Should You Feel Bad Shopping for Non-Essential Items Right Now?
“A hobby might be considered incredibly helpful to someone suffering stress and anxiety, so for that person, are hobby supplies essential? They could convincingly say yes,” Don Heider, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, tells Reader’s Digest.
“Many goods were manufactured before the pandemic hit, so purchasing now may offer no additional risk to workers,” Heider explains.
But according to Heider, since states and many municipalities have determined that delivery services like the USPS, UPS, and FedEx are essential services, they have, in a way, helped us make our decision. “A judgment has already been made by officials—with the help of health care providers—as to the safety of having folks make deliveries, and if you think about how deliveries are made, it now involves little human contact,” he says. “So with little or no human contact, is ordering something putting anyone at risk?”
“If we all stop purchasing things, we may be participating in cutting people off from employment, putting employers at risk, and jeopardizing the future of businesses,” he says. “Purchasing things, essential or non-essential, will help keep people employed, help keep the economy strong, and allow people to pay rent and buy groceries themselves.”
Don Heider, executive director, quoted in Reader's Digest.