I was here joking about the panic buying going on until I tried getting my daughter diapers! Walking through certain sections of the supermarkets here is like shopping at Freedom City! Or going on an evening out to Garden City.
The hoarding hustle is real!
When I finally got a store that had two packs of our daughter’s size (on the opposite side of town and after an expensive 20min Uber drive), everyone was looking at me like I was the problem. I wanted to explain that I didn’t have the resources to keep store hopping every week in search of diapers, but then most of the frowning people had trolleys filled with 20kg of rice, boxes of pasta and huge toilet paper cartons.
The thing about such social situations is that everyone pretends to be angry at everyone else other than the people in the store. Like we are the sensible ones that came in after the zombies. You look at an empty shelf, look around and notice two other people doing the same, then you all shake your heads, trying to convince each other that you completely don’t understand how selfish people can be (other people of course, not the ones staring with you). If you are feeling generous, you’ll even chuckle or mumble something like ‘Goodness! These hoarders!”
In response, the others will tell you of their troubles. How they had to move all over town to get one item. And you’ll do the same. And then move along because someone coughs and you remember what this is all about.
Then you line up at the till and before long, you see your unselfish buddies join the queue with half the store’s remaining stock. There’s a shrug from them to indicate ‘one’s got to do what one’s got to do’ and you look away. You look at your two packs of diapers and wonder whether you are the crazy one.
Anyway, you pick your few things and head to the Uber. Then begin telling him about the crazy people you found in the mall hoarding stuff. They are now ‘them’. Not us. The Uber driver obliges and literally echos your thoughts. Those crazy hoarders.
Only problem is, the guy has been transporting hoarders all day. And he has just driven you across the city, earning four times as much as the cost of what you bought. So in his eyes, y’all crazy! He drops you to your place, then heads home, passing by a store to do some shopping. He packs his car with everything the hoarders were packing it with earlier in the day. Then he goes home to tell his family just how crazy the rest of the world is getting.
And add to the carton of tissue to the three he got the previous day.
Except me of course.
I only got two packs of diapers and some wipes.
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