I wrote a story this week about the trouble Ada area businesses are having trouble finding plastic cups. I appreciate their difficulties, and urge my readers to help out as best they can by using other products, like reusable mugs and cups, to help relieve some of the supply chain difficulties.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of March and April 2020, near the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic crisis. It was a weird time. Gasoline prices bottomed out. Grocery stores limited their hours. Restaurants closed their dining areas and switched to offering curbside service. And, of course, many people suddenly panicked and bought every stitch of toilet paper on the shelves.

This was unnecessary, selfish, and even unpatriotic. How? Any time you put yourself ahead of your community, you are being unpatriotic. Patriots give. Patriots think of others. Patriots do without.

The answer is simple: don’t hoard. It’s easy.

Imagine if you had bought just one extra four-pack of toilet paper just once a month in 2019. By the time the so-called crisis descended on us in March 2020, you would have had 48 extra rolls of toilet paper, more than enough to weather the supply-chain crisis.

Well, now is the time to slowly stock up, instead of waiting for social media to whip you into a panic about some shortage of a product you need. Now is the time to pick up maybe just one extra can of green beans, maybe just one extra box of tissues, maybe just one extra blanket or box of rice or dispenser of hand soap extra bag of dog food.

That’s the opposite of hoarding: that’s planning.

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