Sun. Mar. 1, 2020 – time marches on

Cool, chance of rain in the national forecast.

Beautiful day yesterday. Just awesome. Clear, relatively cool, and fairly dry.

I got some stuff done in the driveway before losing the light.

Before that, I was out foraging and getting stuff from my secondary location with my 10 yo. It gave us a lot of time to talk about preps. She’s anxious, and I hoped that by showing her the depth of prepping I’ve done, she’d be reassured. It’s the first time I’ve shared the extent of some of my preps with anyone. My wife doesn’t go anywhere near my secondary location. It made the whole thing very real to be showing someone stuff I hadn’t before, and making her aware of stuff that even my wife doesn’t completely know about.

And while I feel better about our ability to live through a ‘shelter in place’ or lockdown, the vast majority of people will be in real trouble pretty quickly. Unlike a hurricane, there isn’t anyone coming from outside the zone. It’s really a question of shifting from a mindset and expectation of abundance to one of resource constraints. If it all goes to hell, we’re just not getting more stuff for a while.

I know that US citizens and illegals will not calmly undergo the kind of restrictions Chinese are suffering from. The FSA will be out in force by the third day with empty stores. The fires will start soon after that, and it won’t be irregular .gov squads burning plague houses. No one here will be welding shut apartment building doors. We’ve got guns.

My daughter is really struggling with the idea that we probably won’t be helping anyone and that her friends likely aren’t prepping. I keep emphasizing that they’ve had the same opportunities we had, and made different choices. And that every thing we give away decreases our ability to survive. We’ve also talked about when and how we COULD help people and that I have put up stuff specifically for that. She gets it that we can’t help everyone, and that all of our stuff will vanish in minutes if we tried, and then we’d have none and most of the people would STILL not have anything. But she’s really worried about her friends. I am too, but for different reasons. I know she’s mentioned our prepping before. I’m worried they’ll remember. She is under orders not to talk about it anymore, and I think she understands how dire it could get.

It’s a lot for a 10yo to deal with but I need her to both cooperate, and understand why she can’t talk about it.

—-

There’s always more to do.
-make sure all the propane tanks are full
-get the adapter to refill 1 pound tanks from BBQ tanks– ordered
-barring that, get more 1 pound tanks
-many of my coleman fuel cans were empty when I checked on them. I need to add more cans.
-potting soil for the garden and lime for a slit trench
-all the gennies need attention
-stored gasoline needs to be increased
–which means more sta-bil additive too
-I’ve used the concrete blocks I had for a rocket stove to hold up my rain water barrels, so they need to be replaced.
-I pulled the trigger on an outdoor propane tankless water heater. $109 on amazon. Also another morakniv

Daughter was concerned about hot water if utilities fail. I’ve been looking at the heater for a year, and if everything is normal, it will be welcome at swim team practices in a month or two. Bought.

Think through your day under quarantine and consider your preps. So far in China utilities seem to have stayed up. We should be able to do the same, but if we can’t, it’s better to have a plan.

Keep stacking. We have community transmission in more than one place in the US. Everywhere in the world that they start testing they find cases. Even very casual contact seems to spread this (vis. google employee in Zurich.) If it gets into a group it can spread like wildfire (vis. Korean church group) Our ‘leaders’ seem to be intent on bringing this to all of us. All that combined, and we’re in for a world of hurt.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

48 thoughts on “Sun. Mar. 1, 2020 – time marches on”

  1. There were no gallon jugs of plain bleach at the store when I went shopping last night. There were several small bottles of “fragrance” bleach. It could be panic buying or just coincidence of when I was there. They were out of plain yogurt too.

    The local newspaper has finally moved the coronavirus stories to the front page, above the fold. The local “it can’t happen here” people (yes, many people have said those actual words to me when I mentioned being “prepared”) are glancing around nervously and playing catchup.

    I need to do some inventorying and organizing. Double check what and how much I actually have at the moment.

  2. From Aesop’s comments–

    Anonymous nick flandrey said…

    A quick check of amazon for freeze drieds, and everything I looked at was out of stock.

    When I did a more general search, and wasn’t just looking at their “also bought” or recommended, I did find meals available but ship times were “usually one to two MONTHS”.

    So I’m comfortable saying that most of the FD food on amazon is effectively sold out.

    I wonder if it is .gov agencies gearing up, or ordinary folks?

    n

    nick flandrey said…

    “I doubt the .gov is buying FD food from Amazon”

    –Nope I don’t think that, I think .gov may be getting in line with the suppliers before it gets to the resellers. The delay in shipping time means the resellers don’t have any and don’t think they’ll get any but would still like your money to hold your place in line…

    The MH website shows Sold Out on everything.

    Augason Farms site says everything is selling out, so they’re only making the most requested and they are showing one to two months for “processing” of orders. They are still showing “in stock” on a number of kits, ground meat and egg products, and bulk staples. I don’t know if they will actually ship “in stock” items or if they will take the 2 months.

    nick

  3. They were out of plain yogurt too.

    Yogurt cups without fruit on the bottom have been in short supply for a while, well before the virus. The quality of the HEB brand has been way off — we’ve decided that we’re going to start returning the runny cups whenever we open one.

  4. Funny that no one asks why you have fire extinguishers when the house isn’t burning, or why you buy life insurance while you are still alive….

    n

  5. The quantity of baby wipes being sold in these videos is kinda scary. Many people flush those without thinking about the long term affect on the sewer systems.

    I just saw an article on the new kinds of robots being developed to go into sewer systems and remove the baby wipe blobs.

  6. The quantity of Lysol as well. It not like they are going to carry a can everywhere and spray everything before touching it…

  7. The quantity of Lysol as well. It not like they are going to carry a can everywhere and spray everything before touching it…

    Wanna bet? It is too bad that Saturday Night Live is too woke for real satire.

    My wife has seen articles about people getting hooked on hand sanitizer, and I remember my partner at the Death Star always had a bottle going after SARS and H1N1.

  8. Time was, you could follow someone around work and disinfect everything he touched, solely to annoy him. Now if you do that, someone will thank you for getting ahead of any possible disease. -sigh-

  9. Just got home form church and brunch. Went into one store. All was normal. Went by several gas stations, normal for a Sunday morning; the lowest price place was normal. Glanced at the Super Walmart and Albertson’s grocery store parking lots. Both looked normal.

    We are an isolated town. The nearest major town is 90 miles away. The nearest supply terminal is probably 150 miles away. Isolation is good and bad. We do have a small number of people who travel from here for their work, but very few international travelers; it only takes one. In past widespread disasters, I have not noticed any runs on stores or gas stations.

    We do have a percentage of LDS folks who act as unintentional sources of preps. Just kidding. They are wonderful people, especially if they are on your side. Many of them take prepping to a high level, if you get my drift. Bet they have already special meetings. I think they have regular meetings on preparedness. Good for them.

  10. Added. We still have a strong community spirit here. If moderate numbers of miscreants got seriously out of line, I would not be surprised if the community took matters into their own hands. I would also bet that at least some of the local authorities might look the other way. I hope it never comes to this.

  11. Well, home again. Went to the chiropractor. Got some relief.

    Dropped some stuff at Goodwill.

    Couldn’t hit UPS as they are closed on Sun. I thought they were open for at least half day.

    Went to lowes. Got some plants, tomato, onions and peppers. Got 3 gallons of 10% bleach in the pool section. There was a pallet of 3 packs. That’s double the concentration of laundry bleach. No fragrance or other active ingredients. They didn’t have any pool shock that didn’t have extra algicides which is not ok for drinking water. I’d rather have the liquid anyway, and 3 gallons are like 6. Got the concrete blocks I wanted too. Lowes doesn’t even pretend to have masks anymore, there wasn’t even a spot on the shelf for them. I grabbed a couple of extra buckets and gamma lids since I was there.

    The Costco was crazy busy. No carts by the door. The baskets I saw looked like normal shopping but I didn’t go in or look too hard. I avoid the Costco on ‘crazy asian’ day anyway. HEB was busy too, but I didn’t even go into that parking lot.

    My chiropractor was pretty well informed about wuflu and the current situation. He said they’ve been wiping things down more than usual, but he isn’t worried. Spring Break is going to change that.

    I expect that allowing Spring Break to happen will be seen as the height of folly when we look back on this outbreak. And where will I be? WDW in Orlando. And on planes. Because I can’t cancel Christmas.

    n

  12. We’ve had on and off light misty drizzle which is messing with my plans for working outdoors.

    Bugger.

    n

  13. Did some WuFlu shopping at the local Smith’s. Fully stocked. Even had a big display of hand sanitizer sitting out.

  14. Meanwhile, in Venezuela how many $3000 tests do you think they’re paying for???

    n

  15. -make sure all the propane tanks are full

    How many propane tanks would you recommend ?

    I have never had a propane tank driven bbq grill. I have always used charcoal. I do have a propane grill in the original box. Plus two Coleman propane stoves (one at the bug out). And the adapter from the 1 gallon to 1 lb tank for each.
    https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-High-Pressure-Propane-Hose-Adapter/dp/B0009PUQAK/
    and
    https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-2000020943NP-Classic-Propane-Stove/dp/B00005OU9D/

  16. I expect that allowing Spring Break to happen will be seen as the height of folly when we look back on this outbreak. And where will I be? WDW in Orlando. And on planes. Because I can’t cancel Christmas.

    Again, Disney and Publix will know as much as any state official in Florida, and I half joke that things would need to be really bad for that McDonalds near Animal Kingdom to close. I’ve never seen that place shuttered, even during Cat. 2 hurricanes since the parking lot out back is a mustering point for relief operations.

    Disney has intense contingency planning. I’ve been on the receiving end of the process. You may not like where they put you, and amenities may be few. However, you will be safe.

    If you’re still trying to make that 4GB laptop work for travel, I’ve turned my daughter’s surplus 4 GB Inspiron into a decent road machine with Fedora 31 and all of the updates. It will get a serious test in two weeks when we go to — we’re really nuts — New Orleans.

  17. The Real Life Tony Stark’s week just got worse.

    It ‘sploded real good.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYeVnGL7fgw

    I’m surprised Gwynne Shotwell lets that circus continue, but I guess she doesn’t care as long as The Real Life Tony Stark keeps his antics in Boca Chica and out of Hawthorne and KSC.

  18. Idly poking around…. looked at Walmart for “canned meat”. SpaghettiO is way up the list. Not what I would call meat, but.

    Corned beef. Got that, have yet to figure how to use it other than in a sandwich. Sort of.

    Speaking of corned beef, did you know that when you are eleven pushing twelve and so teenage starving hungry you swipe a can from the cupboard and take it to the tree house to eat, that the bone on your index finger is bumpy? Really cool!!! Yeah, sharp edges. I bled like a whatever. Tied a string around my finger and held my arm in the air for what seemed like 3 days. Yeah, had just enough Boy Scouts to know to left the tourniquet loose when parts start turning blue. No scar. And I still like corned beef.
    And one of the craziest things is that I didn’t know much about the F word but I def knew I had really F’d up. I did know “ouch”.

    Spam? Of course. Ditto the Danish hams. Oh, don’t forget turkey Spam…. doesn’t fry well but still tasty.

    Vienna sausage, potted meat? I have some. Might be horrible for me but I like a can of Vienna sausage once in a while. Potted meat is just cheap Underwood spread made with more mysterious stuff.

    Not a fan of seafood. I do like tuna but canned salmon is uh, well, grew up happily eating salmon Dad caught and had canned but a salmon steak at a restaurant made me sick and the smell of the stuff 30 years later…

    I haven’t tried sardines. Maybe the kippered stuff is similar? Once in a great while. Tasty but we just don’t eat the stuff.

    Various kinds of Keystone meats are all good. Store brand canned beef seems to have a lot of broth/gravy which actually makes sense. A small can dumped on some pasta or rice and hey, nice and cheap supper.

    Canned stew? Canned chili? Chicken and Dumplings?

    What’s missing?


  19. How many propane tanks would you recommend ?

    I have a propane grill that has a side burner. The local propane place fills by tank. So a half tank refill costs the same as an empty. I have one empty, one half tank on the grill and seven full under a shade tree.

    It just happened. A grill comes with a tank. Grill craps out, new grill comes with a tank. Work at HEB in the Biz Center and Bubba is moving… for some reason he can take his grill but not his tank…. and thinks the store will buy the exchange tanks back. Uh, no. HEB doesn’t do that.
    But, hey man, I’ll give ya $20 outta my pocket for it. Deal.

    And when the propane place decides your tanks are too old (12 years) you take the tank and exchange it at Walgreens or HEB. The folks doing the exchange generally don’t know. I did know and I had fun with folks exchanging a real old tank.

  20. I like chicken a la king in a can.

    I like the pouch meats from somewhere hispanic in the “mexican” aisle at HEB. There are US pouches too, shredded pork w/ and w/out BBQ sauce.

    No beans chili is a good high meat can.

    I like the Vermont Curry bars for flavoring canned chicken.

    I like the pouch Sweet Sue chicken for convenience but it doesn’t hold up well in storage.

    The asian mart down the way has hotdogs in a can from Denmark.

    n

  21. I’ve got at least 10 BBQ sized tanks.

    One on the grill, one on the smoker, one on the turkey fryer, one on each Mosquito Magnet, 6 in the “ready reserve”. Maybe more than that.

    I get them at yard and estate sales if they are less than $20. It costs me 10 or 11$ to fill them at the local propane filling gas station. Super sketchy area and place, but cheap.

    I ordered the camp shower instant water heater, so I’ll have a tank on that as well.

    and the 1 pound refill adapter I bought should be here tomorrow or Tues. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

    n

  22. WA.

    “As Americans prepared, researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington on Sunday said they had evidence that the coronavirus may have been circulating in the state for up to six weeks undetected – a finding that, if true, could mean hundreds of undiagnosed cases in the area.

    The research was not published in a scientific journal or reviewed by other scientists.

    Trevor Bedford, an associate professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington, said on Twitter late Saturday that genetic similarities between the state’s first case on January 20 and a case announced Friday indicated the newer case may have descended from the earlier one.

    The January 20 case was the first known case in the United States.

    ‘I believe we’re facing an already substantial outbreak in Washington State that was not detected until now due to narrow case definition requiring direct travel to China,’ he said on Twitter.”

    You won’t find what you don’t look for. We’re F’d.

    n


  23. Update (2025ET): A woman who recently traveled to Iran is New York’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday night.

    “There is no cause for surprise – this was expected,” the governor said in a statement.

    “I said from the beginning it was a matter of when, not if, there would be a positive case of novel coronavirus in New York.”

    The Wall Street Journal reports that the woman, who wasn’t named, is in her late 30s and contracted the virus while traveling abroad in Iran.

    —everything’s fine, nothing to see here, move along….. move along.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/we-dont-know-where-will-go-us-australia-thailand-report-1st-coronavirus-deaths-new

  24. I went to the Sugar Land Sam’s Club at 530pm. Usually it is dead at this time and employees are waiting for 6pm to throw everyone out. There was at least 500 people there, all over the place. They did have water but they were out of Charmin and Bounty. In fact, they were totally out of TP.

    I bought canned chicken, canned veggies, and toothpaste. They had plenty of those. I’m sorry but I could not justify buying TP over food. I can wipe my butt with anything but eating is a tough act. Of course, I have a stash of Charmin and Bounty already, just not as much I would like.


  25. Additionally, ABC 7 reports that 2 Bay Area healthcare workers have received a “presumptive positive” from state labs.

    Alameda County Public Health Department and Solano Public Health are reporting that two health care workers are presumptive positive for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); these cases are pending confirmatory testing from the CDC.

    Both cases are NorthBay VacaValley Hospital health care workers and are currently in home-isolation. One is a Solano County resident and the other is an Alameda County resident.

    They were both infected by the “unknown origin” case announced on Friday. They were discovered early, as part of investigators’ efforts to trace the individual’s contacts. Already, about 124 health care workers, including at least 36 nurses, are self-quarantining as we speak.

    The two patients both had exposure to the community-acquired case currently hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. The initial case is slowly recovering and the individual’s family members have negative test results so far and remain in quarantine, officials say.

    Alameda County has declared a state of emergency over the outbreak, joining San Francisco, which declared an emergency early last week. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

    “We understand that the evolving news about COVID-19 is concerning, and we are taking the situation very seriously,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Health Officer, Alameda County Public Health Department. “This news is not unexpected in the Bay Area, and we are ready for cases here. This is not the time to panic; now is the time for all of us to work together.” Dr. Pan said.

    —-absolutely nothing to see. Give us your masks. They won’t work for you anyway, but we need them because they work for us.

    —nice roundup of articles https://www.theepochtimes.com/c-china

    nick

  26. Maybe I won’t be going to WDW after all. Sibling just pinged my wife to see if I’ve decided not to go. So at least she’s thinking about it.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8062287/Miami-treats-coronavirus-outbreak-hurricane-threat-ahead-Spring-Break.html

    My mom usually returns to Chicago in April. I hope she is able to. Part of me wants her to go now, so there’s no question. It’s Chicago, but at least my two siblings are there to help her. I’d hate to have her stuck in FL if there are travel restrictions emplaced.

    n


  27. …one on each Mosquito Magnet…

    Why would you want a mosquito… oh, never mind. <:-l

  28. Not in a panic mode here. Just the usual precautions: handwashing and sanitizer out in public. Masks are not going to help prevent this.

    But no extra purchases of food/gas/etc. Don’t see an end of times scenario here. Just see another type of flu, with quite a bit of media hysteria. Some of it, IMHO, here.

    Good to have supplies, but I’m not buying into the hysteria.

    But, still friends with everyone here.

  29. Augason Farms site says everything is selling out, so they’re only making the most requested and they are showing one to two months for “processing” of orders. They are still showing “in stock” on a number of kits, ground meat and egg products, and bulk staples. I don’t know if they will actually ship “in stock” items or if they will take the 2 months.

    I am sorry but the time to buy Augason Farms was years ago. I have several of them, all bought from http://www.walmart.com . Their website may suck but their prices and inventory are awesome.

    Wow, somebody has even bought all of the 2,940 number ten can stashes for $33,442:
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Augason-Farms-Mega-Emergency-1-Year-Food-Supply-Everyday-Meal-Prep-Large-Groups-20-Person-2-940-No-10-Cans/55292801

    BTW, I have never opened up the beef stew but I am wondering if it really contains beef. That is why I have a stash of canned chicken, both at home and the bug out site.

  30. We do have a percentage of LDS folks who act as unintentional sources of preps. Just kidding. They are wonderful people, especially if they are on your side. Many of them take prepping to a high level, if you get my drift. Bet they have already special meetings. I think they have regular meetings on preparedness. Good for them.

    We used to have friends who were LDS. He left the church and got a girlfriend while working a DOD programming job out of town. She did not like that and divorced him. She kept the four kids and her stash was an amazing amount of peanut butter that she made at the LDS facility in north Houston using free materials. The LDS church closed ranks around her and supported her amazingly. Should things have gotten bad, the rest of the church would have traded her peanut butter for more food.

  31. The problem with all Disaster Management / Businesses Continuance plans is how to decide WHEN to implement the plan. Waiting too long to swing into disaster mode is a common problem. People want to think that things will get back to normal if they just wait a little longer. You have to decide on a trigger and not be afraid to implement the plan when the trigger is tripped. Will you go into self quarantine when a person in your community has the infection, when someone in your church or club gets infected, or when a family member is sick? Do you have a plan? The time to make one was yesterday but it’s still not too late.

  32. @rickh, I sure hope you are right. But I’m not gonna count on it, the same way I can’t count on the hurricane track predictions….

    Not doing anything irrevocable but doing more than normal. Working thru my “it’s coming right for us” and getting close to my “last store run” list.

    My line for pulling into the shell is community transmission in Houston. That might be too late, but my wife agrees on that point. If they close the schools it will be made for us.

    Given the timing, I’m more worried about being in FL in two weeks and the possibility of getting stuck there when it really blows up.

    n

  33. If you’re still trying to make that 4GB laptop work for travel, I’ve turned my daughter’s surplus 4 GB Inspiron into a decent road machine with Fedora 31 and all of the updates. It will get a serious test in two weeks when we go to — we’re really nuts — New Orleans.

    I am heading to an engineering conference in New Orleans in six weeks. I have already paid but cannot find a hotel room. I am thinking about backing out right now, no refund. Especially with the gift that I got from last week’s engineering conference (a cold) and am now suffering with. I may break down and go see the PA at the local Rediclinic tomorrow as I stay away from work for the first time in years.

    The wife is coming home tomorrow. I need to clean the cat box, take the trash out, and wash the dishes. If there are any dishes in the kitchen sink then the wife freaks out. Her father used to beat her when there were any dishes in the kitchen sink. Yes, the same father she is visiting in the nursing home this weekend, why do you ask ?

    I feel comfortable about the amount of food that we have, short term and long term. I am not comfortable with the amount of water that we have. I let our water go down during the move and have not been very good about getting more water. I should have had a pallet delivered to the house, HEB will do that now at the store price plus a modest delivery fee. That is how we get bottled water delivered to the office now.

  34. Given the timing, I’m more worried about being in FL in two weeks and the possibility of getting stuck there when it really blows up.

    I would have plans to rent a vehicle to get back home if needful.

  35. “WHO Encourages Adoption Of “Alternative Greetings” Like The “Elbow Tap” And “Foot Shake” To Fight Coronavirus”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/who-encourages-adoption-alternative-greetings-elbow-tap-and-foot-shake-fight

    This is not as funny as it was before I got my cold at the engineering conference last week shaking hands with 50+ customers and 50+ prospects. I did do the elbow thing with a buddy of mine that graduated from TAMU with me as we were goofing around.

  36. “Climate Skeptic Freeman Dyson Dies at 96”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/02/29/climate-skeptic-freeman-dyson-dies-at-96/

    “I loved reading Dyson’s visionary articles and work, his son George Dyson’s book about Project Orion shows how close Dyson and his fellow scientists came to opening our way to the stars. They developed a known technology space drive with capabilities straight out of science fiction, so powerful yet affordable it could conceivably have propelled a manned mission to Alpha Centauri, or boosted space colonisation efforts by transporting entire cities to other planets or the Asteroid belt.”

    “Project Orion was killed off by President Kennedy, when he signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.”

    I have wondered what happened to the Orion drive.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

  37. “Given the timing, I’m more worried about being in FL in two weeks and the possibility of getting stuck there when it really blows up.”

    I would have plans to rent a vehicle to get back home if needful.

    We drove to Orlando from Austin one year and flew other times. With kids, it is a two day drive. Without kids or just pedal-to-the-medal, ‘don’t stop and spend an hour eating each meal’, it is one day.

    I-10 is boring through the FL Panhandle and really sketchy on the LA side of the LA/AL border, but you can make good time if you are focused. Just pay for the turnpike north from Orlando to I75 at Wildwood and don’t mess around with SR 50.


  38. The LDS church closed ranks around her and supported her amazingly

    As the church did for my mother when she divorced. Along with several times after the divorce. I don’t think she would have done well at all without the LDS church. A lot of churches could learn a lot from the LDS example.

    I-10 is boring through the FL Panhandle and really sketchy on the LA side of the LA/AL border

    Lot of rough road, especially the thump-thump-thump section for several miles. I am also not a fan of that long bridge over the swamp.

    We drove to Orlando from Austin one year and flew other times

    That is a long drive from Austin. From where I live it is 10 hours. I also pay the extortion toll to avoid a much longer drive. Avoided the toll road one year and it added two hours to the journey and a lot of aggravation.

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