I have just woken up, there is this smell in the air, in the distance I can hear people yelling. Is that someone screaming? I stumble from my bed groggy from the night before, I hear a loud bang! An explosion? But where?
I reach my front door and as I open it my senses are overwhelmed, the smell of smoke is thick in the air, the sky is red, ash is being carried on the wind, people are running, car and plane wreckage as far as the eye can see, people are fighting and looting, as I finally clear the sleep from my eyes, I quickly realise my neighbourhood looks like a warzone, worse, it is like the powers of hell have taken over the world and civilisation as I know it, is gone.
Welcome to the apocalypse.
The current mind of set of people is almost like what the above paragraph sounds like. For as long as I can remember, each year there has been some virus or some terrorist event that was going to end the world. It sends people into an absolute tizzy, the panic sets in, hope is lost as media outlets spread stories of the Coronavirus. People are worried that we are going to be forced to quarantine ourselves for weeks maybe months, who knows how bad it is going to get. So people start doomsday prepping, they go to the shops and making sure their priorities are straight they buy the most important items, in bulk.
Toilet paper. Yes, you heard me correctly, people are literally mugging each other in grocery stores over, toilet paper. I really love living in Australia, it is probably the most well off and safe country you could ever hope to live in, so much so, that the main headline yesterday read: “Man tasered by police, due to panic buying toilet paper’.
The recent bushfires aside, Aussies don’t have to worry about much, could this be the reason people are panicking? The result of decades of complete wealth and safety? I’m not sure, but what it is, is embarrassing and this panic buying is causing a lot more harm than good.
Those going without
Some might think it’s good to build up a supply of resources just in case a world-wide catastrophe overwhelms us, I do see the appeal, but people started going crazy for grocery store products when the Coronavirus wasn’t even a thing in Australia. Toilet paper humorously disappeared from the shelves, but normal everyday items like, pasta and rice were also well sort after.
People were scared, and people had money to burn and so they bought in bulk and fought each other over it. A photo from Facebook then did the rounds of an elderly gentleman, he walked into the toilet paper isle to find there was nothing there, and had to seek another product that he could use for his toileting, this gentleman ended up buying a packet of serviettes, more expensive than toilet paper and certainly will not go as far.
I wondered, could he actually afford this? What did he have to sacrifice from his weekly shop to buy this? The pension is not a lot of money and those with money took everything and let many who weren’t as financially fortunate without. So much for caring for our fellow man.
How things can change
As a nation we came together during the bushfire crisis, money was given in the tens of millions, Australians looked out for each other, took care of each other in the face of actually tragedy and actual devastation, surely an event that would change us all forever, not only to think of our fellow man, but to also make significant changes on how we impact the climate and our environment. In the space of a month, Aussies forgot about their comradery, forgot about the money they gave to charity, forgot that half our country being burnt to a cinder and insteadpillaged and plundered grocery stores isles and it didn’t matter who got in the way.
I’m not trying to say that COVID-19 is not bad and I am not saying that it will blow over soon, it should be taken seriously and we should take precautions to ensure we don’t spread it and allow it to mutate, but if we are willing to mug each other in grocery isles over toilet paper, what hope do we have when COVID-19 actually becomes a problem and our country shuts down and the death toll rises?
Christians, we should be leading the way in love and care for other humans. Regardless of race, creed, nationality or orientation, our priority should be people, Jesus has always been about people. Be smart with your resources, be loving in how you acquire your resources, there are certainly unknown times ahead, we will not know the full impact of this pandemic, it might be really bad, or it might not be, but we shouldn’t live in fear. Our hope is in the eternal, our hope has always been in Jesus and we need not fear anything, because greater is He who lives in me.
When society starts to fall apart and crumble round us, lets bind together and build it right back up. “Be strong and courageous, and do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God goes with you” Deuteronomy chapter 31, verse 6
Jarred is an HPE and Mathematics teacher on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, he is married to Haley and has three beautiful children Chelsea, Nathan and Ryan.