So here we are. COVID-19 cases on the rise in Amarillo, all the way to the point where they've actually updated the color chart moving us to orange.

In case you don't remember what that orange level is, and it's ok because it's been awhile, this is the level where we're supposed to be putting limits on social gatherings, stay within the community and limit how much you travel and places you visit within the city.

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I've got plenty I could say about all this, but I'll refrain. Long story short, we just got out of the 4th of July holiday which naturally brings on large gatherings of people together. Naturally we were going to see a spike. Whether this is related to that or not isn't for me to answer.

What I can tell you is this...if we get to red, we run the risk of going back into lockdown. I'm a planner by nature, but that first lockdown threw me WAY off my planning game. By the time I reacted to it, the grocery stores were starting to get wiped clean of things, and some of them perplexing. I won't get caught out in the wind this time though. We've been here, done that. So here's a few things to think about slowly starting to grab when you hit the store, even if you don't need it at this very moment.

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TOILET PAPER

To this day, I still don't understand the massive rush on toilet paper. I understand, we all need it...but how much toilet paper do you actually use and how fast do you rip through it? Remember seeing those pictures of people filling up beds of pickup trucks with nothing but toilet paper? Only way you could find it at one point was in the aftermarket where people were selling 4 roll packs for $20 a pop...and getting it. Let's not get to that point if there's a next time. If you're in the store doing you bi-weekly shopping, grab yourself a big pack of it and move along. If 2 rolls of toilet paper gets used faster than a couple months, you may think about changing your diet or at the minimum using a little less paper each trip to the restroom.

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WATER

I understand the need for having water on hand to drink, it's essential to life. Similar to the toilet paper though, people taking full pallets of water like they were getting ready to have a youth sports fundraiser raised my eyebrow. Our residences have water, and while it may not taste the best, it's not like it's undrinkable. We live in Amarillo, not Flint, Michigan (where I would totally understand a rush on bottled water). Maybe now is a good time to look into getting some kind of water filtration system to slap on your tap. They really aren't that expensive and will pay for itself before the year is over.

Credit: Magone

MEAT

Ok, this one didn't really surprise me. We all need food to eat, good food to eat. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, then this one didn't really affect you. For meat eaters like myself though, it's an essential part of our diet and meals. You don't realize how much you take it for granted until something like this happens. I had never in my life seen a section of food so empty, and I have been in snowstorms that dropped 2+ feet of snow that shut down the city for numerous days. If it was meat, it was gone...and fast. Look, it freezes pretty well for a good amount of time. Maybe we grab an extra pack of ground beef or a couple extra chicken breasts the next few times we go shopping. It'll pile up quicker than you think.

All that said, do I think we're headed towards another lockdown? I'd say the chances are pretty slim, but I never say never. If it happens though, let's not all get caught with our proverbial pants down this time around.

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