At the entrance of the supermarket, a long line formed again, reminding me of the grand scene of queuing for nucleic acid tests in the wind and rain a year ago.
Now that there is another long line to join, how can I not be excited?
Without hesitation, I joined the queue. It doesn't matter what we're queuing for, as the saying goes, "the early bird catches the worm." The wisdom of our ancestors never fails!
I was about to ask the woman in front of me, Niu Erniang, "Teacher Wang, are we more civilized than those city people this time?"
A man in his sixties in front of us, wearing a striped shirt and black-rimmed glasses, with a few strands of white hair but still neat, turned his face and smiled, "Very civilized. Our village has its own style, calm and composed. The supermarket manager just said that civilized queuing ensures that there is no shortage of salt."
Niu Erniang shouted to the front, "Xiuqin, Xiuqin, did you hear that? Teacher Wang praised us for being civilized. We have plenty of salt!" She whispered to Teacher Wang, "She was so anxious that her shorts got wet, and she came out to queue without cooking. Is it necessary?"
Xiuqin, the woman in front, turned her head and said, "If Teacher Wang says so, we can rest assured. Niu Sao, how many packs are you planning to buy?"
Niu Erniang sneered, "How many packs? Are you kidding? I brought two thousand yuan. If I don't buy a few boxes to take back, would I be worthy of Buddha? I also need to send a box to my nephew studying in Shanghai. Young people don't understand anything. Yesterday, he called me and said that fighting for salt is useless and that studying has ruined his brain. Teacher Wang, can you give us a fair answer? If we don't cook dinner and queue for over an hour, is it worth it to buy salt?"
Teacher Wang pushed his glasses and said, "Well, theoretically speaking, this time the Japanese released nuclear wastewater. Once the seawater is contaminated, there will be iodine-131 in the radioactive material, with a half-life of only 8 days. If it is absorbed by the human body, the consequences would be unimaginable. Taking potassium iodide can reduce the absorption of iodine-131. That's the general idea."
Niu Erniang waved her hand, almost hitting me on the head with her basket. "Teacher Wang, you truly deserve to have been a principal. Your knowledge is far superior to those experts who speak in a silly manner on TikTok. You explained it very clearly. So, this matter is already clear. Eating salt can prevent radiation, and preventing radiation means preventing cancer, right?"
An old man next to us nodded, "That's absolutely right. I remember in 2003, I also fought for salt. Many people died back then, and you couldn't even buy a pack of salt in small shops. In the end, we ran out of soy sauce and had to use indigo naturalis in our soup."
Teacher Wang nodded, "That's the idea. Iodized salt contains iodine, although the effect may not be very obvious, it's still better to have it than not. Besides, it's something we eat every day. What's the harm in buying a couple of extra packs at home? It's not like it's going to make a big difference in terms of money. Niu Sao, you have a high income from your job."
Niu Erniang laughed loudly, making my ears buzz. "Xiuqin, did you hear that? The country has given us such good retirement benefits. How can we not buy a few extra packs? Is that fair to Buddha?"
At this moment, a man behind me who looked like a troublemaker kept pushing and gesturing behind him, "Don't squeeze, people at the back! They all think they're snatching something. We're just buying a few packs of salt, not snatching eggs!"
A villager who knew him laughed and said, "Ah Fa, if you don't buy now, you still have time. Go home and have some old wine. We'll have one less person in line."
Ah Fa, bare-chested, patted his stomach and said, "If I drink my mother's old wine and the Japanese poison the water, what's the point of me surviving? Even crabs are too scared to be peeled now."
The villager took over the conversation, "If you don't want to eat, don't eat it for me. This batch of crabs is fine, I guarantee it. The next batch of seafood will probably be affected. Keep your mouth shut and peel a few less crabs, or you might be poisoned by the Japanese."
Ah Fa spat and took out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, throwing one to the villager.
He lit the cigarette, took a puff, and said, "This world is a mess, with viruses and poisoned water. It's hard to live. How can the younger generation manage?"
Smoke came out of his mouth and nostrils as he spoke.
Teacher Wang obviously knew Ah Fa and pointed at him, "Ah Fa, don't talk nonsense. This time, it's clear that the Japanese are targeting our country. They have always been bad people, doing things like killing and arson. Now they're poisoning the sea because they can't stand that our country is better than theirs."
Ah Fa still respected Teacher Wang and gave him a cigarette, but Teacher Wang waved it off.
"I know, I know. It's all things caused by those Japanese devils."
They were having a lively conversation, and my stomach growled with hunger. The line moved forward, and we were already halfway there.
In theory, I neither agreed nor opposed buying salt. Like Teacher Wang said, it's a few yuan for peace of mind.
The loss from a year ago was still vivid in my mind. They said there was sufficient supply of cold medicine, so I confidently stayed at home, only to find out that I couldn't buy a single pill when the situation suddenly worsened. I begged and borrowed a pack of ibuprofen from a friend.
I have to say, that medicine worked wonders. Once I took a pill, the virus disappeared. But it was hard to endure the symptoms. One moment I was hot, the next I was cold, and my whole body ached. So now, does it make sense that iodized salt can protect against radiation? I don't know. But what if it does?
If young people don't learn from this experience, even Buddha won't help them.
Regardless of the type of salt, its purpose, or the experts' opinions, I will always stand with the masses.
Skipping a meal, queuing a few more times, a few yuan for a pack of salt, it's worth the peace of mind.
Luckily, it's salt for radiation protection. If it were sea cucumbers for radiation protection, even Buddha wouldn't be able to help. We can only leave it to fate.
At that moment, the supermarket manager came out and shouted, "Last pack of salt!"
The line fell silent for ten seconds, and then suddenly, there was an explosion, "Grab it!"
With a buzzing sound, people turned into locusts, rushing forward while villagers cursed and pushed.
Rules are meant to be followed when there is strong enforcement.
Teacher Wang's glasses were knocked off in the chaos, "Everyone, don't be chaotic, queue up politely! The supermarket will restock soon!"
Niu Erniang used her shopping basket to cover Ah Fa's head and shouted, "My son studying in college snatched my salt. May Buddha curse him with no offspring!"
Seeing the situation getting out of control, I quickly moved to the side, feeling even more determined that I must continue queuing to buy salt tomorrow.