According to LinkedIn, I live in the ‘Greater Seattle Area’. Kirkland, Washington, which is about 20 miles from here, is also in the “Greater Seattle Area’. Furthermore, Kirkland is the place where the first US resident died of the coronavirus.

Last week, when things were really swirling about coronavirus, I did not pay too much attention. I do not read the newspapers anymore, either in print or online, nor do I watch the news on television.

However, issues like this tend to seep through and settle up in everyone’s brain – it did mine.

I did notice all the empty shelves in the images on my phone and thought, hmmm, I certainly do not want to run out of my special bottled water nor do I want to run out of toilet paper.

The images showed riots of people clearing out the shelves of toilet paper, water, and hand sanitizers.

I waited to see if this would blow over. It didn’t.

This past Monday, during a 38-degree, rainy day – it is Seattle, after all – I decided to grab what I needed and then get back home as quickly as possible.

I first went to Costco. I found a parking space easily enough which in itself is a challenge.

When I got out of my car, a young woman with a full cart of items, said ‘Good luck! to me. I said I thought the hardest thing was finding the parking space. She told me that Costco was packed up to the back walls.


I skidded to the open causeway entrance to Costco and it was filled with people as well as an employee saying, loudly, ‘We are out of toilet paper.’ I asked when the next order would be in and she said she couldn’t confirm that.

Time to pivot. I went to a nearby Target. Target was quiet, not filled with angry people and they still had toilet paper!! Yay! I got what I needed, looked for water – the cupboard was bare – and thought of my third choice.

I went to my local Fred Myer (Kroger) and this area was energetically in the middle between Costco and Target. No water, long lines still, plus a few other interesting items no longer on the shelves including rice, flour, and pasta.

As long as I was there, I did, yes, I did, stock up on other important items, yet not to the point that I was going to hoard and lockdown for a month or so, although you never know!

And here we are. Spending a considerable amount of time with stressed angry people who were in fear, no doubt about it.

This adventure, no doubt important, made me stressed and tired.

I would certainly rather stay in my home office and work. I lost time, energy and motivation to move forward, at least for the moment.

What does it take for you to be distracted from your business?

An epidemic, like the coronavirus, if this is even considered one?

I say pay attention to what is important to you – your life, your health, your family, your business.

After that, shut the door, at least for a while and don’t forget your toilet paper! BTW, I did not get my special water and happily purchased whatever was available.

Wash your hands and stay sane!

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Joanne Victoria