Shoppers around the world have been fixating on buying toilet paper in an odd crowd-induced panic. Nakusp was not immune to the wave. Officials at every level of government and industry say there’s no need to hoard, supply chains are in good shape despite the coronavirus. Photo by Chantelle Carter.

EDITORIAL: COVID-19 puts your true character on display

Crisis, as usual, is showing the good and the bad in all of us

As communities throughout the world adjust to the reality of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people’s true characters are coming to light.

Some should be ashamed.

Taking advantage of the pandemic, by bulk buying essential supplies and reselling them at exorbitant prices is disgusting – for lack of a more accurate, albeit publishable word.

Sadly, it’s a reflection of Western society.

The capitalist movement is all about greed, and the people who are doing this will argue they are simply doing what comes naturally in a capitalist society – making the best of a bad situation.

What they are not considering is that every extra package of disinfectant wipes they buy to resell, every extra jumbo pack of toilet paper, every extra ear thermometer they hoard, is one less for someone who actually needs it.

And it’s not only the opportunistic entrepreneurs who are to blame. The warehouse price stores that are allowing such bulk buying are also taking advantage of the situation.

If those stores were to put a limit on the number of certain items people can buy, the problem would resolve itself in no time flat. But no, certain retailers seem to be completely ignorant of that concept.

We pity the cashiers, who are taking the brunt of the pushback from angry customers. It is not their fault. They are simply doing what they are told, in order to maintain their employment. Please keep that in mind, when it comes your turn to pay.

On the other hand, there have been some amazing stories of community efforts as well. Neighbours are reaching out to neighbours. Volunteers are offering their services to help any way they can.

We’ve said in this space before that the measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members.

That statement stands true today.

Let’s make sure that for every hoarder and opportunist out there, we have twice as many caring and considerate people. Now is the time that your true character will shine through. Hopefully, it’s shining brightly. We are all in this together. Let’s get through it together.

In isolation, but together.


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