Selfish in Covid-19

I’m considering not picking up The Dugs toilet during this pandemic of Covid-19, firstly known as coronavirus.  There’s a good reason for this that has nothing to do with laziness, because I do believe that we should bag and bin it.  Hence the reason my dog-walking jacket has an entire pocket full of little black bags.  Cleans ones, I might add.

Anyway, the reason for this consideration of mine is because I cannot, for love nor money, get a small hand sanitising gel to keep in my pocket.  I have been looking for a fortnight.  Myself, and many dog walkers that I know, keep a small gel sanitiser in their pockets to give our hands a bit of an anti-bacterial boost after bagging and binning.  Not as good as handwashing, of course, but I haven’t yet come across a hand basin in the middle of a walk up the hill or in the park that is equipped with hand soap, hot water and a nice stock of paper towels.

Now I’m asking myself, should I risk picking up le poop because I don’t have any means of cleaning my hands after the deed? And, it may sound petty, but I don’t think I should.

Why has this happened? Because during this pandemic, and long before it was declared as one, people wound up by the media and social media, decided to basically raid supermarkets and clean them out of toilet roll, anti-bacterial products (hand gels, hand washes and wipes), pasta and paracetamol.  Also, strangely – eggs.  The biggest act of selfishness you can commit in the face of a fast-paced virus is to prevent other people from having the same chance of barrier against it as you have.

Are you happy sitting there surround by one thousand toilet rolls and three hundred gel hand sanitisers? You shouldn’t be.  There is a meme going around that alludes to the fact that everyone needs to wash their hands for hand washing to be effective, so if a small amount of people have bought all the hand wash, how does that help the many who can’t get their hands on it? Literally.

It doesn’t.  It doesn’t help anyone.

Think about the people who can’t get to the shops for them opening and can’t grab everything on the shelves.  Elderly people, vulnerable people, new parents.  Or, you know, nurses, doctors and many other health care workers because they are at work early morning caring for people like the elderly and the vulnerable.

Let’s do a case study…

Anna is in her eighties.  She lives with mild dementia.  She lives at home with a care package.  She needs help dressing in the morning.  Therefore she has a carer who comes in and helps her with this and makes her breakfast.  Anna likes to shop for herself but has accepted she needs a bit of help with this.  Therefore, once a week, a volunteer befriender comes in the afternoon and takes her to their local supermarket. The befriender arrives and she and Anna make a list.  Anna needs to buy toilet rolls, bread, soup, hand soap for the bathroom, pasta and also grated cheese.  When Anna’s last carer leaves around seven in the evening she sometimes gets hungry and can boil pasta then put grated cheese over it, which she loves.  Anna has always been fastidious about hand hygiene as she is a retired nurse.  They arrive at the supermarket at half past two in the afternoon and Anna is surprised to find that there are no toilet rolls.  The staff explain that earlier in the morning people bought them all because of the virus.  Hand soap and pasta are also sold out.  Again, this is put down to the virus.  ‘You have to get here early’ they are told.  Anna hasn’t watched TV in a while so she doesn’t know about this virus.  Anna doesn’t entirely understand why she can’t get toilet rolls and hand soap. Her befriender tries to explain.  Anna is not happy because she had little soap left to wash her hands and this is important to her.  In the end, once she has dropped Anna had home, the volunteer befriender then spends an hour driving around other shops in order to get Anna somes toilet rolls and hand soap. 

If you think that scenario is made up – it’s happening across the UK in different variations.  New parents can’t get to the shops in time before formula and Milton’s sell out.  You really have to be up early if you want one little hand gel or a four pack of toilet roll.

In the case study Anna can’t get to the shops earlier because she relies on her befriender and her befriender can’t come any earlier because she is a volunteer and does this in her spare time.  Anna is an ex-nurse and hygiene is important to her, her mild dementia means she hasn’t paid attention to the news, or may have forgotten.  However, because of the selfish behaviour of a minority, Anna misses out on the things that she needs.  She is not alone.  She may be made up, but she is not fiction.

I really fail to understand the panic buying or anything.  We see it at Christmas and New Year, again, for no reason, it’s bread and milk them though.

Why panic buy toilet roll? The coronavirus is respiratory.  It can’t be for blowing your nose, kitchen roll is cheaper. Coronavirus doesn’t cause loose stool.  This mad panic buying of toilet rolls appears to have started in Australia, although not exclusive to there by no means.

Here’s a few points

  • you don’t need to panic buy toilet roll.  Covid-19 doesn’t affect your bowels.  If everyone just bought what they normally did then everyone would have plenty of toilet roll
  • face masks, which I haven’t mentioned, don’t really make any difference.  They become unhygienic the moment you take them off – even if they’re apparently reusable
  • you don’t need to panic buy hand wash, you should be washing your hands anyway  Again, everyone would have enough hand wash if you did this anyway and weren’t suddenly panicking about it
  • if you’re panic buying anti-bacterial spray, wipes or foam then ask yourself why? Weren’t you cleaning before? Is this a new concept for you?
  • you don’t need to panic buy pasta, we could fill swimming pools with dried pasta and have a good old pasta swim any time we wanted, pandemic or not
  • if you’re normally quite healthy, you may not even know you’ve had coronavirus, therefore, if you’re normally quite healthy and have panic bought toilet rolls or hand gel then feel guilty, others needed it more than you

In this 21st Century we get all our knowledge from social media, really, when things like this happens.  Many people, who have brains, know from their own experience, understand how to cope with things like coronavirus.

The sad fact, by 2020 we told ourselves we’d have flying cars and weekend homes on Mars, instead we’re having to teach people how to wash their hands.