Purell, Paper Goods & Paranoia

A few years back, while in Dallas, there was a run on gasoline. Lines began to form – blocks long. Prices began to spike. And people began to panic. Now true, a slow moving storm was headed for Houston. And when it hit, it hit hard. but there was never going to be a real shortage. Just simple delays and maybe some inconvenience.

Calvin slept at work one night to save gas. So did I, but I worked at a hotel. I had to find gas once. Drove around for about 20 minutes. Passed a lot of closed stations. Took a bit to find an open station, but I did. Right off 635 and Preston. The line was only two cars deep. The people were friendly. No one seemed panicky.

I filled up – albeit paid a higher than normal premium price on premium gas.

Yesterday, I went to the local Walmart. Yes, my little village has a Walmart. and I was shocked, there was toilet paper. According to Facebook (the local information medium) this was like gold. I thought of getting 36 packages of 36 rolls – and since that’s mega rolls, it doubles normal rolls. I could get soft, strong, quilted, and all other types – I was rich. I would sell them on Facebook market (our local non Walmart yard sale medium). Calvins school loans – gone.

But I got only one package – albeit a large one. I even got an extra roll of paper towels.

My son called from Dallas. he was tasked with finding Purell for his place of employment – a church. The problem, his church runs 15,000 people every Sunday. And no sanitizer is to be found. We have a lady here that does essential oils – she is ready to take the order to make some for them. I mean our county doesn’t even have 15000 people in total. It would be big sale.

I don’t think he will find any by Sunday. It’s going to take lots of supplies to Macgyver that much antiseptic.

We panic. We are paranoid. To read the paper, this pandemic is the end of the world as we know it. China will collapse. Stock markets will crash. Wars over Charmin. And we all bunker in our homes, wearing masks, afraid to be around anyone.

For two weeks at church, I have forgone hand shaking at greeter time in lieu of the ‘window washing’ wave. To be honest, I stole it from the movie Demolition Man. But this week, we’re just doing the man head nod and saying “whatsup?” in the best mellow man voice we can have. Women, start practice now.

What’s up?

True, like influenza, this should be taken serious. True, we need to practice simple hygiene. True, some supplies will be delayed due to our dependence on China for some goods. And true, touch may exchanged for nods.

But you know what else is true? God did give not us the spirit of fear. He has given us one of a love, a sound mind and power.

Let that sink in – NOT the spirit of fear.

Take precautions. Be hygienic. If you’re sick, sneezing, high fever – work from home if possible, or even stay home a day, see a doctor, don’t go to a nursing home, watch worship online/on TV. But no fear people. NO FEAR people.

Our God is bigger.

We will have church. We will nod – not touch. We’ve got tissues in the pews and sanitizer in places. And we will not fear.

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