I’m disheartened by the cruel words I’ve seen directed at those stocking up at the stores and online. Our society and capitalism have fueled a scarcity mindset since the depression to drive profits and keep people in fear. The empty stores shelves are that mindset in action.
My dad was born just a sneeze before the depression and he had scarcity written into his bones. It didn’t matter he had a steady office job with decent pay. We lived with many shelves of extra paper products including TP. Extra canned and dry goods. An extra full size standing freezer and second standard fridge/freezer in the basement, all stocked. And every night before he left work he called my mom and asked if she needed anything from the grocery store. His hoarding extended beyond groceries and included money keeping him from enjoying much of what he’d planned so long and hard for due to scarcity. This mindset never left him. In fact it was reinforced when USSteel failed, the company he worked at for 30 odd years yet he felt safe because of the habits his scarcity mindset had created.
Scarcity mindset is real, it’s based in trauma, and it’s passed down generationally. It leaves an imprint so deep that even in times of surplus it shouts from the darkness at us. And it serves big business of every type so capitalism does nothing to ally its fears. I cannot impress on you the level of restraint I’ve needed to “only” have 2 extra packs of TP on hand right now. Not shopping more has me stomping down panic. I’m battling a lot of memories. I’m battling the voices in my head. All to resist the over-culture’s implanted fear, my family’s ingrained fear, and the anxiety COVID-19 is producing in my world and the larger world beyond.
For my love of community, I resist and leave most items in the stores/online. In compassion for my community, I refuse to judge those who don’t/can’t.