March 2020 really is like a scene from an apocalyptic movie. In a very short time, the mood in the West shifted from slightly dismissive to noticeably disturbed by the threat of the Coronavirus global pandemic. People are scared, panicking and seeking comfort, and consumption patterns are reflecting those uneasy emotions- I get it. But I have learnt that as the pandemic reveals the true extent of social privilege and economic inequality, it is more important than ever to act consciously and communally. With our current resources in 2020, we can and should build community through the periphery of quarantine and self-isolation, reducing the impact on those more vulnerable.
I made an Instagram post in jest last week, joking that there was still toilet paper in my local supermarket. Upon reflection, I wish somebody had gently reprimanded me for it. I’ve also seen memes flippantly state that food shelves being empty but spice shelves remaining stocked, indicates who is doing the panic buying. And while I do understand the humour behind it, there really is something to be said about who can afford to indulge in panic consumption. There are lessons behind the jokes.