In the past week I’ve made three grocery runs to restock my depleted cupboard. I always go in the mornings when there are fewer shoppers. But even then I inevitably find myself having to edge around someone as I go down an aisle. At least they are all wearing masks!

From speaking with friends and relatives back in the U.S. — as well as following the local news — it sounds like there has been a rash of panic buying. In particular, people have been stockpiling toilette paper (which may become the new currency in a post-pandemic world). It has made me realize that people’s reactions can be as much of a concern as the coronavirus itself. (Also known as covid-19.)

Happily, my own grocery (Villa Market on Soi 2) has experienced no shortages that I’ve noticed so far. The shelves in the TP section have not been denuded and there’s no sense of urgency amongst the shoppers. Of course this is no guarantee things will be going as smoothly come next month, so I’ve been loading up on cereal, pasta, canned goods…anything with a long shelf life. These can be rather bulky, which gave me the idea of going to Villa Market wearing my old backpack with a reusable bag stuffed inside. After I finish my shopping, I put the big heavy stuff at the bottom of the pack, then on top of it, the reusable containing the smaller purchases. Lugging all this home makes me feel like a pack mule, but it reduces the number of visits I have to make.

Assembly point.

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