Zombie Apocalypse Now

Welcome to Author Next Door!

Two days ago, my husband and I entered Costco and were met with lines of over-loaded carts that stretched from check-out counters across to the side aisle and disappeared toward the back as far as we could see. We walked out.

Yesterday, we tried another Costco further out, thinking to go early. At opening, the line outside the building still stretched half the block, with streams of people joining the queue as they poured in from the parking lot. We kept driving.

Next stop? Walmart. Turning the corner on the toilet paper aisle, all I could see were tall, empty steel racks stretching to the far aisle and a woman standing by her grocery cart telling her husband, “I TOLD you so!”

I finally found a stocker to ask about the toilet paper. (I’m not hoarding. Some of us really do buy toilet paper on a regular basis!)

Poor Millennial said, “Tuesday we sold out of 11 pallets in 2 hours. Yesterday they only sent 1 pallet. Don’t know whether we’ll get any more any time soon.” Bemused, he continued, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my whole life! It’s like the Zombie Apocalypse without the Zombies!”

Besides the obvious run on toilet paper, water, canned tuna and guns—we certainly need guns for all the Zombies—today’s COVID-19 or Corona Virus pandemic has initiated closings, lock-downs, and “social distancing” for those who are able to stay home. In no way do I intend to make light of the serious nature of this health emergency. I’m happy to see that most people are taking wise precautions to help lower the curve of infected people so that health care services aren’t overrun and so that fewer people become ill.

Unfortunately, any kind of crisis—stock market, natural disaster, terror, or health—triggers our panic mode. It is especially in these stressful times that we need to celebrate our human ingenuity and sense of humor:

—I love that kids made homemade “hand sanitizer” to sell at drive-by stands—see internet for recipes.

—I love that my husband and I made a “Wish List” of fun things to do in our self-imposed quarantine or “found time.” I’ve even gone all day working around the house in my jammies. Freedom!

—I love @JenMonnier’s Twitter thread listing her favorite songs to sing instead of “The Birthday Song” for timing hand-washing:

@JenMonnier thread about Songs to Wash Hands By

—And, I enjoyed reading other responses in the above thread, such that I’ll never hear “My Sharona” again without singing “My Corona!” thanks to @jdkattar.

We can be serious and take precautions, which I hope you are. And we also can use our ingenuity and humor to help us stay mentally and emotionally balanced.

Stay safe, pick a song to sing while washing hands, and watch out for Zombies!

Karen Taylor Saunders