“Facile fare i fenomeni al Lidl, andate a svuotare il Natura Si se avete il coraggio…”
Thursday 12 March 2020
Despite the fact that yesterday the Coronavirus epidemic has been officially classified a global pandemic, this morning my day started in the usual way.
Wake up at the usual time, drink the usual latte, take the usual route to Marcella’s school coupled with the usual supermarket visit before going back home (if you are thinking daily visits to the supermarket are a bit too frequent please note that I switched some time ago from an “all you can buy” approach to a “just in time” one, but that is a different story for a different post).
I like going to the supermarket in the morning when it’s not crowded at all: the parking is almost empty and there is no queuing to the till so I can have a little chat with the cashier.
This morning the weather was lovely and while the sun was shining and Madonna sang Lucky Star I approached the supermarket parking lot which was to my surprise very crowded.
While I’m looking for a spot my attention is caught on an unusual scene: a man carrying two full trolleys was unloading them into the boot of his car. Looking around I start to understand he is not the only one.
“Panic Buying?” I wondered. “No, that’s not possible, not here, not now.” I replied to myself.
A feeling of living in an unreal world was surrounding me while I was seeing empty shelves, people buying packs of ten of the same item coming back for an additional one or two.
I was witnessing the rush for food!
Finally I spoke with the cashier to understand what I was missing: had a sudden official declaration of food supply scarcity for the next future been recently issued? “Nothing special Mrs., just panic” she replied.
Who was panicking? And why?
Panic not to have food for people who can store, and panic not to have food for people who cannot store. Two opposite sides of the same coin.
The cashier then tells me something personal. She is a single mother of two. One of her sons is on the spectrum and he eats only specific food from specific brands. Sadly enough she can’t store much due to her little fridge and her low income.
An invite to my reading community during this time which is filled with fear of the unknown: before rushing for food let’s think of the many people (like the cashier) that for different reasons cannot store. Let’s try to fight the panic, let’s show courage in the face of adversity and we will be amazed to see how fear will disappear (for the people who can store and for the people who cannot store)!
Benedetta Monsurrò (Deep Blue Diva)