Friday, March 18, 2011

Pass the Salt, Please

I'm glad I bought salt last week, because there's none to be had right now. Normally 1Y per small bag, prices have risen to 10Y for the same amount. Security guards had to be brought in at little grocery stores nearby, because people were fighting over the small stocks available.

Why? Reasons are mixed. Some say it's because they believe the iodide in salt can be used as a substitute for iodide tablets, but from reports we've heard, it would take somewhere between 80-250 tablespoons of salt to equal one tablet (the tablets are all gone too). My maid said she's heard people think that the salt comes from the sea, and the sea is now contaminated from radiation. She doesn't believe it herself, and said the government is telling them on television not to buy salt. Still, the panic continues.

It reminds me a bit of SARS, when people bought vinegar in mass quantities, thinking it would ward off symptoms. It's such an interesting phenomenon to watch people overreact to crises, basing their decisions not on actual facts, but on rumors. I just hope I don't need salt any time soon.

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