Don’t Panic!

James Proclaims (4)


In these unusual times, you do start to reassess your values and priorities and begin to focus on what’s really important.

And for the people of Britain, what’s really important appears to be toilet paper. It’s one of the cornerstones of our national identity apparently.

I had eschewed the supermarkets in recent days but ventured forth last night and the situation regarding hand soap and the aforementioned loo roll still seems pretty bleak, and it’s concerning that this is still the case in what feels like quite a long time after restrictions were imposed on how much of this stuff you can actually buy in any one visit.

For now we’re holding out at Chez Proclaims, but I fear we will run out of these staples of British life long before the supermarkets are back to being adequately stocked. I might have to sneak into the school that employs me (which is still currently operating, seemingly for the benefit of one solitary student – a preposterous figure in it’s own right, but more so when you realise that in my school it translates to less than 0.1% of the entire student body) to steal some of the toilet paper from there if the situation doesn’t improve soon.

Fortunately food seems to be less of an issue. Milk seems a little problematic (how and why are people stockpiling milk? Surely it’ll go off long before it can be used? Unless people are taking up new hobbies in this time of social-distancing. Like making their own yogurt?) but we’ve been able to get what we need, and the rush on fruit and veg seems to have abated a little, so while tinned stuff seems hard to come by, there seem to be sufficient supplies of food to live off. And we never ate much tinned stuff before this all started so I’m not sure why I’d want to start now. Then again, the dire situation in the supermarkets might have been caused by panic-buying but those of us who didn’t join in are the ones who feel pretty stupid at the moment so maybe I should reassess my policy on tinned produce. In the interests of full disclosure, I did join in with the panic buying a little bit (not exactly a shock revelation given that I already wrote about doing just that in this post), but only insofar as I’d have enough stuff to last a potential two-week period of self-isolation and I’m going to run out of that stuff fairly soon, without showing the slightest hint that I might have COVID-19.

So it’s all a bit irritating really.

Particularly if I now get COVID-19.

Admittedly if I do get COVID-19, perhaps a lack of loo roll would not necessarily be my primary concern. But I imagine it would still be a bit of a concern.

On a positive note, the supermarket I did dare to venture into (along with Mini-Proclaims) was a Waitrose, (I just wasn’t brave enough for Aldi) and they have adopted a social-distancing policy of restricting the numbers of shoppers inside the store at any one time. It was mildly irritating to have to queue outside initially (and because the people in the queue were all standing the requisite two metres apart, I initially mistook them for slightly antisocial loiterers and tried to walk into the shop without queuing. The manager corrected my mistake with the exemplary courtesy that you’d expect of a Waitrose employee but it was mildly embarrassing until I observed several other shoppers make exactly the same mistake as me) but it didn’t take too long and then, once my daughter and I crossed the threshold, there were so few other people in there it really was the nirvana of shopping experiences.

Except for the lack of toilet paper obviously.



  6 comments for “Don’t Panic!

  1. Bryntin
    March 25, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I now haven’t seen another human (apart from Mrs Bryntin and I’m not that sure she counts – obviously I mean she’s super-human, not sub-human) for a week. This, in the current situation, is an upside for very rural living.
    Also an upside is the tendency to have ‘stocks’ of all sorts of stuff, ‘just in case’ So luckily, now that ‘in case’ has happened (or one of them, others being extreme weather or either of the zombie or nuclear apocalypse or the worst of the No-Deal Brexit predictions) we’re OK for a bit.
    But, if it goes on long enough, at least the smell of us will take ages to reach a town.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 25, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      I’ve always been a bit of an urbanite, but in the current climate the rural life does appeal. Don’t worry though, I’ll be staying put and observing the ‘no travel’ advice. Also I don’t have second home in Cornwall (or anywhere else) so my choice to stay here is borne as much from poverty as it is from virtue.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. March 25, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    If I was uncouth I might suggest that if you run out of toilet paper you could use small fluffy chickens. I have some spare. They are going cheep! (sic) (sick)

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 25, 2020 at 5:02 pm

      That’s clucking awful Pete!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. March 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Ah yes panic hits Britain. I do not understand why people do this. After all if we kept on as normal, there would still be adequate stuff on the shelves of supermarkets. For now, it’s all down to long queues!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 28, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      It’s genuinely madness out there. I’m not loving the lockdown but the world outside is beginning to lose all it’s appeal


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