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EDITORIAL: Don’t panic

In times of shortage we need to think about our neighbours as well as ourselves
Empty shelves at local grocery stores are a result of people panic buying while supply chains are severed due to flooding and slides. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

It seems to be somewhat of a trend these past few years.

Every time there is some kind of potential supply chain issue, some of us rush out and try to buy up everything we can.

Last time it was the beginning of the pandemic. And, of course, the supply chain quickly stabilized and we were able to find what we needed, even if a few compromises had to be made—such as switching dog food brands.

Authorities urged people not to hoard, again reminding us that we are communities, and the things we need our neighbours and friends also need.

This time it is massive flooding in the Lower Mainland and beyond, cutting off truck routes. Again, authorities are begging that we remain calm, that there are alternatives, and let the situation settle without depriving others of essentials and staples.

Of course, there is a tiny minority that seeks to profit from the hoarding and all we can say about that is shame on you.

There is no question humans tend to act out of self-interest, so it is understandable that we would think of ourselves first when faced with a potential threat. But we are also social animals, gifted with the ability to reason.

READ MORE: Supply chain disruptions and panic buying quickly empty Northwest grocery stores

Things are rarely as bad as what we can imagine in the worst-case scenario. This current situation will sort itself out even if for a while we have to put up with a limited selection of certain items.

We should be seriously grateful we are here and not in the areas of the province facing the devastation from which these shortages have resulted.

There is a lesson to be learned here on the Island.

As we all know, according to the experts, residents of Vancouver Island should prepare themselves for the inevitable ‘big one.’ It’s not a matter of ‘if’ a major earthquake will happen here; it’s a matter of when. When that time comes, the hope is that we would pull together to help each other out and share what we have for the greater good. There’s no better time than the present to practise that virtue.

Don’t panic, and please, think about others.

— Black Press Media

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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