It is March 2020, and COVID-19 (coronavirus) phenomena is changing people, organisations and the economy.
Changing so much, that before lovely and polite bank teller will now easily sacrifice you to "The Hoarding Gods" for another roll of toilet paper.
It is getting clear how unprepared our society is for this kind of events.
Surprisingly, the problem is not in the root of event, but how do we perceive this event.
Completely equipped with social media platforms such as WeChat and Facebook it is incredibly easy to share the information. As well as to bias it.
We read the news created by people who deliver it the way they want/feel/want to feel.
And this information is fed to us with a big spoon, since everyone is consumed by gadgets and rarely sees what's really happening around.
That is how things like panic can be spread around the world.
Somebody said that toilet paper heavily depends on manufacturing in China, therefore dirty times are coming.
Jake reacted with "Wow" -> re-posted
Karen reacted with "Sad" -> commented "So terrible!" -> re-posted
Facebook algorithm bumps up the post to the top of friends feed due to activity.
This will trigger people to purchase a product not because they don't have it, but because they are afraid to not have it in future.
And they will buy it a lot. Not one or two packs. All stock. And stash it somewhere in the garage. Because "times may come".
Following week completely unsuspected customers will note the lack of toilet paper stock and start wondering what's going on?
Some people may not even start wondering but will follow a good old ship's instinct and become an owner of extra five packs just in case.
Unfortunately people that actually need the product of course will be left upset and desperately looking for a place to get it. Some will follow avalanche effect and join the cycle of hoarding.
Another will open a business: how does $10 for a roll of paper sound like?
And what about hand sanitisers? Let's buy all of them and sell five times more expensive. Who cares that for virus to slow down spreading everyone needs two 50ml bottles on average?
For now we ticked all the red flags of egocentric, rotten and douche society.
Instead of letting everyone down, we need to act like a team and help each other. Forget about wars or other conflicts - COVID-19 is not even entree.
And if we can't normally cope with current situation - we are definitely not prepared for worse.
Time to change.