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It’s time for everyone to shop responsibly

Panic-buying and hoarding must end now

About two weeks ago, everyone in the Fort Dodge area apparently had enough toilet paper.

Local stores were flush with the product. Anyone could go in a store and buy a package.

That’s not necessarily the case now. The shelves that held toilet paper, and many other products, have in some cases been picked clean. The barren shelves look like something from the old Soviet Union rather than today’s prosperous United States.

It seems unlikely that the actual need for those products has skyrocketed recently. Instead, it seems likely that fear generated by the coronavirus is driving people to not only stock up, but grab everything they can buy.

That is understandable to some extent. Stocking up on supplies enables people to feel like they are doing something about a situation that they have basically no control over.

But it is time for the panic-buying and hoarding to stop.

If everyone just buys what they need, there will be enough for all of us.

It is important for everyone to remember that we as Americans are all in this together. All of us are dealing with massive disruptions in our daily lives caused by a microscopic bug that few ever heard of before this year.

Since we are all in this together, we must support each other. Among other things, that means no one should be buying up massive quantities of necessary products and stashing them away, leaving nothing for others. Cramming your cabinets and closets with lots of things that won’t be used for weeks, if not months, isn’t right.

We ask everyone to shop responsibly. Buy just what you need and leave the rest for your friends and neighbors.

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