HAVING nothing better to do this week than fiddle about on social media from my sickbed (probably not coronavirus but an infection with a side helping of severe sneezy cold) has had its lighter side.

Reading about Sunday’s utterly predictable two-hour queues to get out of supermarket car parks onto Southampton Road made me feel better about being stuck indoors gulping down antibiotics.

What on earth has got into us?

Salisbury has been named and shamed in the Daily Telegraph as the UK’s no.1 hotspot for loo roll stockpiling.

Apparently orders by local stores are up by a massive multiple of 11.6 as a result.

Why did they ever allow people to hog stuff like this? Why were they so slow to limit purchases? Why this national obsession with loo roll in the first place?

At Waitrose just before the lurgy struck me, I passed a couple glumly pushing their trolley along after what had clearly been a frosty encounter with another customer over hygienic requisites.

The woman was telling her other half in outraged tones: “She had six bottles of hand sanitiser!”

Well, the me-first brigade will do that if they’re allowed, won’t they?

My son, meanwhile, reported a cracking wheeze by the management of Guildford’s Aldi.

They’d stacked a load of multi-packs of mineral water on the floor of the loo roll aisle. Result? Panicky shoppers were piling their trolleys high with bottles, too.

“Do they really think we’re going to run out of water?” he asked. “It’s been raining for about 400 days!”

A slight exaggeration, but that’s the way it feels, isn’t it?

It’s not all selfishness and silliness.

In our road, a neighbour collected residents’ contact details, and asked who’d be available to help anyone housebound by illness. Everyone offered.

If we learn anything from this outbreak, it should be how interdependent we humans all are.

The pandemic’s spread illustrates why our leaders need to think more on a planetary scale and focus less on narrow, national interests. Which in turn should help us tackle the looming, and far greater, disaster of global heating.

Maybe with airlines at a standstill we’ll realise we didn’t need to take quite so many polluting flights, after all?

And perhaps while we’re keeping a grim tally of deaths we could stop flogging weapons and bombing people on the other side of the world for long enough to realise the immense waste of resources, as well as of precious lives, in today’s proxy wars?

Now I began this column by saying what ailed me was probably “not coronavirus”, but I can’t be sure, can I? Few people I know who’ve been poorly recently have been tested.

Isn’t it interesting that when we don’t know what to do, and we need information we can trust, we turn to the BBC?

It’s reported a huge spike in audiences for its news bulletins, on screen, radio and online.

So leave it alone, Boris. Like the NHS, it ain’t perfect, but we’re lucky to have it.

And for even more comprehensive, non-hysterical coverage, I recommend the Guardian’s website.