In my lifetime there have been 3 memorable world events that have caused mass hysteria, which in turn, have brought out the very best and the very worst in humanity: Y2K, 911, and now COVID-19. One thing I've learned from these three experiences is that we Americans are generally not too classy in times of crisis. While the Italians do sing-alongs from their balconies, we're off storming the paper products aisles and buying ammunition. People are getting a bit feisty over the means to wipe their asses, and I'm one of the fools who's been purchasing toilet paper on an "as needed" basis, so things might get interesting around the Danger/Rampage household. Luckily I grew up in a little log cabin with no indoor plumbing and limited means, so the idea of hunkering down and using survivalist skills is not a foreign concept to me. Here are some tips if you run out of toilet paper:
1. cut old T-shirts into strips and use those (a washcloth works well too) clean them in the sink with soap after each use
2. use coffee filters (yes, they're more spendy, but they do the job)
3. use magazines, old mail, or newspapers (this is what they did in my grandma's era) It may cause minor chaffing so have some Vaseline on hand
4. use adult diapers as opposed to the toilet (this option is both expensive and bad for the environment so it would be my last pick)
Though I do read the occasional article to familiarize myself with global goings-on, I rarely watch the news or read a newspaper. By shielding myself from the advice of the media, I've been relying on my ability to be an independent thinker during all of this and for better or worse, have been encountering things as they play out. I'm always fascinated by hive-mind antics. My first observation when I ventured out, is that the grocery stores are bereft of pasta, pizza, and potatoes. What this tells me is that folks are really into carbing-up before a busy day of working on their laptops and watching Netflix. If you have anxiety about not being able to buy bread, fear not! May I introduce you to Betty Crocker and her fabulous recipe book, full of timeless, carb-filled baking opportunities for you and your family to bond over, while you ride out the most terrifying cold ever to threaten modern times. Since your kids aren't in school, this would be a good time to teach them the practical skill of baking. Here's a good recipe for you first-timers. It's easy on the wallet and only has 3 ingredients- one of which is beer (sadly, the alcohol cooks out as it bakes):
Basic Beer Bread
3 C. Self Rising Flour
1 12oz. bottle of beer (the cheaper the better)
3 T. Sugar
Mix all of these things into a bowl & dump them into a greased bread pan
(or make a dough mound on a sheet pan for a more rustic looking bread.)
Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees.
*I always pour a stick of melted butter onto my loaf before baking
On a more serious note though, this crisis is bringing people closer together in some ways- despite mandated social distancing. I've had many friends and family members reach out just to tell me they're thinking about me and hope I'm safe. I've seen families outside, playing together, making positive memories through this unfamiliar and unsettling situation. I've seen people helping each other and offering words of kindness and reassurance. I have some to offer up as well: We will get through this. Humanity is a strong-willed and creative lot, and we will be back on our feet eventually because that is what we do as a species. Through war, economic despair, environmental catastrophe, medical anomalies, and political oppression, we. always. persevere. I don't believe in God, but I believe in the power of the people. The human race is one of motivation & might, and I have faith in our ability to rise from the ashes of this devastation and build something even better.