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Panic purchases aren’t the answer

Opinion GENERAL HEADER

Today, cases of community spread of COVID-19 pop up across the world. Public concern is rising more and more – I can ensure you that panic shopping isn’t the answer.

I’ve seen individuals load toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes into their shopping carts.

True fear is an honest enemy that strikes us all. My gripe comes from those with bad intentions.

Please don’t take more than you need. Even worse, don’t turn around and sell the same products with the intention of making a profit.

Retail stores such as Target, Walmart, Dillon's and even CVS have begun to limit customers to one product per visit for a reason, people are using a horrible circumstance as a means of financial gain. 

My mom told me a recent story she experienced while at Target.

She explained that an individual attempted to go through a self-checkout register – and get away with violating the one product limit. He was caught by the self-checkout supervisor and was asked to return the additional item.

He refused.

The employee reached for her cellphone and pulled up a photo of the stores temporary item limit policy.

The customer obliged – my point is that some people aren’t as nice and don’t oblige. To make matters worse, Facebook Marketplace has quickly become a place for toilet paper profit – and a fair number of toilet paper memes. 

At the end of the day, a toilet paper square won’t stop you from contracting a virus. Proper personal hygiene practices are the way to go, according to the CDC.

The discussion then becomes, “how can something so rudimentary like a strain of influenza spread worldwide?”

That’s a long discussion for another time. What I can tell you is that not everyone has the same access to products in order to maintain good hygienic practices.

China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom have significant differences in health care systems – all have extreme levels of poverty.

I leave you with this quote by Margaret Chan, a Chinese-Canadian physician who served as the Director-General of the World Health Organization. She delegated China from 2006-2017.

“Pandemic influenza is by nature an international issue; it requires an international solution.”

Edited by Adam White, Abbie Barth

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