Dr. Fannon was mostly amused by some of the items she discovered people were hoarding. Then she tried to find some cat litter. ...

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OK, this coronavirus panic and hoarding has gone far enough. I’ll admit that, at first, I became somewhat amused at the toilet paper hoarding. I mean, really, of all the things to panic about, toilet paper? Do people not realize that toilet paper has only been around for a short time? According to Wikipedia (so it must be true), "modern commercial toilet paper originated in the 19th century, with a patent for roll-based dispensers being made in 1883." So clearly, although nice to have, TP is not a necessity. I figure if worse comes to worst, I have an abundance of rags and a modern washer and dryer, as well as a shower. As long as the electricity and water hold out I’m good. If not, there are plenty of magnolia leaves in my yard.


I can even cope with not being able to go anywhere or do anything, although personally, I think it’s a bigger risk walking through Walmart, which is not closed, than most of the other places that are. But since I am pretty much stuck at home, I want to be productive and get some of the chores done that I have been putting off. So far, I’ve done nothing, but I have good intentions of starting soon. Every time I look at the closets that need cleaning out, it makes me wonder what’s on TV. My husband and I did plan to pressure wash the moldy fence, but bleach is now unattainable. Oh well, I tried. And my good intentions of starting back to the gym any day now are on hold. It’s just as well. Every time I walk into the gym with the intention of becoming healthier, I hurt myself.


Anyway, I did venture out to the commissary today. I should have stayed home as the shelves were bare. It is interesting to see what items get hoarded during a state of panic, however. Although toilet paper and paper towels were sold out, there was plenty of soap and shampoo. I guess people are more concerned with wiping their fannies than washing their bodies, though it occurs to me that washing with soap and water could more than make up for a deficit in toilet paper. The meats were mostly gone, as were the noodles, spaghetti, rice, eggs and breads. It was easy to see what brands were the least popular – the ones sitting forlornly on the mostly empty shelves. The trip was not completely for naught, however, as there were plenty of Chips Ahoy and I managed to nab the last four cans of Pringles Light. I needed four because I had a coupon for $1.75 off for four cans. Otherwise, I would not have resorted to being a Pringles hoarder. But we are talking about a coupon for $1.75 off. There was also plenty of Diet Coke, thank goodness. And Hershey bars. So I’ll make it through this forced quarantine just fine.


At one point, I spied a woman strolling through the store with a large bundle of Charmin under her arm. Because of the TP panic, this set off an irrational little alarm in my brain and I was tempted to stalk her until she confessed where she got it. But then, as I was rounding the aisle into the peanut butter section, a store worker came by pulling a huge pallet stocked with Charmin. The poor worker was attacked like she was feeding pigeons in St. Mark’s square. I barely made it out of that ugly mob with my own pack of Charmin.


Toilet paper aside, however, my blood boiled at what I found on the pet aisle. Or rather what I didn’t find. No kitty litter! Now it’s bad enough that people are hoarding toilet paper, but as I said, I have rags and water. But what are my poor cats supposed to do? They can’t very well use rags. And they balk at water. So, people, I am appealing to you in the interest of all that is fair and reasonable, take all the toilet paper you want, but please do not hoard kitty litter! My cats and I thank you for your cooperation.


Read more of Dr. Ellen Fannon’s blogs.