated and trying to remember to take deep breaths for my pulmonary embolism. I’m halfway through my 12 weeks of putting absolutely no weight on my right leg. Having to hop on my left leg with a walker has aggravated the bursitis in my left hip. I’ m on a blood thinner now and my liver enzymes are elevated. Honestly, all I needed in the midst of all this was a pandemic! You can’t make this stuff up! Stay well, and I hope you find that elusive toilet paper by the time you need it! Keep blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not staying in , just going out again, the proper gestures yes no kissing no hand shaking wash your hands more often than ever, yes. But life goes on, enjoy it is too short to waste it. Best of luck, Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m staying in more because everyone in my circle is staying in. My understanding is that the US media has hyped this much more than is happening in Europe. There is widespread pandemonium here.

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  4. I love your writings, I just don’t understand the toilet paper thing. Why is toilet paper flying off the shelves? It makes no sense. The media plays mind games and the herd mentality kicks in. I know it is a serious thing also. But, I get the flu pretty much every year. And TP is the last thing I am thinking about. Have a good day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Alison. This is the truth. In fact, someday when I get to write some of the bizarre details, you really won’t believe it. The fracture of the tibial plateau was the result of a freak accident my sister and I had in the kitchen… and things went downhill from there. It’s too long a story to share here, but I want to find a way to share my tale of woe. Even though a fractured leg and pulmonary embolism are nothing to joke about, I’ve chosen to see the last seven weeks of my life as an unbelievable string of humorous and/or unbelievable incidents. I’m actually doing well, considering the shape I’m in.

    Stay well, Alison. Stay out of the kitchen. Keep blogging. And keep searching for that elusive toilet paper!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The EXACT same thing is happening here – the TP is the first thing to be hoarded. (Why is that??) Then comes potatoes. Then alcohol. In our case, we can laugh at all the TP panic because my husband has a secret stash in his big empty school.
    By the way, the Donner party didn’t have any toilet paper either, and they did just fine.

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  7. Very good! Having also grown up Jehovah’s Witness, I tend to be a skeptic myself. I mean 1975 came and went, right? Not that I dispute the entire end of times thing but when it comes, it’ll come and no one will be so prepared. When I lived in Alabama and a tornado or hurricane was expected. The top three things that sold out were toilet paper, bread and milk. Westerners are just getting the hang of it, depleting TP, bleach and hand sanitizer. In the meantime, as it just so happens I bought one of those giant TP bags at Costco prior to going on my trip to Florida to be with my sis, for her brain surgery. I wanted to be sure my husband didn’t run out. Unfortunately, he never looked in the cupboard and thought we were out, so he got another big bag, so we could start selling that stuff on the black market… if we cared to. As for the current scare of CoVid-19, well even my doctor has his concerns and admitted to having at least two weeks of supplies that he’d be willing to share if need be. He also hoped others would be so gracious when the time came. Right now, my hubby is at the store buying dry food stores, just in case. (Big smile)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny about that 1975 right?? Well, we did buy a lot more dry, canned and frozen foods than we usually do just incase they announce a mandatory isolation (surely it won’t come to that??) but I’m taking my chances on the TP. Don’t really have a choice since it’s sold out everywhere. I think we have about two weeks worth. Hope your sister is recovering well. Good to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am actually going to delay the trip to Oklahoma. I appreciate your continued readership and wish you and yours health and wellness in these crazy times. Great post.

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  8. Wonderful post, Alison. Like you, we didn’t realize that the run on the stores was happening until we tried to buy toilet paper! Really? Then when the European travel ban was implemented we had to cancel a month-long trip to Africa. So I really hope that you get to go see your Mom! All the best, Terri

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  9. What a great post! Yes, there is that herd mentality when it comes to hoarding supplies. I find myself in the store and seeing the last couple of basically anything, and I automatically reach for it, thinking, “gotta have that, it’s almost out!” Then I come to my senses and put it back.
    As for mothers, I hear you. I called my 89-year old mother to ask if she needed me to go to the store for her and get her anything last week, and she told me she had already gone to the store. Where she found, and bought, eggs, milk, lettuce, paper towels and….toilet paper. I wasn’t sure if it was an example of a miracle or cluelessness, but at least I’ve convinced her to let me shop for her from now on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Where do you live, I’m comin’ over! Haven’t seen eggs, paper towels or toilet paper for days! I’m glad our moms are doing well. Guess that Second World War was quite the primer. Stay healthy and safe.

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  10. Living under a very strict curfew has made me realize the secret joys of things I’d never looked at before. The trick is: panic buy something you can’t read the label of. Then put it in your bag while you can still be out carrying a bag. Step 3: then live through God knows how long in your bunker discovering what it actually is:)

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