By now it’s surely no secret that we’re in the midst of a global crisis.
We’ve all seen the social media shares of empty store shelves – heck, we’ve taken them ourselves.
I’ve personally felt the pang of panic. Maybe, you’ve felt it, too?
The day after the first US announcement about the virus’ spread, I went to a local grocery store to stock up on “the essentials” – but it was clear the panic-buying had already begun.
I managed to get the last box of Cheerios in sight for my parents who couldn’t find it in their stores. And you could see the waves of worry in strangers’ eyes as they grabbed last-boxes of things and crossed off their own lists – or made quick calls to loved ones at home to ask about alternatives for things already all gone.
We’ve also seen the memes – the memes and the jokes and the laughs about a toilet paper shortage in a first-world country. Stories of crazy people hoarding hand sanitizer in their garage in the hopes of capitalizing on people’s desperation (truly sick), and of carts upon carts stacked with paper products while the next lady in line has but one gallon of milk and carton of eggs to get by.
Friends, so much of what comes next in this story that will forever be etched in our minds and written in history books to come is entirely up to us. Sure, we of course can’t control the virus itself – heck, we don’t even know too much about it still, in the grand scheme of what scientists know.
But we CAN control how we respond to recommendations from the CDC and how we react in this time of crisis.
Friends…it’s up to us what we do next.
We have to ask ourselves a really serious, tough Q: Who are we as an individual? And who are we as a community?
It’s TOUGH to walk down an aisle at Target and not spot a sheet of toilet paper as far as the eye can see. For many of us, we’re not used to seeing shortage or feeling scarcity of what may otherwise feel like daily commodities that we take for granted. (I’m sure we’ll see TP in a different light now, though, amiright?)
It’s TOUGH to not feel the itch to buy “just one more just in case,” and start stocking up the pantry shelves and garage freezer.
But if you don’t truly need it, don’t take it – because you might be depriving the next person who’s trying to feed a family of five.
Or your neighbor who went through chemo and is now immuno-compromised.
Or your best friend’s 87-year-old grandma.
Or your own otherwise seemingly-healthy parent – since the virus is not just victimizing the elderly or “compromised” anymore.
I don’t think folks are raiding Walmarts and emptying shelves because of the virus itself.
I think folks are emptying shelves because they’re scared.
We see something we’ve never seen before, so our brains go straight for flight-or-fight mode and don’t know how to process a lack of what used to be a basic thing that we probably took for granted. And it leads to a bad case of herd mentality. We look around and see scarcity and fear, so we feel like the zombies are coming and start prepping our own bunkers “just in case,” as if everyone and their mother knows something we don’t and THAT’S why the frozen peas are suddenly selling like hot cakes.
But if there’s one thing made evident from everything so far…we can’t panic.
We can’t forsake our neighbor.
We’re all in this together, and it takes EVERYONE having the right mindset + right supplies to make it through this thing. A few folks hoarding all the hand sanitizer won’t do much if the rest of us catch the bug.
So I just want to remind and encourage you all as friends (since we’re all BFFs around these rosy parts 😉 ) to be the lights in these dark times. Do your part to help put a stop to the virus’ spread, sure, but also do your part to help bring more peace of mind instead of feeding into this fear that’s instilled in folks when panic-buying leaves empty shelves everywhere. Just buy what you need, so that your neighbor can get what SHE needs, too.
Because if we all can get what we need and all put in the effort, our collective effort can make a BIG difference.
A few things have been most helpful to us in preparing our family + household during this time.
1.) Intentionally shopping. And by that I don’t just mean not panic-buying anything + everything in sight; I mean being intentional about WHERE we’re shopping, too. If we have to go out to the grocery store for something, we’re not trying to catch a pandemic in aisle two. You saw my photos above (and likely have some on your own camera roll) from one of our local stores that looked + felt like a zombie apocalypse. Shelves are emptied and the place is overall reminiscent of a ghost town – not exactly the most comforting place to pick up more milk.
Our local GIANT has been the best for us in this time, so I’m so honored and excited to be partnering with them today. They’ve got signs up throughout the store to encourage 6-feet social distancing. A masked + gloved employee greets you at the door with wipes for your cart. Arrows are taped to the ground to create one-way aisles to further promote social distancing, and checkout aisles are taped to indicate 6-feet. But my personal favorite part: The music. There are announcements regularly playing to encourage social distancing, sure, but they went above and beyond and have a FIGHTER PLAYLIST going in-store. I don’t know who was responsible for this genius move, but I’m here for it. When Destiny Child’s Survivor started blasting in the bread aisle I was there. for it. It might feel small or inconsequential to some in the midst of such a big, serious thing happening, but I truly believe in a time like this it’s the sum of the little things that’s responsible for a much bigger domino effect on us all.
Their #MoreForAll video is the nice reminder we all need to just get what you need and leave more for others. Shopping with intention means going in with a set list of what you truly NEED, and avoiding picking something up off a shelf just because it’s the only one left. Opt for non-perishables for the pantry or healthier freezer options for any “stocking up” between store runs. And choose versatile ingredients like beans, eggs, ground beef or turkey, and frozen veggies that can be used for different recipes and purposes.
As a personal note, I just lovelovelove the promotion of KINDNESS and consideration. Beyond a playlist and tape, store staff is masked + gloved and regularly re-stocking essentials (they even put out BIG packs of ground beef since it’s been so in-demand!). Stores are open from 6-7 am every single day *just* for customers over age 60 to allow for the best possible social distancing. Store hours in general are now 6 am – 10 pm to give team members more time to sanitize, unload deliveries, and stock shelves quickly. And they put a limit of “two” on key categories like paper goods and disinfectant products so everyone can get what they need. (I did a GIANT grocery run last week and they were totally out of paper products – I popped in the next day for a few essentials I had missed on my list and they had restocked paper towels, so I was able to grab a case since we were out!)
FYI if you’ve got a local store, you can take advantage of GIANT Direct with a “contactless” delivery option, where they notify you via text or email when your driver arrives to deliver your groceries. And as a company, GIANT is also actively hiring temporary and part-time team members immediately, so for anyone who has been recently laid off or otherwise had their employment status hurt from what’s happening globally, they’re here to help.
2.) Stocking our pantry with versatile essentials. I wanted to share a quickie little recipe here that I whipped up last week for us, which works well for lunches OR dinners: a pantry pizza!
The whole gist of a pantry pizza is making use of what you’ve already got on your pantry shelves (or is a common enough staple in your fridge to make do without another trip out!).
This pantry pizza in particular has major Tex-Mex vibes!
Tex-Mex Pantry Pizza
This Tex-Mex inspired Pantry Pizza can be made with what's probably on your pantry shelves right now!
- Pizza crust Can be store-bought or frozen!
- Pinto beans
- Ground beef
- Sea salt to taste
- OPTIONAL: Sliced jalapenos or Ro-tel for added kick!
- Taco seasoning
- Shredded cheese I use Mexican 4-blend!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit
While your oven is pre-heating, cook your ground beef on the stovetop until browned. Once browned, mix in one packet of taco seasoning!
Add a thing layer of salsa to your pizza crust (this is your pizza's "sauce"!)
Chop 1/4 of an onion (or however much you'd like, to taste!) - add to your pizza
Add your cooked and seasoned ground beef, as well as about 1/2 can of pinto beans to your pizza
Add cilantro, shredded cheese, and sea salt on top to taste
OPTIONAL: Add sliced jalapenos and/or ro-tel for added kick!
Pantry pizza best paired with a homemade margarita. 😉
How can you help stop the panic-buying and be there for your neighbor (while 6-feet apart) in this time?
Let me know on Instagram how you’re leaving #MoreForAll at the store!
*Thanks to GIANT, a brand I lovelovelove, for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions + thoughts presented are entirely my own. Thank YOU for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!