From the desk of City Manager Sarah Purdy...
April 3, 2020
Sometimes, even in the midst of disasters such as the current pandemic, it is helpful to find a reason to smile. That is the purpose of today’s Update, which focuses on new behaviors in the grocery store.
First, I confess I was oblivious to the need to stock up on toilet paper until it was too late. My practice has been to buy the next six-pack when the current one is two-thirds gone. That sure has changed! I began to realize I was going to be in big trouble if toilet paper didn’t show up again soon. I happened to mention this to one of my brothers in a phone conversation, and he told me he has 100 rolls in stock. Wow! For all these years I never knew he was a packrat. Then I mentioned it to another brother, who said he was going to the store the next day during what he refers to as “geezer” hour (his age does qualify him to be there then). He offered to mail some to me if he found it (both of said brothers live outside Philadelphia, PA) so I took him up on it. Sure enough, a few days later a six-pack (of toilet paper) arrived at my doorstep. What a great bro!
Of course, right after that, when I was in the grocery store, I found lots of six-packs. At this point I didn’t need any but I grabbed a pack anyway and walked around the store hugging it as if my life depended on it. And that’s how my hoarding began.
But the real grocery store challenge that sent me into orbit was bananas. I eat one every day. I have for longer than I want to confess. I can’t imagine my day without a banana somewhere in it. And there were none in any of the grocery stores. I know because I called the other stores while I was still in the produce aisle. Ogdensburg was totally out of bananas. What was I going to do? Then it suddenly hit me how ridiculous I was to be calling one grocery store from another. I realized the world was not going to end and I could try kiwis instead. I did. They are fun little fuzzy fruits. I like them. They too are a good source of potassium. But the other day, when I was back at the grocery store and they did have bananas, I found myself buying the biggest bunch I could find. And when a store clerk said “Hello, how are you today,” I couldn’t help but grin and say, “I am sooo happy because you have bananas.” He laughed.
So here is the real confession. After selecting the biggest bunch of bananas I could find, I proceeded to go up and down other aisles and buy things I didn’t need. I told myself I was just stocking up. I justified it because they were all low-sodium and gluten-free items that I figured most people wouldn’t want. But then I saw the Drano. There was only one plastic jug of it left. The rest of the shelf was empty. I saw someone else eye it and then move on. I grabbed it! I had to have it. I might need it someday. When I got home and was putting away all these items I didn’t need, I suddenly thought “OMG what has happened to me? I am becoming a hoarder!”
If you are reading this, I suspect you can relate to some part of it. The past few weeks have changed us. When it’s over, which it will be, we will never look at toilet paper the same way again. I will buy the next pack much sooner. And don’t get me started on hand sanitizer. I am still on the hunt for that.
Be hopeful, stay safe, stay healthy and stay together yet six feet apart. “Take 5 for New York” by calling someone and chatting for five minutes. And please find below several links to COVID-19 information that you may find useful.
Department of Labor Cares Act Information
US Small Business Administration
St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency
Governor Cuomo’s Website
New York State Department of Health
Protect Yourself & Stop the Spread of Germs
What You Need to Know
Please revisit this page for important updates from the City of Ogdensburg.