Restocking My Panic Pantry

pandemic, humor, Modern PhilosopherDoesn’t the title of this blog post sound like an excellent metaphor for the life of a guy with a plethora of fears and phobias, Modern Philosophers?

Can you imagine me figuratively restocking my metaphoric panic pantry ever time something new  freaked me out?

But in this case, I’m being quite literal.  I have a room in my house that I’ve dubbed the “panic pantry”, and this week, I went to the grocery store to restock its shelves.

Allow me to explain.  When the pandemic started, and I was furloughed from my job, I was very stressed about going to the grocery store to get supplies.  Not only was I fearful of being out among the masses and potentially becoming infected with the Coronavirus, but I was also afraid that food and other necessities would be in short supply.

Added to that, I was worried I’d run out of money and not be able to afford groceries if I was out of work for an extended period.

Remember, this was a time when there was no toilet paper to be found because people were hording it for some odd reason.

I decided to stock up heavily whenever I went to the store, and limit my visits to once every three weeks, rather than my usual Friday night trips.

pandemic, humor, Modern PhilosopherFrom this, the idea of the panic pantry was born.  To be honest, it was originally called the pandemic pantry (because nothing beats a good alliteration), but I changed the name when I realized this room would come in handy in the event of any kind of disaster. 

Perhaps it would be a blizzard or a power outage.  Maybe aliens would invade, or Trump supporters would take over the grocery stores until someone made their cult leader President again.

Nevertheless, the panic pantry seemed like an excellent idea.  I didn’t want to be going to the store all the time, and certain items did seem to be in limited supply.  So what would it hurt to stock up on non-perishables in the event there was some sort of food shortage, or I was unable to leave The House on the Hill to make a grocery run?

Even as I felt more confident to cut my time between shopping trips from three weeks to two, I still felt the need to keep the panic pantry well stocked.  After all, the Boy Scouts did teach me the be prepared.

Until recently, Maine has experienced a spike in Coronavirus cases since Thanksgiving.  Plus, things didn’t look so good for the country after the Capitol Insurrection on my birthday, so I kept waiting for  there to be a run on the grocery stores.

pandemic, humor, Modern PhilosopherRecently, my local grocery has been low on cat food.  On my previous trip, they were completely out of the treats my kitties prefer.  This time out, I made sure to load up on the treats and put the extra bags in the panic pantry.  Right next to the cans of extra cat food.

There’s lots of canned veggies, pasta sauce, pasta, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, condiments, and many bottles of Snapple.  I can’t deal with chaos without my Snapple!

This week, I went shopping on Wednesday.  Yes, I was a rebel and went only thirteen days after my previous excursion, rather than waiting the usual two weeks.  Before I left, I told a coworker that now that I’ve been vaccinated, I was going to try to be more confident and get back on my regular weekly shopping schedule.

But I guess old habits die hard.  My survival mode kicked in, and I filled my cart with enough food for a family of six to stay well fed for the next two weeks.

Needless to say, the shelves of my panic pantry are well stocked.

pandemic, humor, Modern PhilosopherI posted on Facebook, asking my friends if I’m the only one who shopped this way.  The replies were a fifty/fifty split.  Pretty much everyone admitted to stocking up on supplies in the early days of the pandemic, but now half of them said they’d returned to their usual shopping habits.

So I don’t know if that means I’m overreacting, or if I’m a wise man, who will not starve to death when Zombies rise and take to the streets.  Not to be a harbinger of doom and gloom, but look at what is happening in Texas right now.  A crisis like that, during a pandemic, makes me think a panic pantry is a good idea…

What do you think?  Do you believe in maintaining a panic pantry, or are you okay with just having enough in the house to get by?



About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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13 Responses to Restocking My Panic Pantry

  1. womantrucker21 says:

    I probably will never return to every week shopping.I have even opted for the “To go” orders offered @ grocery stores. ANIMAL supplies, I use Chewy, free shipping & dropped @ your door. Oh, & I LOVE ZOOM meetings for Dr. confirm your labs, tests, are ok!

  2. beth says:

    I tend to be way the other way, and I think somewhere in the middle is probably ideal. there are some things you can’t control, and most of the bad ones never happen anyway, so I try to spend my time and energy on positives. we are all different though, in how we get through the world, and we do whatever it takes to feel comfortable here.

  3. jilldennison says:

    I, too, have a panic pantry … in part because of the pandemic and the fact that since I have only one lung, wearing a mask for longer than about 15 minutes is difficult, so what was once a weekly grocery trip is now a dreaded event that I try to do only once every 2-3 weeks. But, added to that, is the fact that my old van is on it’s last legs with over 250,000 miles on it, and I never know when it will fail to start. My daughter came in the other evening, saw the 4 boxes of kosher salt on the counter, and asked if I was craving salt these days. Nope, but the snow melting and re-freezing is making my sidewalk icy! In the freezer is a whole chicken, about 6 chicken breasts, 3 pounds of bacon, 3 pounds of ground beef, and other frozen goods. I don’t think of it as panic so much as … better safe than sorry. Preparedness for a rainy/snowy day.

  4. markbialczak says:

    I veer toward buy-more, be-ready, Austin. The phrase What If always lurks somewhere in my brain, you betcha.

  5. kristianw84 says:

    I think it’s smart to be prepared, especially in high altitude places where a snowstorm can hit, knock out power, and strand its citizens for days. I have a lot of canned foods in my pantry and extra meat in my freezer for such occasions. I don’t go crazy with paper products, but I do try to always have extra on hand, just in case.

  6. J-Dub says:

    We still shop weekly but occasionally double up on non perishables just in case.

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