This is absolutely the new normal


Joshua Collins, Staff Writer

With schools going online and non-essential businesses being closed down, people are panicking more than ever about the outbreak of COVID-19, stockpiling toilet paper and bread, among other things.

During my local visit to the Auburn Fred Meyer on Monday, March 16, I took many pictures to document the response by people faced with the growing concerns about COVID-19. Many items were disappearing quickly, including toilet paper which became a meme on the internet. Aisles were empty with workers struggling to put things back on in the right places. 

Many stands in the bakery were empty, especially the bread. While usually filled with freshly baked goods, it was now filled with signs expressing their concern for future outbreaks. Any pre-packaged bread not made in store was gone. Only price tags were left in place. People turned to tortillas, which also ran out fast.

As well, things like nuts, crackers, and chips were gone. Frozen pizzas were gone, but overshadowed by the disappearance of ice cream. Ice cream, out of all things, is something to keep the smaller kids happy while they are stuck inside.

But, what is the thing with toilet paper? It gives people control over the situation. That is what stockpiling does to a person. The people currently have no control except for washing hands excessively and staying distant from others. At least they can wipe in peace.

Now, the question everyone should think about now: Is this the new normal? Absolutely. Schools, for now, may be only closed until April 24, but that does not mean everything will suddenly be back to normal for students, or even adults. I, personally, would be surprised if this fades, or is cured, by the end of July. Viruses don’t just disappear in the middle of the night.

This important thing to remember is the past. We have faced things similar since the beginning of time, and have succeeded in evolving past it. Smallpox, the flu, and now coronavirus.