Spabbit on Covid-19, Hoarding, and Morals

Don’t get yer knickers off – this isn’t going to be the popular view, and is going to contrast to a lot of conventional wisdom.

Hoarding? Good / Bad / Ugly?

Can hoarding ever be a good thing?

There is a popular graphic going around at the moment whereby it shows the impact of people staying at home, and not spreading the virus to others – it’s common sense, if you don’t come into contact with the other people, or objects infected, then you won’t become infected – it follows you won’t infect anyone else. How can hoarding help this? Simples – take the example of an early hoarder who got enough supplies to take them completely out of circulation for months, they’re doing exactly the right thing. Neither an infector or an infectee be!

There are various arguments against this approach, namely that the hoarding causes shops to be empty, some of the knock on consequences are that there are never enough supplies for people to hoard enough at the same time, some people will be too late joining the game, and there will be a scramble for the remaining goods until limits are imposed, or the supply chains move into high gear.

It’s fair. Now don’t just go off on one – it is fair. Those who have steadily prepared their resources so they have a ‘Z-Day’ plan will be, and indeed have used their resources to protect them and theirs from the inevitable scrambling around; conversely those who don’t have that forethought to have a ‘Z-Day’ plan… well those are the poor buggers who’ve got nothing but their day to day supplies.

The early thinkers. You know who you are, those who looked into a crystal ball, paid attention to the developing situation and took action early. Those people deserve their hoards, they took the time out and got in first – you can’t blame them, you can’t call them selfish, many of them will be responsible for the comfort of their families, friends, and in some cases their communities. At that point in time, there would hardly been any notice of the odd person buying a trolley full. Again, the early thinkers will be sorted, at home, not getting infected and more importantly, not infecting anyone else.

Hoarding – The Bad – it’s bad to hoard. Late. It’s bad to hoard late. Hoarding late in the game makes the situation worse. If you’re in this boat, and want to hoard at the 3 week mark in your region, you’re late. You’re going to be forced into the situation of queuing for supplies. Don’t. Be smart. Go shopping off peak, keep your distance, maybe buy a little extra each time you go out. You’re the ones at risk of spreading the virus, of becoming infected as you’re going out. If you’d prepared then you’d be fine. Get a ‘Z-Day’ plan, and keep it updated – this won’t be the last time Humanity will be in this situation – be prepared.

But but but… ‘I couldn’t help it’, I didn’t have the time / resources to prepare. Bollocks. Didn’t have the time? Shopping in the middle of the night. Nip out from work at lunch time, go in early and stop at the shops on the way in. Don’t be stupid, use different smaller shops (you know the big-boys always get sold out first), do it in stages. Not paid? Got savings, fucking use them – savings can always be built up again, Humanity can too, but painfully. Not got the money? Beg, borrow from where-ever – prepare. Monetary concerns are secondary to survival – you never know, the entity you borrowed from may die – harsh, but true.

Hoarding – the ugly. You fuckers, you know who you are. Last minute arsehole – you saw all this shit going down, viewed it all as a kind of docudrama, and realised entirely too late that you’re fucked. Panic! You, and the rest of your cohort immediately woke up and dashed to the shops, without a plan. You’re the fucking unorganised arseholes who will cause the demise of your immediate contacts, shame on you. There’s still hope for you though, if you survive this time, have a fucking plan next time, and don’t queue shoulder to shoulder at 06:00 waiting to get into fucking ASDA!

Finally – apart from the good, the bad, and the ugly – is hoarding morally wrong?

Depends. If you’re a comrade on the left, yes, it’s against what you stand for. If you’re a capitalist on top of the hill, then no, it’s how the system works. … And if you’re somewhere in the middle, well… that’s up to you – it’s a grey area and will be for many people. If you’re one of the people who are at the moment placing public service workers, hospital, NHS workers on a pedestal – beware that you’re pandering to popularist sentiments. Sure those NHS or public service workers are in the majority great people, in many cases putting themselves last so that society can continue, however they’re not the only ones going the extra mile in their roles and making day to day adjustments and sacrifices.

They do like everyone else have to have supplies, and yes, some of them will have hoarded in the good, bad, and ugliest forms; others will just not be prepared and will fail. They’re just like everyone else and will be performing their function, not saying that the function isn’t vital for many, but it’s a function. They signed up for it, just the same as members of the armed forces, emergency service workers, security staff, retail workers, sanitation workers, and factory workers – they all have their moment. Don’t forget some of the other people behind the scenes who grease the wheels to ensure it all goes to plan, the Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, the IT guys, the administrators, the equipment manufacturers – without them it all goes to shit.

Don’t pretend to suddenly appreciate the roles they do, just because we’re all up to our collective necks in shit, don’t do it. Appreciate them all the time, but don’t be blind, don’t elevate them above the common man / woman, they’re doing a job just as you are – but by all means feel free to show your appreciation. We’re all shitting ourselves.

One comment

  1. Well fucking said. I was late to the party and am low on supplies but I remain germ free and will make do until such time that the plague has subsided or I have run out of ways to cook my own body parts to eat. Funny thing is, I always have a go bag, in case of emergency and a box in the car of stuff in case I break down. Didn’t see the apocalypse happening whilst I was at home!
    Oh well, hindsight is a beautiful thing. See you in the next lifetime.

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