03 May 2020 | An Unexpected Hoarding
Not actually me
Guess we all have some kind of self-isolation story, right? Me, Iâ€™ve ticked off seven weeks of working from home, nervously watching the growing number of COVID-19 cases in my county and suddenly noticing the drop in people walking down my street. While I sometimes think that people in general arenâ€™t taking this seriously, I know I am, and Iâ€™ve gotten resolute in not going out.
I havenâ€™t even been to the store in all this time, rushing to enter the world of online ordering and contactless delivery. And what a strange journey that has been because I have caught myself starting to become fixated on ordering specific items (no, not toilet paper, which you canâ€™t really get online anyway) to the point where I keep ordering more than I normally would. My current fix? Coffee creamer. Of all the things that I want to make sure I have, I keep ordering coffee creamer. Hereâ€™s the kicker: for someone dealing with bouts of acid reflux, why the sudden urge to drink coffee? Iâ€™ve gotten into cold brew, and as I have navigated which stores are good at delivery (Whole Foods, Walmart, Target) and which one stinks (Safeway), Iâ€™ve started breaking down my orders into groups based on what I need. Oh, and making sure to order early in the morning at the start of the week to get a good delivery time and the best chance of getting everything I want.
And what do I want? Coffee creamer. What does a person who limits his coffee to about 8 ounces and only in the morning need with seven bottles of creamer? Or a growing collection of cold brew coffee? Really, itâ€™s become the strangest obsession: put a couple orders in to make sure I get either Starbucks or La Colombe cold brew. Donâ€™t wait too long, I tell myself, even with three bottles of either in the fridge: go ahead and order, get more, just in case!
But just in case of what? While I still have complete disdain for the toilet paper hoarders, itâ€™s dawned on me that Iâ€™ve just substituted that with something else. Should I order more sliced deli meat for sandwiches, too? Probably, I tell myself, and I should likely to do very soon, and while weâ€™re at it, go ahead and get two more bottles of creamer (thereâ€™s a limit, you know!) and cold brew. But which brand? I can only get La Colombe at the Target or Whole Foods, but the latter doesnâ€™t have the creamer I like. Better make it two orders.
And so on. This is how itâ€™s been for me for me. It reeks of suburban First Worldism, I know. While I have told a friend to stop thinking that the food supply is going to collapse, here I am making a mental list of ordering more stuff at least twice a week as though itâ€™s my last. Maybe everybody else is doing some version of the same mental game: looking at their refrigerators and making sure that it *never* looks like itâ€™s getting low on anything because then itâ€™s game over. And then I start looking at my friend through increasingly slitted eyes: maybe *this* bastard is the reason I canâ€™t get *three* coffee creamers.
These are definitely the times that try mensâ€™ souls.