The Saratoga Sun -

Toilet Paper Panic


March 25, 2020

I have talked about toilet paper more in the past week than I have probably ever before in my life! The COVID-19 virus does not even have symptoms that would require the use of extra toilet paper.

Many of us are stunned at the level of hoarding and lack of respect for fellow community members.

There are plenty of elderly and people who live on fixed incomes that cannot afford to purchase groceries and supplies ahead of time. They shop on a week to week basis.

The panic purchasing that has been happening is adding an unnecessary dimension to the pandemic, making a difficult situation even more worrisome and unsanitary. People traveling to other towns to buy them out of supplies adds to the problem and creates new ones. Not only are they risking spreading any illness they might have, these people are creating shortages where there previously were none.

There has been another aspect of all this hysteria which, to me, is very concerning.

In my view, Saratoga has always been a place where neighbors help neighbors and generally look out for one another. For example, when my grandmother started having trouble going up stairs to get to her house.

I wanted to build a ramp for her but I was short of funds. The good people of Saratoga created a GoFundMe site to help with the cost. After I was able to purchase all the materials, Custom Builders showed up and put it together in a day. It would have take me at least a week, maybe two. I am still very grateful to everyone who was there to help when we needed it most.

The other day, I was witness to rumor mongering at a level I am not used to hearing. People turning on people. I am not going to point any fingers but, let me just say, it does nothing for the good or well being of the community to have a suspicious mind and spout words that are not true. If there are questions, research and find the right answer before telling others something that may be incorrect. Go to reliable sources that give you real facts such at the Saratoga Sun, the websites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

Negativity spreads ten times faster than positivity. In a time that has brought about rapid changes, it is more important than ever to try to keep our morals and values in check and try not to panic. Think about the choices you make and how they affect others. Be the Saratoga everybody knows and loves.

Here are a few facts about COVID-19 from the CDC and WHO.

According to the CDC ( the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure; fever, cough and shortness of breath. People who are at higher risk are the elderly and people who have chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. The WHO has the following to say about mortality rates, “While the true mortality of COVID-19 will take some time to fully understand, the data we have so far indicate that the crude mortality ratio (the number of reported deaths divided by the reported cases) is between 3-4 percent, the infection mortality rate (the number of reported deaths divided by the number of infections) will be lower. “(


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