Some goofy Houston city councilman said this isn’t the zombie apocalypse, mad that his rodeo was cancelled, but it sure looks like it at the grocery store.
I’m from Illinois, and we’ve had some COVID-19 cases, but Illinois isn’t the worst hit state by any mean. As I write this, I’m reading that Illinois has 46 confirmed cases, not that anyone is being tested.
However, even in Illinois, hoarding is a real problem. I went to a grocery store in the northern suburbs of Chicago this morning and the shelves looked oddly empty, oddly because some of the strangest things are gone. I understand cleaning supplies and cold/flu medicines, but also in short supply, Eggo frozen waffles and French toast and Dole mixed fruit in the little plastic containers. The only frozen vegetables available were too high for me to reach and available was a whole lot of of riced cauliflower proving nobody likes that stuff.
I managed to get some, but they were low of cat litter. Pasta, mostly gone. Peanut butter, on the way to being gone. And of course, still no toilet paper.
I’m thinking about getting a bidet attachment to my toilet but I can’t figure out how that eliminates the use of toilet paper when you’re left all wet.
Here’s my favorite quote on the TP shortage:
There is not some big underground warehouse like in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ where there is all this toilet paper sitting around in case it is needed,” said Dan Clarahan, president of United Converting, which sells manufacturing equipment to tissue companies.
Good thing Illinois legalized marijuana because I’m pretty sure that my bagger was stoned. I can’t blame him. The cashier seemed a cheery sort of the not high variety. She was so busy that I didn’t stop to ask her if it was interesting seeing what people purchase to get them through, but waiting in the long line, I looked around to see for myself.
The man in front of me was a hoarder. He had multiple gallons of Sunny Delight and freely used to store’s hand sanitizer every few minutes. The man was buying a lot of bottled water. Last time I checked, our faucets were still working, but I guess you never know. Bottled water guy also had tons of the gourmet kind of potato chips.
Still on the shelves in abundance, bananas, plums, cereal bars, meat, celery. I went for a package of 5 chicken legs, some ranch mix to cook the chicken with, a couple of different varieties of riced cauliflower, milk for my dad, yogurt (they only had coconut and lemon in the brand I like but otherwise had an abundant supply), one of the last Swiss cheese packages available, and a family sized box of Honey Nut Cheerios.
I didn’t hoard and I don’t think we have to hoard anything at all. There’s plenty of stuff available if we all keep our heads, even if there isn’t a big “Raiders of the Lost Ark” warehouse for it. And, there are plenty of home delivery services. If you can’t find one in your area, start one. There will be many people, unemployed or temporarily furloughed as business slows from closures and fear, available for making deliveries.
When I was a kid, we used to hear about grocery and dry goods shortages in Russia. Just sayin’.
UPDATE on my query about how long COVID-19 may last on an inanimate objects like an android or elevator buttons. The real true answer is that nobody knows. There’s a recent study but it’s still waiting for peer review. Look out for the answer, if they come up with one, in a future edition of The New England Journal of Medicine. Everything else you’re reading is speculation. And don’t forget, anything like that depends on a lot of other factors like your general health, your mucous secretions, and external conditions like temperature, sunshine and humidity.
THOUGHT: Could it be that the administration made Pence the coronavirus czar so we get used to seeing him because Trump will be retired by his own party shortly?
UPDATE: Illinois now reports 64 confirmed cases.