Hoosiers Prepare for the Apocalypse
The world went crazy overnight, so I decided to write a blog about how Hoosiers prepare for the Apocalypse. The toilet paper shortage came as a surprise to Rooster and I. #Covid-19 #work #toilet paper #shortages #hand sanitizer
I staggered into work on Monday morning, still hungover from the Daylight Savings Time change on Sunday. We’d endured a futile search Friday and Saturday looking for hand sanitizer and bleach. Rumors speculated the Coronavirus had reached American soil. We thought we’d play it smart and get prepared for its arrival. Everyone else in town had the same idea.
There wasn’t a hand sanitizer sheet or bottle of bleach left in the entire city. What I didn’t expect to face was the announcement classes would be taught online for two weeks after spring break. Rooster and I both work for a small university in Indiana. We won’t be among the employees who will be working from home. The campus where we both work hasn’t officially closed yet.
Can’t work from home during Hoosiers preparing for the Apocalypse
Our jobs don’t fit in the tidy category of work, which could easily be accomplished on a laptop in the comfort of our living room. Like many Americans, we will be at our stations until we catch the plague. Anxiety filled the halls of our small university. An ambiguous future hangs over all our heads like an anvil in a Roadrunner cartoon. The Coronavirus, now called Co-vid-19 to not be mistaken for a brand of beer, is creating high drama in all of our lives.
The disease is stealing the stuff we thought were necessities, and it hasn’t even made an impressive appearance yet. The shortages of items on the supermarket shelves are unprecedented in our combined American experience. This blog is about toilet paper, or the need to find a single roll amidst the madness.
Rooster’s quest for toilet paper during Hoosiers prepare for the Apocalypse
Rooster and I went to the store on Thursday night to pick up a few things. We were blissfully unaware there was a run on toilet paper in the small city where we live. This shortage led to a serious search for the coveted paper on Friday. It was a little after 4:00 p.m. when Rooster called my work phone.
He explained how he’d sauntered through the doors of a local store and heard they had toilet paper in the back. He got to the shelf and reached for the last roll, and some lady knocked it out of his hand. I asked if he fought her for it.
He told me yea, and he said the police were chasing him down the street. I knew he wasn’t telling the truth because I work in the campus police station. The police radio blares in the background all day long. There was chatter about a man who hit his neighbor with a car and ran. A lady who had left her house without wearing a stitch of clothing. She was strolling down the street like she was fully dressed.
I listened for Rooster’s arrest during Hoosiers prepare for the Apocalypse
Not a single word came over the radio about a car chase with the police hunting for a guy who fought with a lady over a roll of toilet paper. He continued his search until he found a store with the desired paper trophy on the shelf. Rooster was the person who committed the shameful grab at this location. He observed people standing in front of a rack with a few packages of toilet paper on the shelf. He couldn’t figure out why people assembled to admire the rolls without making a move to snatch one of the coveted items.
It wasn’t until after he grabbed a six-pack of Charmin and walked away from the onlookers that he realized he’d committed the sin of line jumping. It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t know there was a system of etiquette in the doomsday scenario. By the time I got off work, Rooster had heard through the rumor mill we could make a score at another location. We decided to check it out because we figured we could use a few more rolls. Rooster was now familiar with the procedure.
Rooster gave the young guy four roles
A young guy was about to reach for a package of paper seconds after Rooster made the next grab. Rooster handed over the acquisition he’d just made. He’d already scored at a previous location. There wasn’t any reason to hoard the prize he held in his hand. I’m sure there is a short story in this scenario somewhere. I’m just not ready to tell it yet.
Everyone is on edge during Hoosiers prepare for the Apocalypse
The Coronavirus has everyone in the world on edge with good reason. Our kids are worried about Rooster and me. We are old, which places us in the high-risk category. I’ve waged war against diabetes for the past year. I started walking five miles a day and brought it under control. It’s still worrisome. I’m concerned about my kids and grandkids. I have a son living in New York City and a daughter who works as a cashier for a local grocery chain. My granddaughters have jobs working in restaurants. We all have to make a living. We can’t isolate ourselves from life.
I watched a woman steal hand sanitizer during Hoosiers prepare for the Apocalypse
When I watched a woman steal hand sanitizer from the stand the grocery store put out to keep their customers safe, I knew we were entering tough times. Rooster and I have joined the ranks of toilet paper hoarders. It’s a Hoosier tradition to stalk up during the threat of impending disaster. Rumors of a snowstorm will send us scouring for bread, eggs, and milk.
New Yorkers are acting the same way
It looks like the rest of the nation is enjoying the same pastime. My son in New York City says there’s not a single roll on the store shelves there. A new term has come into existence in the past week. Social distancing is now a trendy thing to do. It looks like Rooster and I will be performing a lot of this new activity in the coming future.
I’m not sure when distancing becomes isolation, but I believe we are all about to discover when the line gets crossed. Our adventure trips are put on hold until further notice. I have three blogs about a recent trip we took to Lafayette, Indiana, which I haven’t got around to posting. They will be the extent of our exploration until more facts are known about our unwelcome intruder. We canceled the trip we’d planned to take to New Orleans.
Rooster and I plan to stay at home during Hoosiers prepare for the Apocalypse
We’re going to stay at home. We heard the Coronavirus was terrible down there. If we need to go into quarantine, we want to do it behind the four walls of our own home. We’re going to ride out the Apocalypse watching updates on the Coronavirus on TV. Of course, it will be the perfect time for me to get a lot of writing done. I’m trying to convince Rooster there is money to be made in this crisis. Fortune 500 companies profit over people’s misfortune all the time.
We need to become entrepreneurs. I have a cardboard box I could use to make a toilet paper stand out in front of the house. We could sell the precious paper for five dollars a roll. Kids make a lot of spending money with similar stands, and all they are selling is lemonade. We have a valuable commodity like toilet paper to peddle to the panicked public. If we could score a truckload of hand sanitizer, we’d make a million overnight. Rooster doesn’t want any part of my scheme. He feels awful enough about being a line jumper.
In conclusion, we found the paper
That’s how Hoosiers prepare for the Apocalypse. We hoard stuff so our own won’t have to do without during a catastrophe. From what I can tell, we’re doing about as good as the rest of the country. We’ll get over the rush to get stuff pretty soon. Then we’ll step back and regroup. It will take us a little time to assess the situation and see it as a simple shift in our reality.
Our churches may not be able to meet, but we won’t forget our upbringing. We’ve learned since we emerged from the womb to take care of ourselves and our neighbors. We’ll stop hoarding and start giving to people who have needs. We’re familiar with the concept of social distancing. It’s called winter. The only difference with this season is it will be long and hard.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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