The Painkiller Hoarder

It was a few days after the quarantine had started. Recent developments had already caused a run on toilet paper. Maybe people were afraid of over-flowing with snot? Who knows? Either way medicine was also in high demand.

Upon entering the pharmacy certain medicine shelves were almost empty. Especially medicine for pain and respiratory complaints seemed missing. Well when Spring is about to start certain medicine is in demand again. That did not explain the almost empty painkiller shelves.

Either way it was still necessary to check for some medicine and find the queue. The skill of queueing in the hope of being rewarded with good service reminds me of Dante‘s “Divine Comedy” where Dante is not sure whether fate will deliver him in safe hands. Expect nothing, prepare for grumpiness and you might find a friend on the other side.

While in the queue I noticed that my medicine was still available. Even if I encountered a grumpiness incarnate, my dust allergy medicine would be present after sacrificing money to the the till. In front of me there was man, lurking over the shelves asking for attention without words.

It was a peculiar sight. He stood there almost guarding the painkillers and almost begging the pharmacy employees for more boxes of painkillers. He asked for more boxes a few times. By the time I caught on I was disgusted but too tired to even react. I gave it the 1000-yard stare and hoped I could get some medicine for upcoming April.

The man was denied the extra boxes of painkillers and everybody in store tried to politely ignore him. The awkward pain of the silence around him could not be killed, not even by more silence. The pain of existence fuelled by panic does not require more pills. It requires that you stop panicking and focus.

I was happy to learn the pharmacy had enough medicine for April. Dust is a silent opponent, you need your reserves.

The painkiller hoarder was given a ration by the pharmacy employees. He did not protest, paid and left the store.

It will never make sense to me. Hoarding painkillers will not make the pain of fear induced panic less. Hoarding makes it worse…