Consider your neighbors before you panic buy

By Jack “Alex” White III, columnist ~ “Small towns, big potential”

There was NO IMMEDIATE SHORTAGE of gasoline after the Colonial Pipeline attack.

I’ll say that again: there was NO SHORTAGE OF GASOLINE after the pipeline attack.

In fact, there was still enough gasoline for everyone to continue their normal consumption habits into the foreseeable future. The worst that we might have seen is a modest increase in prices…

Unfortunately, everyone did not continue their normal consumption habits. Instead, we panicked, and we showed our ugliest side (including hoarding, hysteria, and even violence). 

As a result, we are now living in an artificial shortage caused by our irrational panic. It was funny when it was toilet paper (who poops that much?!), but the present issue is no joke.

Before we over consume gasoline, we ought to consider the people who we may be hurting:

The single mother who can’t make it to work on time — if at all — because she can’t get gas…

-Your loved one whose chronic condition means they need critical care — but they can’t make it…

-The pregnant woman who may not make it to the hospital in time to safely deliver her child…

-The law enforcement officers who have already had to direct out-of-control gas station traffic…

-Your friend, the truck driver, who is having to work dangerous hours to meet our fuel demand…

You might know one of those people; you may even be one. If not, you might be among the countless others who will be negatively affected by a panic-induced gas shortage.

It doesn’t have to be this way. This crisis was caused by our panicked behavior. That means that it can all be fixed if we come together to change that behavior. 

THE CHOICE IS OURS. Please, think of your neighbors before you panic buy.

You might save a life… and you’ll definitely save your sanity!

NOTE: Your neighbors are counting on you. If you see something, say something. The Page County non-emergency number is 540-843-0911. Please only call 911 in case of emergencies. 


Jack “Alex” White III is the Executive Director of the Rural Leadership Initiative and the District 1 Representative on the Page County Economic Development Authority — where he was reported to have been “Virginia’s youngest government official” at the time of his appointment.

Alex is a lifelong native of Page County and graduate of Luray High School.


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