This weekend I’m working more than 16 hours at the supermarket. With a hurricane set to hit the East Coast, it has been one of the busiest weekends I’ve ever experienced. Today I rang up nearly 500 customers, and all of them bought a ton of juice, eggs, bread, pasta, batteries, and, of course, water. Earlier in the week, I rang up a married couple and the wife turned and said to her husband, “I’m scared babe. I think we should buy extra water.” As evidenced by the photo above, we sold almost all of the water in the store. Clearly, the general public shares the aforementioned woman’s fear that the local water supply will be crippled by the storm.
I find this kind of behavior comical for several reasons. First of all, if the electricity goes out, all the food people bought will go bad because their refrigerators won’t work. And buying an obscene amount of water seems silly. We live in Philadelphia, not the Sahara. Water is plentiful and easy to come by. Last time I checked, all local homes – with plumbing – have clean, fresh water available on demand.
If you live on the East Coast, your best bet is to steer clear of supermarkets, avoid local TV news and enjoy a good book and/or movie at home. If you don’t become consumed by the hysteria, you’ll quickly realize that this hurricane will eventually move on, and so will we.
I have just seen news here in New Zealand about the upcoming hurricane in your part of the world. I so hope you will all be safe! It is true that fear drives some strange behaviour and can quickly grow out of control. Most people simply react to it by trying to make themselves and their family safe. It is partly a natural reaction and partly response to what people have been thought to do.
Thanks for the well wishes Daniela. I’m all for being smart and safe. Unfortunately, most news coverage preys on people’s fears causing them to go to the extreme, which doesn’t make people any safer, just more scared. I hope your part of the world is free from any dangerous weather this season. And thanks for commenting on my post.