ration book


Back in World War II, my parents (and yours – or your grandparents) found many items rationed to back the war effort. This included typewriters, gasoline, bicycles, footwear, silk, nylon, fuel oil, stoves, meat, lard, shortening and oils, cheese, butter, margarine, processed foods (canned, bottled, and frozen), dried fruits, canned milk, firewood and coal, jams, jellies and fruit butter. There were ration books that had to be used when some of these items were purchased – and you were allotted so much of different items. Such rationing lasted the entire run of the four-year war. This was all government mandated and administrated. Such a program brought a call of sacrifice from all the citizens, which meant a great deal in why the war ended up the way it did.
Really? Typewriters? Bikes? Nylons? Certainly, there were eyebrows raised and protests launched. You bet – there were seemingly goofy things in that list. In the end, it ALL ended up for the better.
Nonetheless, it was considered the patriotic thing to do – we had to support our boys overseas. It meant giving up some of the things so they could survive, so they could increase the chance that victory would be secured. And it worked.
It wasn’t a socialist plot or a conspiracy to screw the people. It was action deemed necessary to face the crisis at hand. It meant helping each other – it meant being united in the situation at hand – sharing a common purpose.
Let us learn this history lesson – times arise when it is necessary to take actions that require sacrifice in order to protect our own existence. In the 1940s, it was the war. Now, it’s the virus.
So remember those rationed days – there was a clear purpose and benefit then. And even with the questioning and protesting, I think there are enough similarities now to follow through with similar plans.
Let us unite in our efforts to defeat Covid-19. Mask up. Stay home. Shop wisely. Help out where you can. Just like back in WWII and the rationing, its being a good citizen.

(footnote: the list of rationed items comes up from several different sources including WIKIPEDIA and various historical websites.)