Hordes of hoarders are massing—protect your hand sanitizer and that delicious yellow cheese powder.

Credit where credit is due: the Administration’s decision to prohibit the entry of foreign nationals from China into the United States was the right thing. Even if it delays the obvious, there’s always a chance it may have unforeseen benefits.


Of course this one success does not atone for the botched arrival in California of quarantined cruise ship patients who were greeted by improperly trained and outfitted health employees, some of whom moved freely about the Travis Air Force Base and one of whom stayed in a nearby hotel, then left California on a commercial flight.


But still, for this administration, even baby steps are praiseworthy...though I wish the baby would stop praising himself, and the other babies would stop blaming the Democrats for weaponizing the virus. It seems to be quite well weaponized without outside help, thank you very much.


So far the virus has been affecting and infecting only the West Coast. I believe the East Coast is next, though I’m merely guessing. But what I’m not guessing is Americans’ willingness to act foolishly and selfishly. Friday morning I thought, maybe it’s time to get some hand sanitizer for the car. I hate the stuff, prefer soap and water, but in a pinch and away from home somewhere, hand sanitizer would be a fine substitute. So I went to Amazon, figured I’d order a few and get them the next day.


Au contraire, mes amis, Amazon (purveyor of EVERYTHING) had none. There was a promise of getting some in a week or so, and one batch was offered from one of their suppliers with a shipping fee four times the amount of the purchase. Apparently people had begun hoarding hand sanitizer as if it were some sort of bulwark against the coronavirus. It isn’t, not unless you submerge yourself in it and stay there breathing through your snorkeling tube until the outbreak ends. Even then, with an airborne virus…?


Later on Friday I bought one at a local grocery store, but this is not the end of the hoarding. It will spread to food and paper goods, then gasoline (until some garage full of gas cans blows up). I do understand that when people feel helpless or anxious, doing something—anything—can be therapeutic, even if it involves purchasing 144 boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. (That thought did cross my mind, though my wife uncrossed it by reminding me I’d be dining alone at least 144 times.)


But if we’re all in it for the long haul, and it appears we are, let’s stop listening to all the spinning politicians and pundits, and get our information from the CDC. You'll learn, among other facts, that lots of people will get sick, a good number will be mildly affected, and a smaller number will be hospitalized. Not everyone will survive. That’s about it.


While you’re waiting for whatever lies ahead, live your life, eat well, sleep enough, get some exercise, and act with informed wisdom. Most of all, pay no attention to amateurs and dilettantes and bloggers with advice to dispense, not even the ones with hand sanitizer in their cars or a mac 'n' cheese fetish.



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