nearly empty store shelves

Panic buying comes to Yuma

Store shelves are empty. No hand sanitizer in sight. Stores are limiting our purchases to one per customer on the most basic essentials. Toilet paper is behind the service counter at the neighborhood Walmart. The cause is “panic buying,” which is leaving the elderly at risk because they are unable to get the basic necessities such as food and cleaning supplies.

The elderly in Yuma have the hardest time because they may not be able to drive, and they must use public transportation or depend on others to give them a ride, help them shop or even do their shopping for them. The elderly may have a weakened immune system due to a pre-existing condition, putting them at risk for COVID-19. 

Panic buyers are a special breed who have no concern for anyone but themselves. They create a hostile and greedy environment for other customers and get upset when store employees tell them no, they can’t have as many as they want. I just want to tell them to shut up and be thankful for what they are able to buy and to please leave some for the next person.

These people literally stress me out when I absolutely need to go to the store, so I avoid it at all costs. My last trip to the store was such a disaster that afterward I just went home and cried. It made me sad to hear someone yell at an elderly person who did not walk so well to “Get the hell out of my way.”

What happened to compassion for others?  What happened to sharing with your fellow man? Today everyone seems to be out for themselves, and they don’t have any respect for their elders. It is rare to see a young person hold the door for anyone else.

These were values I was taught and will live by for the rest of my life. Yuma needs to bring back these values and stand strong as a community that cares about others. We need to stop thinking only of ourselves and see what we can do to help people who may not be able to help themselves.

There may not be much we can do during the social distancing, and we need to keep these practices in place until we are sure the virus is under control. It doesn’t take much to pick up your phone and call someone you know who needs a helping hand. Most of the time the answer will be, “I don’t need anything right now, thank you for asking.” It is always the thought that counts.

Yuma and the rest of the country need to put these old-fashioned values back into action. We need to stand strong as a community and nation and remember who we are. This gangster mentality needs to be replaced with kindness and compassion.

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