Pandemic Regrets

Regrets, I have a few.

But then again—oh hell, you know I’m going to mention them.

That’s why we’re here, after all.

As we approach the one year mark of the covid-19 pandemic, I decided it was time to take stock. 

Literally.

Like nearly everyone, last March I bought a little extra of some things.

I’d watch the news, or read the paper, or see the empty shelves at my local Target, and I’d start revving up for a curbside pickup.

Some people drink.  Some people stress eat. I stockpiled cleaning products and dry goods.

I threw everything into my laundry room and called it my bunker. The bunker grew in fits and starts. Sometimes when the talking heads predicted a surge in cases, I’d make a run for essentials. Other times I’d just buy an extra can or box of whatever I was most afraid of running out of during my normal shopping trips.

It was only over the holidays when I organized and inventoried the contents of my bunker did I realize how far I had gone.

No one can come over, so I have to stage my own intervention.

The TSA has their no fly list.  I now have my no buy list.  Item number one?  Scrubbing bubbles.

This was—and remains—a difficult to find item.  So every time I found it in stock somewhere, I’d buy a can.  Then I found a four pack at Sam’s Club.  (Actually, I think I forgot about the first four pack and bought a second one.) Let’s be clear—there is exactly one bathtub and shower in my house.  I now own enough Scrubbing Bubbles to get me into the next decade when we’ve barely begun this one.

I have similar quantities of Soft Soap, Dawn Dish Soap, and bar soap. I figured if the world went to hell, I could wash everything—my clothes, my dishes, my body—with Dove Beauty Bars.  Such was the state of my mind in March 2020.  I bought about thirty bars of soap last March, and I have not even used up the soap I had prior to buying that box.  That’s right—I had a year’s supply BEFORE I started stocking up for the pandemic.

And the cat litter.  Because confession is good for the soul, I have to show you the cat litter.

But my regret over these purchases is minor.  It’s mainly a matter of inventory management—I went overboard, sure, but they will never go bad and I will eventually use them up.

There’s a whole second category of purchases that I truly do not know what I was thinking when I bought them.

Let’s start with hand sanitizer and wipes.

I don’t normally buy hand sanitizer or wipes.  I find the sanitizer kind of sticky and gross, and I prefer to just frequently wash my hands.  As for Clorox Wipes, a spritz of Formula 409 and a paper towel does the trick for me.

But I bought hand sanitizer because I’d need to use it now when I was out and about and couldn’t wash my hands.  The problem, of course—is that I wasn’t going anywhere!  When the pandemic is over, I will likely never use hand sanitizer again.

Actually, that’s not true.  I hate to waste things.  I once made thirty-five stuffed red peppers and it turned out that I hated stuffed red peppers.  But I put them in the freezer and ate them one at time for two years until they were gone.

(Actually, I ate thirty-four stuffed peppers.  I was looking at the thirty-fifth one day for lunch in my office, and my co-workers said, “Melanie, you hate those peppers!  Just give it up already!  You’ve done enough!”  So I threw out the peppers and we went to Chipotle.  That was the best burrito of my life.)

So—I will likely be using hand sanitizer for the next five years, pandemic or not, because I won’t be able to throw it away.

As for the Clorox Wipes, well, they did me a favor and dried up.

Like everyone else, I decided to bake.  Yeast packets were scarce, but I bought not one—but two—pounds of yeast.  (My only defense was this was at Sam’s Club, and therefore the smallest package available.  I could not find yeast anywhere else.)

You need about a tablespoon of yeast to make a loaf of bread.  I’ve made four in the past year, so only sixty loaves to go.  At the current rate, I’ll be applying for Medicare around the time I use up the yeast.

I bought powdered peanut butter, powdered milk, and powdered eggs.  I have no idea what I am going to do with any of this.

Regrets? I have a few.

For everything but the cat litter.  Blinker’s picky about her cat litter, and you saw what she did to the marshmallow.

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