I work in a warehouse full of food; frozen food, produce, dry food, canned food, and a bunch of little things that no one thinks about buying until the last minute. My job has been one of ups and downs over the years. We serve independent grocery stores. Nobody orders the same product, no one is told what to order, they are free to run their business and serve their customers to the best of their ability. Some stores open and it is a big deal a new amount of cases are added to the working load. Some stores close and it decreases. Big corporate stores come in and hurt the business of some of our most vulnerable stores. Some store rise to the occasion and become better, innovative, personal; some go out of business.
When you work in a warehouse life and seasons come two months in advance. everything for Easter is shipped. We were prepared to ship a lot of canned food this month, we have a case lot sale. We weren’t prepared for people to be crazy. Nobody was. But we should have. We should have looked at what was happening around the world and started thinking ahead. We should have known people were going to panic. We should have limited their toilet paper buying from the start. We should have been a voice of reason. It is hindsight that I am speaking from. That is how we learn, we say “I should have” and then you do that when you see it coming again. For us, in Utah, our next again for a real food crisis will be when we have an earthquake which is something like fifty years overdue.
Right now the warehouse is filling back up. Fresh food is going out. The stores are working hard and hopefully getting a lot of gratitude from their patrons. Life will go back to normal and we will have learned to have enough on hand and hopefully enough to share. I know I have and there will be a certain amount of food set aside for the “what if?” day.
Social distancing isn’t the worst thing that could happen to us. Getting our loved one sick is. I have a special needs daughter, the flu, RSV, and pneumonia have put her in a hospital bed, this I fear could kill her. At first, like everyone else, I heard it is like the flu, no big deal. Then I seen a tweet that is going around from a young man who is recovering from it. He was healthy and then he wasn’t. He was put in the ICU and had to have something like three times the amount of oxygen. I have watch my little girl struggle to get enough air. I don’t shake hands. I wash my hands. I pray for those who are sick.
I have five teenagers at home. All are school-age two work. They have to do their homework online and I feel sorry for my wife. My kids have plenty of things to do. We have a personal library of over five thousand books. We have online streaming. We have video games. We have art supplies. Finally, they have phones. My oldest two are who I worry about. They are going to go crazy. With their young minds, they have just been put in prison. They were free to socialize in multiple ways, from regular school activities, to track, to hanging out, and even work, but now; they are stuck home with the family. I will be praying for my wife.
I work at the warehouse. I plan on putting in long hours to help alleviate the workload on others. I hate over time, but I love people, so here I am.
I want to leave you with some hope. Yesterday when I left work the bread aisle was full. It smelled amazing. It is fresh bread. You know the smell like you walked into a bakery. That smell. Well, there is no food shortage. There is no reason to panic buy. We are going to be okay, we just have to buy enough that others can buy too. I know it won’t be long before everyone is under quarantine, but if that is what it takes to save my little girl’s life, please do it.