Sat. Mar. 14, 2020 – slightly sicker, still moving

Hotter and damp.

It got up into the 80s yesterday and was humid too.

AC guy coming this am to see what we can do about the frozen coils. We’ve known for a while that the system needed to be replaced. And now we might just be F’d…

I don’t want any strangers in the house. Certainly not a guy or guys that have been in other people’s houses. If we can just add freon outdoors, I’m going for that. No way do I want a rip and replace in the middle of an isolation. Dammit this is the second thing to bite me in the last couple of weeks. On the other hand, I don’t want a failure NEXT week either. Next week is a whole lot riskier.

More money going out too. Good thing I married well.

I’m going to see if this guy (from the neighborhood and recommended) can hook up the gennie too. Better one guy than 6.

Once again the moral of the story is fix things when you see that they need fixing.

Went to bed with the beginnings of a sore throat. I’m going to increase the Tamiflu to the twice daily “you’re sick” dose per my Dr. On top of the other stuff the Dr has me on for the issue I wanted fixed, I’m feeling a bit off.

Kids seem to be feeling better.

More updates throughout the day.

Start sorting your stack, work on your environment, think about your garden, polish your ammo… start working on physical security. Stay home!

nick

63 thoughts on “Sat. Mar. 14, 2020 – slightly sicker, still moving”

  1. We have restricted excursions outside Casa Combs to absolute minimum. I still have to fill ATMs but dont have direct personal contact. I now wear gloves and wipe the machines before touching. Still renewing perishables (milk, vegies) from local sources but wearing protection and washing them carefully. Only 2 reported cases in the state so far but I know there’s a lot more. Like dark matter, it’s out there we just can’t see it. Wife’s dialysis center has instituted mandatory face masks and gloves for all patients and visitors. This is hard on the wife who has claustrophobia.
    I realized that while we are pretty well prepared in terms of consumables, I haven’t sorted out my armory since the move. I don’t have my tactical firearms in ready condition, they were all carefully packed for the move. That needs to be addressed.

  2. All Alabama schools closed beginning next Thursday thru the end of the month. I’m glad my son is high school age.

    I’m at work this morning – making up a couple hours so I don’t have to burn PTO. I might stop by Costco to see what it’s like. If it looks normal, I’ll go in and see if they have any chicken. My wife stopped at Publix yesterday evening, and they were completely out of fresh chicken. I have canned chicken, of course, but it’s not quite the same…

    I’m also going to start bringing my work laptop home every day. I have the feeling we will be getting a work from home order this week.

  3. Without universal testing we can only count the cases we become aware of. That’s true everywhere but Korea, so the numbers should still be useful.

    BTW, the US has been MORE than doubling every 3 days, if you are more careful with the math than I have been. I put part of that down (most of it) to increased testing.

    My sore throat is a bit better today. I’ve added airborne to my regimen and I was cleaning yesterday- playing in leaf mold and tree pollen- so I’m hoping the sore throat was related to that.

    Europe should be well into their day and numbers should be coming in. Spain is the focus today with Germany in the wings.

    Need to get kids fed.

    n

  4. I’m at work this morning – making up a couple hours so I don’t have to burn PTO. I might stop by Costco to see what it’s like. If it looks normal, I’ll go in and see if they have any chicken. My wife stopped at Publix yesterday evening, and they were completely out of fresh chicken. I have canned chicken, of course, but it’s not quite the same…

    The shame of it is that a lot of the fresh food, bought in a panic in the last few days, will get thrown out next week. People don’t cook anymore, restaurants are still open, and the garages around me don’t have room for freezers.

    At least canned food can go into food bank drives. I would be willing to bet most of the households on my street couldn’t cut a whole fresh chicken if their lives depended on it, and we don’t live in a fancy area with new houses filled with CA transplants and/or wealthy families from The Subcontinent.

    Things still seem normal. When I got home last night, the prennial recipient of the HOA’s “Yard of the Month” award was blowing all the leaves off of his grass and into the street, making them into someone else’s problem.

    When Publix does get “fresh” chicken back in the meat section, scrutinize it carefully and return it if the finished product is subpar. That “customer is always right” return policy is there to keep the store and department managers honest.


  5. People don’t cook anymore

    That’s it. We average eating dinner out once a month. Maybe. It’s a combination of time, value for your money, and quality. My wife is a good cook. Restaurant food is generally not worth what you pay for it. I also don’t want to head out and spend another hour or more away from home after work. It helps that the wife and I don’t care about being out and seen. Another factor is my diet. Being strict low carb limits my choices. I can eat something almost anywhere, but to get a meal and not waste half of the food is challenging.

    I do buy lunch once a week from a local quick service place. They have a salad that is fantastic. Other than that, I bring my lunch from home every day as well.

  6. As our community and school commitments have increased we find ourselves grabbing food from elsewhere more often. Friday or Saturday pizza has become a thing for us. If we grab fast food, it’s only because of over scheduling and not having the time or energy to cook, even something simple.

    I’ve been working with the kids on the economics of it so they understand that we could eat three steak dinners for the cost of one McDonalds dinner.

    HVAC guy will come by this morning. He may be able to just add freon and not enter the house. I’ll offer him booties and a mask if he does. He’s aware the kids have regular flu.

    I may offer him booties from my stock if he intends to keep working. I have lots and don’t intend to use them.

    Today’s FL numbers show them right on track with my doubling predictions. I’ll be sharing that with family, not to gloat, but to encourage them to take my other advice seriously.

    @everyone, please don’t let my incredulity that some of you are not prepped keep you from commenting on whatever you find. Your status is an important data point and reference against the general population.

    n

  7. Well, I have to go out today and find a refrigerador. I read Apple has closed it’s stores. I wonder when Home Depot, Best Buy, etc., will do the same. I ordered a Casper mattress from Amazon for delivery next week. I hope it makes it.

    I’ll check the local HEB today to see wut’s up. I’m staying with my daughter right now. I’ll set up the air bed today at the house for my first night there. She gave me a cylinder of Chlorox wipes as a house warming gift.

    I have water filters and enough canned for for a month, so I’ll be staying in a lot. The local HEB had shelf stable food (Dinty Moore in a tray) so I got some of those. Brought all my hand shoosters and promptly threw them in the River Walk. How will I keep mofo’s from stealing my food? I brought two vicious doxies with me. Plenty of books on the Kindle. Oh, yeah, got to get an Apple TV today. Brought my Mac Mini to serve the Apple TV with hundreds of movies and TV shows on the external Drobo Mini drive.

    Unfortunate timing for a move to SA. The family decided I would be the advance party, so I brought all my comfort hobby stuff. I have no problem eating out of a pan with my titanium spork for month.

  8. Well, HVAC guy (neighborhood guy with social ties to our Rec Assn) came by. Added a couple of pounds of R22. We were 30psig low. Leak is very slow as we were topped up 2 years ago.

    He can see oil on the coil so that is where the leak is. If the increase in system pressure doesn’t blow it out, we should be good for at least this season.

    And he did it pro bono. Wouldn’t even take a box of masks as a tip. Hooray for meatspace.

    Also, hooray for AC. Mr Carrier should be a Saint.

    n

  9. All retailers (ALL brick-and-mortar and online) need to immediately institute a no return policy on all the products the profiteers and hoarders have bought up (e.g. toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, etc.) so that they are stuck. Amazon, eBay, and Walmart have started to removed/ban/block the profiteers.

  10. @Mratoz, if you’ve got a titanium spork, with your super seekrit ninja skilz you should be able to defend your property handily, without those icky gubs….. and the doxies are a potent bioweapon against the right targets. If your robbers are pre-K you should be fine… at least until they get tired of being licked.

    So many of us here have just moved I wonder how that matches with the gen pop?

    n

  11. The knock on effects of losing 15% of seniors would be world changing.

    In china, it’s possible they lower their average age, decrease the burden of healthcare, and maybe even encourage people to have kids. As well as releasing a bunch of estate money into the economy.

    Japan could emerge reinvigorated too.

    The whole world could end up like in John Ringo’s alien invasion series, the maple syrup books, younger, more vigorous, smarter, and wealthier.

    It makes you think about bioweapons and desperation, if one had a planning horizon measured in decades instead of quarters…. It begs the question of how the ruling class thought to keep from getting it themselves.

    n

  12. II can’t believe anyone in .UK.gov is serious about this.

    You know that The Independent is effectively a KGB (or whatever they call themselves these days) propaganda sheet, right?

    The Left in Britain got their a**es handed to them on a plate recently and Labor will be out of power for a very long time. “BoJo” has the same problem as the Orange Man, even when he appeases them with things like the asinine IC engine ban.

    The virus has not stopped the media games. Why would you assume that these outlets suddenly became paragons of journalistic virtue?

  13. Fell back asleep after my first post, awoke at 9am to thunderstorms. Chilly and wet today, easy to convince the munchkin not to go to the park. Perfect day for shelter inside.
    I went to the garage to check on our backup, backup freezer. Haven’t used it since the move. Yuck. Mold around the door seal needs be scrubbed and the interior rubbed with bleach water. Not my idea of fun but productive. This house came with a freezer in the pantry but we have now filled it with meats and can use the extra capacity.
    The icemaker in the fridge died last week. I followed the troubleshooting techniques of a number of YouTube videos and it seems really dead. No power. So I am pouring bagged ice into the bin so the wife can get crushed ice from the door. She was raised by her grandparents in a literal log cabin with wood burning stove, ice box, and no running water, but now she throws a fit if crushed ice doesn’t magically flow from the fridge door.

  14. “amazon, eBay, and Walmart have started to removed/ban/block the profiteers.”

    — amazon and ebay did so last week. The result is no masks available at ANY price. Ditto sanitizers.

    My POV is, no one needs a mask, .gov told us so. Hand sanitizer isn’t effective against CV, and is a poor second to hand washing, .gov told us so. Bleach hasn’t been even mentioned by .gov yet.

    So if no one needs the stuff, how can it be gouging? and what is .gov’s legit interest? Amazon and ebay profited from the sales too. No one’s telling them to forgo their profit on those sales are they? Where is the class action suit to force them to return profit to everyone who searched for the items and then didn’t buy them or wasn’t able to? Hmmm?

    No one here should have any interest in this other than general, because everyone here had LOTS of time and notice to get ready. Everyone who is desperate to buy stuff that won’t even help them according to TPTB had the same opportunity to buy it early and ensure their own supply. CDC’s been shouting about pandemic for years. There are billboards along the interstate highways throughout the midwest about it FFS, and have been for years.

    The difference between “stocking up” and “hoarding” is mainly one of intent, and that is hard to determine. My personal feeling is if you have it to keep someone else from having it, or you have it but don’t have any reasonable need now or future to have it, or you have more than it’s possible for you to use (even considering ‘stone soup’ or community help, or a very long timeline, then you are probably hoarding that thing.

    I’m very wary of declaring it hoarding though. That is the first step toward confiscation, and our whole legal system is built on protecting the individual from the group, and the sanctity of PRIVATE property. Break that and you’ve broken it all, and people will start stacking BODIES.

    nick

  15. @Nick. UK not quite as sensationally noted in your link. Yes, government is seeking to achieve ‘herd immunity’, but not at any cost. Aim is to manage peak of serious cases to within the limits of our health service. We may, in time, find this was (or was not) a good approach, but it is lead by our Chief Medical Officer, and I follow the logic. I personally don’t believe we know a ‘right’ approach and am ok with taking this one.

  16. “You know that The Independent is effectively a KGB (or whatever they call themselves these days) propaganda sheet, right? ”

    –trial balloon, battlespace preparation, or ‘moving the overton window’, call it whatever, but if they say it, someone is thinking about it privately or out loud.

    –there is a class at the top that thinks they are immune to the bad effects of their actions. There is a class at the bottom that embraces the bad effects of their actions. All the rest of us will get squeezed in the middle, unwilling to risk consequences to taking needed actions.

    n

  17. thanks paul for the perspective. There is always a factor of exaggeration in any reporting that should be discounted.

    The WHO and CDC have both stated publicly that AT BEST they hope to move the peak later in the year, said delay helping in a number of ways. The earlier you start, the more leverage you have. After a point, only brute force works at all, see also China…

    n

  18. If the story really reflects uk.gov plans, then I guess we’ll see the result of running that experiment. If the people will let it run. At least we’ll get an answer to the million death question- do you get immunity or do you get SDDS?

    n

  19. @paul, in the US I’d be wondering about the Chief Medical Officer, how and why they got the job, and whether or not their goals aligned with mine.

    In the US, that would be political, someone with more experience with bureaucracy than actual medicine, and likely a diversity token.

    n

  20. In the US, that would be political, someone with more experience with bureaucracy than actual medicine, and likely a diversity token.

    I’d say, “What’s this about Jocelyn Elders?”, but that freak show went way beyond politics.

  21. FEMA is moving up their readiness posture. More states under full activation. More states are partly activated.


    Here’s a graphic from their daily briefing.

    IMAT is incident management assistance team
    NRCC is National Response Coordination Center
    FDRC is Disaster Recovery Coordinator is a focal point for incorporating recovery and mitigation considerations into the early decision making processes.
    RRCC- Regional Response Coordination Centers operate within each of the ten FEMA regional offices around the nation.


  22. My personal feeling is if you have it to keep someone else from having it, or you have it but don’t have any reasonable need now or future to have it, or you have more than it’s possible for you to use (even considering ‘stone soup’ or community help, or a very long timeline, then you are probably hoarding that thing.

    You probably didn’t intend to include museums and collectors. They preserve things that might otherwise be lost to society. I have always admired those who preserve society’s relics. Just about everything can be preserved to be appreciated by future generations.

  23. “You probably didn’t intend to include museums and collectors”

    –nope I didn’t but I’m sure there are those within the museum community who consider other museums “hoarders” if they have a bunch of some artifact the other museum wants but can’t get.

    which points out that hoarding is mostly in the eye of the beholder.

    Like art and porn, “I’ll know it when I see it.”

    n

  24. oh my, people are starting to speak up

    “‘I’m concerned when I hear a neighbor or a friend say that they’re planning to go to a kid’s swim meet in three weeks or going on vacation next week.

    ‘No — we’re about to experience the worst public health epidemic since polio,’ he said starkly.
    ‘Don’t believe the numbers…There are probably 25 to 50 people who have the virus for every one person who is confirmed.
    Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins University

    The estimate of how many more people are going to become infected ranges wildly but congress’s doctor has said as many as 150million people may become infected, and Johns Hopkins says as many as 10million may need to be hospitalized because of it.”

    — and the understatement of the year….

    “‘This is going to be a fairly tremendous strain on our health system,’ Dr. William Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said. “

    Dr. Gabriel Cade of Blue Ridge Regional said: ‘We’ve got to expect that this is going to be bad. The situation in Italy is a huge eye-opener.’
    Trump tweeted on Saturday that he would be attending meetings in the White House all day

    Trump tweeted on Saturday that he would be attending meetings in the White House all day

    A ‘moderate’ outbreak could result in 200,000 patients needing intensive care, Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency medicine specialist at George Washington said.

    ‘The U.S. only has 100,000 intensive care beds, and most are already occupied. If tens of thousands become sick at once, people will simply not receive the care that they need,’ she said.

    —almost the first time I’ve seen that statement in the general press.
    –the statement that most are already full, bold doesn’t work inside of blockquote

    n

  25. “Vancouver is also partially activating its Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate its response efforts and is participating in a Joint Information Center established by the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency.”

    –hoooboy, if they’re just now getting around to that, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of their EMgmt…

    n

  26. –hoooboy, if they’re just now getting around to that, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of their EMgmt…

    The decision to leave Vantucky was unilateral, me stating to my wife “I’m done” and going strictly on gut instinct about the place.

    Austin is the compromise. We’re here until the youngest gets out of high school.

    Last year’s Measles epidemic *starting (in part) in the waiting room my my wife’s former office* was my “Get Out Of Jail For Free For Life” card about the decision.

    I grew up in Florida in a town run by the Klan, but I’ve never seen anything as bass ackwards as Clark County, WA and the Southwest corner of the state in general. Though, I still believe it is a look at what all of America will inevitably be like within my lifetime.

    I will concede that the lessons from the Measles epidemic probably stuck. That and the county has been extremely lucky.

  27. only had to scroll down 7 replys to get to “climate change” and “rejoin the EU”….

    The clip does start with ‘debate about … perhaps we could take it on the chin’ so maybe not advocating for that, just listing options.

    n

  28. Installed two new electrical outlets in the RV. An additional one was placed under the bench seat at the table. One was already there but was in an inconvenient location with anything plugged in getting bumped by feet. Put the second outlet on the other side of the partition. That will be used for the powered recliners we ordered.

    Took out the love seat that converts to a bed. We will never use that bed and really does not fit an adult. That will be replaced by the two recliners. The recliners will be more useful to the wife and I.

    Tedious working in the RV. Tight quarters in many places. The veneer used is really thin and the space in the walls is really narrow. In the process found some stuff that was assembled in what I would call a decent way. So resolved some of those issues.

    Off to Pigeon Forge with the RV next week. Reserved weeks ago. Now everything is closed that we were going to do. RV park will not refund our deposit so we are going anyway. May just go hike in the Smokies, Cade’s Cove and a couple other places. Movies on the iPad for the evenings.

  29. Texas is still showing only 50 cases. It’s been stuck on fifty for days. NO WAY is that accurate, especially when I’m hearing from medical people out in it that the real number is much higher.

    Italy zoomed past 20k, and the curve is smooth. I’m putting the stall at 17.6k in the ‘reporting artifact’ column.

    @ray, my wife and I were having a similar discussion wrt some acquaintances. To whit, should you cancel if you are going to be by yourself somewhere.? My only contribution to the question is, where will you gas up? eat? etc? If you can maintain isolation while moving and after getting there, then I don’t see a reason not to. I’d watch carefully for any hint of internal movement restrictions though, and at even the mention of the possibility I’d head home.

    n

  30. @Greg – This is what’s known as a “bear trap”

    1300 miles? I have no sympathy for the guy. Retail arbitrage of Nintendo systems (my guess as to what he previously bought/sold) is one thing, but to strip mine whole communities of Purell is questionably-ethical gambling, pure and simple. His roll came up snake eyes this time. I don’t see the difference between that and buying TSLA.

    Post Katrina, many states in The South have enacted anti-gouging laws which physical stores must deal with or face lawsuits. On top of that is the increasing problem of what communities are left with in terms of retail once WalMart closes the downtown and moves on. Dollar General/Family Dollar stores are often the last resort, and they’ll frequently demand tax concessions to remain profitable.

    After the Dollar General store fails, there isn’t much left. Some places, like this town in Florida, get creative, but, the right personnel were in the right place. Plus the jury still isn’t back on the experiment.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/11/22/baldwin-florida-food-desert-city-owned-grocery-store/

  31. BTW, I agree that stripping stores bare to resell is ‘not cool.’

    I left masks on the shelf at Habitat both times I went in.

    I handed a woman one of the lysol packs I got the last day at Costco.

    n


  32. All retailers (ALL brick-and-mortar and online) need to immediately institute a no return policy on all the products the profiteers and hoarders have bought up

    In place in Oz instituted by the 3 main grocery chains about a couple of weeks ago after people started going crazy on toilet paper followed by rice, pasta and canned fish. First reaction was to put a limit on quantities and that was introduced in sliding scales. First limit was four and that followed by 2 and 1. at about the 2 limit time they also introduced the no returns policy. Sensible reaction.

    The craziness on Toilet paper still continues with retailers asking manufacturers for smaller packages.

  33. I’m very wary of declaring it hoarding though. That is the first step toward confiscation, and our whole legal system is built on protecting the individual from the group, and the sanctity of PRIVATE property. Break that and you’ve broken it all, and people will start stacking BODIES.

    Don’t show up on my driveway grabbing my stash. I will protect it and my family. If I want to share with somebody, I will and have done so many times.

    ADD: I haven’t moved the TP into the safe yet but, I am thinking about it.

  34. The UK (English, as there are in fact four) Chief Medical Officer is not a political appointee, he is in fact a Professor and a Consultant Physician – a member of the UK Civil Service.

  35. “A person who is not working at their usual job because of the coronavirus can be said to be on coronavacation.”

    “Peter Wezeman
    anti-social Darwinist”

  36. @Greg
    Perhaps you missed my point. A “bear trap” catches those who bet there are greater fools who think the end is near, the end is nearer!

  37. “And now for something completely different”
    Off topic, sort of.
    Self quarantining will lead to idle time.
    I’m currently listening to a concert from 1995 with Itzak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma.
    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Concerto for Piano, Violin, Violoncello and Orchestra in C major, op. 56

    Wow. My mom was a concert violist, and this brings tears to my eyes.

    “The Digital Concert Hall now free for everyone
    The Philharmonie is closed – so we will come to you! Redeem the voucher code BERLINPHIL by 31 March and receive free access to all concerts and films in the Digital Concert Hall.”

    https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/home

  38. Self quarantining will lead to idle time.

    I self quarantine in my office most days. With the cold that I have had for the last three weeks (finally almost gone), nobody wants to hang with me.

    The wife binge watched “Picard” over the last couple of days, working from home and unboxing precious stuff. She gives it a hearty two thumbs up.

  39. Perhaps you missed my point. A “bear trap” catches those who bet there are greater fools who think the end is near, the end is nearer!

    The end isn’t near. If nothing else, the Daily Mail needs to recoup the settlement that they were forced to pay the Trump family in 2017 so the clicks gotta keep flowing. The publisher is probably hoping for another lawsuit.


  40. My only contribution to the question is, where will you gas up? eat? etc?

    Enough gas in the truck to get there and back. Gas stations are still pumping. Enough food in the RV for a week. Biggest concern is boredom.

    My church is open this Sunday, probably closed the next two. Still have to do a broadcast. Will have minimum people, pianist, music director, preacher and me. People will watch on the broadcast or the stream.

  41. The wife binge watched “Picard” over the last couple of days, working from home and unboxing precious stuff. She gives it a hearty two thumbs up.

    Marina Sirtis was incredible last week on “Picard”. The look on Troi’s face when she realizes Picard is … well, spoilers. 35 years of love and respect expressed in one moment.

    This week’s star was Santiago Cabrera. I recommend the BBC’s last reboot of “The Musketeers” highly if your wife digs Captain Rios.

    Rios borrow’s heavily from Cabrera’s Aramis character on “The Musketeers”, including the hat! The series isn’t for sticklers for accuracy, however.

    Maime McCoy as Milady wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if “The Musketeers” was historically accurate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZMt1FmksYs

    Also, if you have CBS All Access, find the Short Trek “The Escape Artist”.

  42. In case anyone cares where I stand I’ll keep it simple:
    Like it or not the SHFT and it is going to be TEOTWAWKI from now on. This doesn’t just apply to the place formerly known as the USofA but the whole world.
    This election year, if it is allowed to happen, will be like no other. We The People will be losers.
    There will be no true leadership. Just blame, finger-pointing, and lots of lies, damn lies.
    What infrastructure will break down first?
    Transportation and distribution are already in a tailspin.
    Our reliance on imports is going to bite us big time.
    Our steel and mining industries are long dead and not recoverable.
    There is not enough electrical generation capacity.
    There are not enough skilled craftspersons.
    There are not enough farmers.
    Too much farmland has been destroyed.
    Forests have not been managed, contrary to what we have been told.

    Hope you can be accepted into an Amish or Mennonite Community. Be prepared to work like you never have before, without the benefit of power.

    The past week has changed me from being an optimist to a realist. Some of you have worked very hard at preparing, but it will not be enough. I am seeing more and more of the worst in human nature.

    Enjoy what you can and hold your loved ones close. The Titanic is sinking, the deck chairs are being rearranged, and the band is playing “Nearer My God To Thee”.

    Fair Winds and Following Seas have now long passed I am sad to say.

  43. HEB picked clean tonight when we stopped for ice cream. Store was closing at 8 PM to restock.

    Bread: gone
    Eggs: gone
    Water: gone
    Milk: mostly gone
    Flour: gone

    My wife was genuinely surprised by the last one. I asked, “Where have you been?”
    “No one cooks at home here.”
    “Doesn’t matter. They think they’ll need it so they buy it.

  44. Went to the local QFC (Kroger-owned). Small town, so not a large store; in Olympic Peninsula. Stocks were mostly normal to light.

    – Paper product: mostly gone
    – Bottled water: almost normal stock
    – Meat : normal stock
    – Bread: near normal
    – Deli: near normal
    – Eggs: near normal
    – Milk/Dairy: near normal (but they didn’t have my wife’s favorite yogurt flavor)
    – Canned goods: slightly under normal; some empty spots
    – Flour/sugar: below normal, but still available
    – Frozen foods: near normal
    – Fresh vegetables; near normal

    Traffic in the store was normal for a early Sat afternoon. Some full carts, but no hoarding seen. Looked like typical Saturday/weekly shopping. No panic evident. Saw one older person wearing gloves; no masks.

  45. Enough gas in the truck to get there and back. Gas stations are still pumping. Enough food in the RV for a week. Biggest concern is boredom.

    Every gasoline and diesel tank (100,000 barrels to 250,000 barrels) in the USA is full. Demand is dropping like crazy based on what I see on the roads out there.

    Six to eight weeks of this nonsense is going to cause half of the businesses in the USA to go bankrupt.

  46. Every gasoline and diesel tank (100,000 barrels to 250,000 barrels) in the USA is full. Demand is dropping like crazy based on what I see on the roads out there.

    The local HEB didn’t have the usual natural disaster-related gas lines tonight. Those usually go hand-in-hand with the bread/milk/egg aisles getting picked clean.

    And gas was $1.86/gallon. Amazing.

  47. The local HEB didn’t have the usual natural disaster-related gas lines tonight. Those usually go hand-in-hand with the bread/milk/egg aisles getting picked clean.

    And gas was $1.86/gallon. Amazing.

    I was in the Richmond Walmart and HEB tonight. Got thrown out of HEB at 8pm (Ok, I was asked to leave over the loudspeaker). No bread. Limited dog food. Limited cat food. Very limited fruit and salad. Half of the frozen foods were cleaned out.

    Gasoline and diesel are headed for $1.00/gal.

  48. “People will watch on the broadcast or the stream. ”

    –and you will look like a visionary!

    I say, enjoy the trip. Your impact on others is minimal.

    WRT the rest of the news from today, hooboy, hang on tight. We’ll know in a week or two who is right and who is wrong. The debate over in Sarah Hoyt’s comment section distills the main viewpoints without name calling and vitriol. People have chosen sides and seem pretty determined to stick with them. I urge everyone to keep an open mind. Don’t make any life altering changes (like cashing out the 401k and running for the hills), but also on the other side, take some prudent precautions, in case you’re wrong, and be watchful for signs so if you are, you can still act.

    Remember that even the Black Death left survivors and our world continued. It was changed in ways that weren’t evident right away, and in some that were. If you were a noble landowner, your life likely changed a lot, as did that of your descendants, from what you expected.

    One way or another, this is going to be life changing and society changing.

    n

  49. I stopped at Target this morning. No chicken, some beef but low stock. All frozen meats gone. I didn’t check for milk. Soup was gone.

    Next was Costco, at about 0930. Parking lot was packed, it I thought I’d try anyways. I went inside and the checkout line was 3/4 of the way to the back of the store. I turned around and left.

    Last stop was Walmart by our house. They had plenty of chicken (though not normal levels, must have just been stocked) so I bought enough for normal meals for a few weeks. Only other thing I grabbed was some coffee. The world can go to heck, but I better have my cup of joe….

    A little later the boy and I went to the range. Shot the 9mm and the .22 rifle. I told him that was our last outing for a few weeks.

  50. WRT the rest of the news from today, hooboy, hang on tight. We’ll know in a week or two who is right and who is wrong. The debate over in Sarah Hoyt’s comment section distills the main viewpoints without name calling and vitriol. People have chosen sides and seem pretty determined to stick with them. I urge everyone to keep an open mind. Don’t make any life altering changes (like cashing out the 401k and running for the hills), but also on the other side, take some prudent precautions, in case you’re wrong, and be watchful for signs so if you are, you can still act.

    https://accordingtohoyt.com/2020/03/13/a-state-of-madness/

    An acquaintance of mine is screaming right now about 3,500 dead out of 1.3 billion in China. He thinks that the USA will be way less no matter what.

    “We have a great deal of data on the coronavirus family, since it’s
    a major casue of the common cold. We also have data on what appears
    to be the first round of it’s run in China, now that they’re down
    to a handful of new cases per day. And they have 1/10th the number
    of deap people as the US has from the flu, from four times the
    population, with a health care system that, to call primitive would
    be a kindness to beads and rattles and snake oil.”

    “The. Numbers. Do. Not. Add. Up.”

  51. Guys, please stop going out and playing in it. An unknown percentage of the people in those stores and in those lines are contagious.

    This report from italy describes the initial cases and the response. They tried, they did what they thought was necessary and it wasn’t enough.

    “In practice, the health care system cannot sustain an uncontrolled outbreak, and stronger containment measures are now the only realistic option to avoid the total collapse of the ICU system. For this reason, over the last 2 weeks, clinicians have continuously advised authorities to augment the containment measures.”

    Don’t go into crowds. Get ready to stay isolated for much longer than 2-3 weeks. I don’t know where people got that idea, but it’s not realistic.

    It won’t just be two weeks. Two weeks (better three) to get clear of your immediate concern about being infected. There will be LOTS of community infections at that point, and you won’t want to be going out then either. Who knows how long THAT period will last.

    And if you get sick during that 3 weeks, it’s two more before you either turn the corner toward recovery or death. At the end of the SIX weeks, anyone in your household that didn’t yet get sick will need an additional 2-3 weeks.

    Right there, you are past 8 weeks, at the peak of the madness, and will want to stay under cover for a while yet.

    3 months, or more, is a reasonable, defensible, timeline.

    The only reason to enter crowds at this point is if you aren’t ready for 3 months yet.

    nick

    BTW, the only saving grace is we’re approx 2 weeks behind Italy which gives us some time. People are still getting infected though, that’s where the cases come from to make up the doubling!

  52. I have to agree with Nick. For those people who think this is all exaggerated, 2-3 weeks will be enough time to find out. Either it’s all a big fizzle, or in two weeks we’ll see how serious it really is. If it all turns out to be a nothing-burger, I’d rather have been overly cautious – the alternative is far worse.

    What people are missing in China is this: China is a totalitarian government, and was able to enforce quarantine. There won’t have been any people thinking that the rules don’t apply to them. Parents won’t have been holding “CV parties” for their kids. Idiots won’t have fled the quarantined areas to avoid inconvenience. Likely any of those things would have gotten you shot.

    For better or for worse, we can’t pull off that level of containment in the West.

    On a personal note: We’re now planted in our remote mountain village. Since we’re in our tiny provisional quarters, we don’t have the food stocks we would normally have. We will have to assume that supply chains aren’t going to collapse. But we’re here, and so far healthy, so that counts for a lot. For work, there’s nothing before June that I can’t do via online platforms or by teleconference.

    We have one neighbor, whom we see a lot, who commutes to the “big city” for his job. Fortunately, he he works at a museum, and I expect museums to close their doors within the next week. Of all places that don’t need to be open during a crisis, museums are pretty much at the top of the list.

    For amusement: aside from soap and disinfectant, the shelves here are empty of spaghetti sauce and pre-mixed fondue. Everything else is fine.

    Stay safe, folks.

  53. Addendum on Sunday morning, since Nick’s Sunday post isn’t up yet…

    “…blowing all the leaves off of his grass and into the street, making them into someone else’s problem”

    Tragedy of the commons. Human nature, unfortunately, and precisely the reason why the Corona numbers are exploding. I was serious, when I mentioned CV parties – those are really a thing. Who knows, that might make sense after things have stabilized in a few months. But right now? How dumb can you be?

    “People don’t cook anymore”

    I find this astounding. I’m not any sort of enthusiastic cook, but I can do it. I generally don’t cook often, because my wife loves to cook, so I only take over when she wants a night off. But to be unable to cook?

    I wish it were a joke, but elder son truly reports that the spaghetti sauce shelves are empty. How hard is it to make a sauce for pasta? A can of chopped tomatoes, some spices, some fried hamburger –> bolognese. Carbonara is no harder. Or simply oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Compared to any homemade sauce, the stuff in jars is pretty horrid.

    “The U.S. only has 100,000 intensive care beds, and most are already occupied.”

    This is an important point in any country. ICU beds are expensive, so hospitals only maintain as many as they normally need.

    Here, the military has mobilized one medical battalion. I imagine many countries will be doing so. The military has provisions for battlefield causalties, so getting them deployed and ready makes a lot of sense. I don’t know the capacity of a medical battalion or field hospital, but whatever it is, it represents new capacity on top of the civilian system.

  54. Additional military medical facilities in the US would mean Guard call ups, and pulling active duty out of existing civilian hospitals (where they are sent to train.)

    That is mostly just moving people around, not pulling new people in.

    At least that’s how it used to be.

    They do have temp facilities, and it isn’t something I’ve studied, but I believe the current model is rapid trauma response and then transport to existing facilities. TCCC is an acronym to search.

    there are also temporary medical units to deploy during an emergency and temp medical teams, we used them here during Harvey… but those come from outside the region and are made up of people already working in the field. See my comments on Sunday for why that won’t be happening/won’t save us.

    nick

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