Human Nature, News

Life in the Old Folks Village During a Pandemic

Social Contagion

Remember the Toilet Papers Hoarders? Now apparently, people are hoarding food and buying guns like crazy. How does this madness spread?

“First, a rumor emerges; second, being uncertain what to do people resort to “conforming behavior”, i.e. taking the same actions of the reference group; third, the rumor snowballs into a real problem, since people buy a larger amount of the commodity than usual.”

I live in a community of 800 folks over age 62. If Covid 19 hits here, it would wipe out about half the village. They are anxious; but then at this point, so is everyone. Anxiety is not good for your health, but panic is downright fatal. Conversation last night:

Monica: I saw a news story about the doctor who invented the coronavirus.

Me: I don’t believe that. Lots of crazy stories flying around.

Monica: No, this is true, there was a picture and everything.

Me: I can make a picture in Photoshop of you in bed with Trump.

She scooted away, perhaps haunted by the visual image.

Debbie: What if we run out of food?

Me: Panic is harmful, don’t panic.

Debbie: O.K.


Me: …Unless a hungry leopard jumps in your path. Then panic would probably be helpful. Otherwise, no.

Ann: Bill (who is 98) has been locked in his house for months. He’s running out of food.

Me: Oh, hell no. Get a grocery list from him. I’ll haul food up there and leave it on his porch.

Ann: I’ll call him tomorrow.


Cat: Bugeyes turned us into security AGAIN for laughing after 9 PM. The guard came down and had a smoke with us.

Me: That’s the fourth time! I say let’s turd Bugeyes.

Carl: What?

Me: Put a Baby Ruth on his car-it looks like a turd.

Carl: I’ll do it.

Me: Here’s the Baby Ruth.

Everybody: Yeah. Do it Carl.

Laughter all around. Good thing it’s not after 9 PM.

About Je' Czaja aka Granny Savage

Je' is a writer, artist, and stand up philosopher. She founded and directed two non-profit organizations for disadvantaged children and their families, served as a missionary for three years, is the author of several books and teaches art. Twitter: @jeczaja FB: Amazon Author page:


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