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Judy Kucharuk: Sorry, these products are out of stock

Back in the day, we relied on ourselves
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Judy Kucharuk: "Our panic is a result of our unpreparedness. We don’t put our foot on the gas until we hear, 'Don’t panic!' We operate on a cycle of action based on reaction."

judy“Do not panic! Our supply chain is secure!”

What do you think when you hear those words? The vast majority hears:

“Grab the car keys honey, it’s time to panic!”

“Grab all the toilet paper, flour, yeast and sugar you can!”

“But you don’t know how to make anything with those ingredients!”

“I’ll learn! Oh, and don’t forget to grab baking soda and baking powder!”

The dust settles and we find ourselves with a pantry full of duplicates with best-before dates woefully close to today’s date. Thankfully, the toilet paper doesn’t expire.

The pandemic created this sense of urgency about our supply chain and now the recent flooding in the lower mainland has exacerbated that feeling in the pit of our stomach that tells us to, “Get all the things!”

We have become a society who leaps before they look. Remember finding out that our toilet paper came from Eastern Canada? Our sensitive tooshies were going to be fine – no need to hoard paper or resort to crinkled up magazine pages. We need to be more informed about where our goods are coming from before we empty store shelves at the first indication of trouble.

Likewise with the recent flooding and the highway washouts.

Our panic is a result of our unpreparedness. We don’t put our foot on the gas until we hear, “Don’t panic!” We operate on a cycle of action based on reaction.

Our parents and grandparent’s did not and do not operate on that cycle. I was always amazed at the breadth of my mom’s pantry. An extra person or two show up for dinner? She could reach into that pantry and come up with an additional side dish to feed the crowd.

Her freezer was filled with frozen veggies from the garden and the cold room had row upon row of canned fruit and pickles. Let’s not forget the potato bin that was heaped with potatoes – by the time April rolled around, their ‘eyes’ had grown tentacles long enough to terrify the child who had to go to the cold room to grab some to cook for dinner.

Back in the day, we relied on ourselves. Now, we rely on others and with that reliance comes the worry that we will somehow run out or be cut off.

We are not prepared.


Judy Kucharuk lives and writes in Dawson Creek.