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Toilet Paper Shortage

April 18, 2020

I’m no longer an empty nester! My daughter’s college is closed, with classes online for the rest of the semester. I appreciate her professor’s humor as he said, “Please do NOT turn your cameras on if they’re on your laptops, I don’t need to see what you look like when you roll out of bed at 8am. I, however, will be sitting in a tall leather chair with a fake fireplace in the background, wearing a cardigan with a pipe in one hand and a glass of whisky in the other for my class lectures. Also, I’ve never used zoom before, please go over the instructional info so you can help a boomer out when he can’t figure out how to log on.” My husband’s first thought with the news of the closing was will we get our housing and food money reimbursed, but my first thought was, “Do we have enough toilet paper with an extra person home?” If you would have told me a month ago that her college would be closed for the rest of the year and there’s no more toilet paper in stores, I would have thought you had lost your mind. Is it me or is it quite concerning that people didn’t have enough toilet paper before? I understand that people were encouraged in the very beginning to buy a couple of weeks’ worth in order to self-quarantine, so I’m wondering if people were living one roll at a time before? Did they go to the store every day to get more? Is Charmin leaving the P&G plant in armored trucks? This isn’t the time of year to forage for leaves on the trees like our ancestors had to use. I will admit, we had given our kids our usual mega packs when they were packing to go back to college before the tp crisis of 2020, so we were uncharacteristically down to our last roll when I first heard there was a run on it. I turned to my husband and said get in the car and go right now to get some! Notice how I was willing to expose him to the virus and not me? But he has a better immune system and I’m on the endangered species list, I swear that was my motive! So we bought an appropriate amount for our family; I promise you we didn’t buy a year’s worth so that our neighbors were left with nothing because that’s not something I want either. Please by all means and for heaven’s sake, I hope and pray everyone gets an adequate amount of coverage! I also hope and pray that the medical personnel and all lines of work who aren’t able to work from home as they continue to show up every day to keep life going, stay safe and realize you are most certainly appreciated. Thank you to my daughter’s college, West Chester University, for reimbursing the students for housing the rest of the year and opening the dorms for free to the homeless students, to the West Chester Mom who offered her son’s empty off campus apartment the second she heard there were homeless students who are unable to fly back home, to the West Chester Dad who said he had a couple of extra cars the displaced students could borrow, and to the local U-Haul company there offering free storage for 30 days for the students with nowhere to go with flights being canceled. Thank you to the local schools, organizations and neighbors offering to provide lunch for kids who won’t receive one in school now. Thank you to all of you in the general public out there who are sacrificing every day in countless ways to try to protect our most vulnerable population, you’re all appreciated.

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