Posted on: March 25, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Brian Heuser
Copy Editor

“A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it”

  • Agent Kay (Men in Black [1997])

While I can’t pretend to know exactly how and why people behave the way they do, Tommy Lee Jones’ quote in Men in Black has been an odd comfort for me. It’s certainly not news that people are irrational in the face of danger—real or imagined—but this cycle, it was news to me what people were hoarding. Toilet paper rolls, hundreds at a time.

The TP panic has, amusingly, generated some level of shortage. However, the greatest shortage I’ve noticed has been in compassion for others. These overwhelmingly large purchases don’t really serve to benefit the individual, but to harm those who are most vulnerable—the elderly, the impoverished, and the sick.

Therefore, what we must focus on, not as a nation, but ourselves, is acting rationally. When a family member or friend mentions they’re making large purchases of household goods, or buying a literal ton of rice, calmly mention to them that the most important thing we can do is take care of ourselves and our surroundings. Don’t go grocery shopping once a day, but once every week or two. Make smart choices, and above all—don’t panic. We have incredibly talented scientists, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff taking the reins. Listen to them. Stay home. Call your family and friends and talk to them.

Oh, and could you spare a square? ­­­