Tylenol Shopping

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

#SOL20: March 18th

          I woke up in a panic.  That's how I wake up these days.  It's probably a combination between my body thinking that "my alarm didn't go off so I'm late to work" at the same moment that my brain remembers that I am indeed "in a stay at home quarantine of sorts because of a virus pandemic."  

           This morning, I reached for my phone and saw that news out of France is they think Tylenol is a better fever reliever for Covid-19 than ibuprofen.  Now, I am not a medical professional, nor do I know if they are scientifically correct, but I only have ibuprofen at my house.  Panic.  This is how my brain works.  So, in fear that there will now be a global run on Tylenol like there was on hand sanitizer and toilet paper, I got in the car before the kids woke up to hopefully get some Tylenol.

          I purposely went to Walts because I had heard that Target was allowing elderly customers time to shop for the first hour of the day.  To be respectful of that, I went to the closest grocery store to my house.  I got there and walked directly to the pharmacy aisle, not stopping for a cart, just on a mission to see if I could buy Tylenol for my family.  I'm almost embarrassed to say that I had tears in my eyes when I saw the shelf had not only adult Tylenol, but also kids' Tylenol.  I know, this is probably an overly dramatic response to seeing fever reducers, but there I was.  I'm pandemic crazy.

          I decided to get a cart and just take a spin around the store really quick, because once I returned home I planned on staying there from now until the end of time.  Well, that or whenever this Coronavirus thing calms down.  My sister, who works at a hospital and was currently at work, wanted some canned veggies, so that is where I headed.  There I was, filling my cart with canned veggies, my 1 pack of toilet paper as allowed, and some cookies to bake with the kids.  I figured if we baked cookies, they might not realize that they are locked inside our house.  Here's hoping.  

          It's then that I noticed something quite alarming.  I was there, stocking up on Tylenol and canned goods, because school had been cancelled.  We are all charged with flattening the curve, and are staying at home as much as humanly possible, to protect the elderly and our health care workers.  I was at Walts throwing canned goods in a cart for my sister, who is on the front lines of this every day.  But, as I started to look around the store, I noticed something quite alarming.  The worker who was kneeling on the ground, restocking shelves, was elderly.  The worker cleaning and mopping was elderly.  The worker stocking the produce section was elderly.  The lady checking my items out was elderly.  The lady bagging my groceries was an elderly woman named Claudia who seemed surprised when I helped her with the heavier items.  There I was, staying at home to protect them, and here they were helping me.

          How can we make sure that our most vulnerable population is protected, if they still have to go to work the stock the shelves for us?

          I sat in my car and cried a little, before I went home and tried to pretend that it is normal to lock ourselves in our house.  But, I have Tylenol.

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