A few minutes ago I saw a Twitter post which included a short video, allegedly recorded in Australia.
The impromptu, candid recording was of a fight between customers in a grocery store. We can expect that now, with the current health crisis, advice to self-isolate and shortages of merchandise that everyone wants.
In this instance, the dispute was over toilet paper. One customer who loaded her cart with jumbo packages was challenged by another customer who wanted to buy the last package on the shelf.
Personally, I was rooting for the woman who wanted only one package (without even being told how many packages she already had at home), but the store manager told them both they’d have to leave because they were causing a disruption. The disagreement had turned into a shoving and swearing match, and was likely to escalate into something worse if the manager didn’t do something.
We can offer all the wisdom we want, and Dr. Phil is free to jump into it if he chooses. Let’s hope he won’t, though.
In my neighborhood, the usual retail scuffles are attributable to unstable, destitute people who walk into a store for the purpose of looting. Sometimes they can be stopped, but it requires a constant effort on the part of store employees and security contractors.
Due to the recent public health development, the person who initiates a scary confrontation in a store might be anyone, and the altercations aren’t limited to neighborhoods like mine.
A separate video, recorded in someone’s home, showed cases of toilet paper stacked up against a wall, with the residents putting on an arrogant show. One of them wore a tiara. They were gloating because some people will have to resort to finding an alternative to the loo roll, while “we” can wipe comfortably until the cows come home. At no point in the video did they mention the possibility of sharing because that wasn’t in their frame of reference.
The handling of the COVID-19 crisis will be remembered. Historians will record the way governments respond, and if you have grandchildren you’ll tell them what you witnessed among people whose behavior is presently falling on every point of the integrity spectrum. There will be a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking.
Maybe we should be thinking of that now. How many of us want to recall damaging our moral character for a package of toilet paper?