Products We Buy Hoping Never To Use During These Covid-19 Times

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    While refilling my emergency kit, scrambling for sanitizer, searching addresses for that Clorox acquaintance, finding suitable masks, realizing bald men should wear hats during Zoom get-togethers and washing veggies as if they were baby bottoms, I realized I’ve bought many things hoping never to use them. Covid-19 purchases and reflection time invited me to inventory my buying history.
    Countries, of course, buy things they hope not to use. At least, I trust nations aren’t clamoring to use weapons of mass destruction, stockpiled as deterrents. Still, I can’t see dropping off old warheads or plutonium in a donation kiosk at a suburban strip mall. Businesses also snap up unwanted assets to eliminate competition.
    I pay for a myriad of insurances: health, house, car, pet, etc. I hope to use none, except for the occasional check-up. Wildfire and earthquake coverages are almost mandatory for some California homeowners who dread their actual use as much as urban dwellers fear having to use their rental insurance. Life insurance is, like my cemetery plot, my personal extended warranty. Then again, I’ve never looked forward to using an extended warranty sold with a new car or refrigerator.
    My zinc lozenges I bought in early March, hoping never to use, might, if I’m fortunate, sit in a medicine chest forever. That’s not the same as the Costco goods I stockpiled before the curtain dropped. Think of purchases and consumption during so-called normal days of yore. Did you buy bandages or medicinal products wanting to use them? I can’t picture telling your pharmacist, “Can’t wait to use this migraine medicine.” Umbrellas bought, hoping for inclement weather? Tire chains because you anticipated the fun of putting them on in a white out? Reading glasses, hoping your eyesight worsens? Pay a lawyer or accountant a retainer because you were looking forward to problems? My fire extinguishers aren’t in my house because I’m anticipating using them any more than I’d buy a new rack of casino chips hoping to use up before an unceremonious exit.
    Your own list? That bigger-sized pair of pants or bathing suit bought as “embarrassment insurance” before vacation? Does that generator sit outside your house because you hope to show off to the neighbors during an electricity black-out? Buy a hangover cure because you revel in the discomfort that demands it? Toilet plungers? Pepper spray? Marine radios? A weapon solely for security? Items in your emergency kits and Go-bags?
    We buy security systems, alarms and locks, but, if we’re sane, we hope they’re never required. We even pay for classes to learn expediencies such as the Heimlich Maneuver we hope never to utilize. Course, many students take, and presumably somebody pays for, math, hoping they’ll never have to bust out. And speaking of youngsters, sharing lists might really get your attention: A college senior smiled when I asked what she buys but hopes never to use, blushed a bit, and offered, “Plan B.”

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