You don’t need that much toilet paper

Erin Seaton, Design Editor

It’s interesting to think that we’re currently living in a time that high school students will likely write about in their AP World History DBQs 25 years from now.

COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus, has been spreading worldwide for nearly four months now. In a such a short time, it has infected over 423,000 people worldwide and claimed the lives of nearly 19,000 people, according to statista.com. What makes this virus different than others that have spread over the past few decades is how contagious it is, which has caused it to rapidly spread. Many countries have put protective measures in place or have completely gone into lockdown so that people are forbidden from leaving their homes. The United States hasn’t completely gone into lockdown yet, but a number of states have enforced statewide lockdowns.

As of right now, Florida has no plans to go into statewide lockdown, but many businesses in the state have either closed temporarily or have their employees working remotely. But some businesses are not able to do that, as they are an essential need for the public. One such business is Publix.

I work at Publix and am still required to come into work. We are not allowed to wear gloves while we work but we are told to make sure that we’re constantly washing our hands or applying hand sanitizer. Our product is flying off the shelves . We’ve been out of toilet paper for nearly three weeks now. Honestly, working at a supermarket during a global pandemic kind of feels like the end of the world.

But there’s no need to go crazy and stockpile toilet paper and buy six packs of chicken breasts. Currently, Publix has no intentions of closing stores down, and I doubt we will be closing at all since people will still need to eat and get other household necessities during this time. Our hours have been limited so that we have more time to restock product and thoroughly sanitize the store, but we will not be closing. Remember that there are others who need to eat and buy things for their homes, and some people, such as the elderly, aren’t able to make a trip to the store every day or are unable to because they fall into a high-risk category for coronavirus.

This is a very important time in history. Our lives are not going to be the same after it, and we have to accept that. But in times like this, it is imperative that we come together and keep each other and ourselves safe, and that includes shopping for only what you really need so that others may purchase products too. It will take time to beat this virus, but if we follow the protective measures suggested by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we can do it.

And most importantly: wash your hands!