Destroyed Lives

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*Note I’m not doing an April Fool’s Post this year, because I think as a society we’ve had it up to HERE with pranks, right about now.
Note also that I woke up sans sense of smell or taste (when you have a 21 year old incontinent cat, you can tell when you lost your smell, and Russian Caravan, the tea you drink with a forkTM tastes of nothing. Even with sweetener and lemon it tastes only like vaguely sweet water.
This is universally reported as the first symptom of Wu-flu.  (I have a runny nose and a sore throat.) No, I don’t expect to die — not out of the question, with asthma, compromised lung function, etc — but I’m pissed at the prospect that I’m coming down with it, because I already lost two months this year to “mysterious, flu like illness.”
Even if I get very very ill, though, my opinion is the same. Short of actual black death numbers, what we’re doing to the economy is more dangerous than the disease. And will ultimately cost more in lives blighted and ended- SAH*

I think it’s very important to talk of the lives that will be destroyed or lost to this insanity of locking ourselves in our houses for fear of a virus. (Let me explain again, in quarantine, you lock up the sick. When you lock up the healthy it’s called house arrest. Yes, I am aware that there have been quarantines in the past. This is NOT — repeat not — a quarantine. Economic suicide. Collective insanity. Unprecedented violation of civil rights in peace time. It is all of that and more. It is not a quarantine.)

We’ll point out the obvious: there are people losing businesses they spent their lives building. There are people — I know some — who had just got a job which is now revoked. There are students who have just finished/are about to finish training, and who will be unemployed and crushed under student debt, no matter how sensible their training.

There is a risk of some number of these people committing suicide.  That will be “visible deaths” coming from this particular insanity.

But there will be also any number of hidden deaths.  Like the squid farms on Mars, which we hypothetically don’t have because we chose to fund the “Great Society” instead, these losses are invisible because they were never actually actualized. They were merely things that might be, and were in fact likely until governments (mostly state and local) decided it was a great idea to take the wheels off the economy, possibly because they were suffering from a terrible case of Orange Man Bad and knew they couldn’t elect their spokeszombie in the face of a thriving economy.  You know, things like people getting jobs, with good training, in a thriving economy.  People making enough money to marry, afford a house and kids.  People getting that first job, that eventually leads to other, better jobs.

But Sarah, you say, if this never happens, how can it cost us anything, much less lives?

It can cost a lot of things and yeah, lives. Perhaps not in the sense that people die, but in the sense that lives are not what they should be or even are wasted

As the mother of an unmarried young man about to finish his training with two engineering degrees and minors in another form of engineering, plus math and physics, yes, I am concerned that he’ll stay in the basement and never marry. While I come from a culture in which the younger child is often expected to stay home and look after the parents, that is not what I want or expect of my sons.

But it could be less dire than that and still bad: he is a jack leg programmer, and he might be able to make a living coding on a gig basis, and make do, more or less. But he’ll never do what he loves and spent 7 years training for. Whatever contributions he might eventually have made to aerospace engineering will be lost.

And I hear you say that all of us took paths we didn’t expect and many of us — or the most interesting ones of us — are doing things we didn’t train for and which would shock our younger selves. And I’m going to say “granted.”  And in most cases, those youthful dreams were misguided or not realistic. (Do you see me ruling the world and leaving it strictly alone?)

And I’ll grant you that too. But most of us are at least doing something adjacent to what we thought we would be doing (Journalist/novelist. Though I trained for translator and — rolls on floor laughing — diplomatic service.)

When this type of destruction hits an economy at the level we’ve inflicted in March 2020, what you see is a lot of diminished lives. Which in turn causes a lot of loss of interest/hope/etc.

Alvin Toffler might or might not be right about future shock. He was, however, absolutely right about cultural trauma caused by sudden and unexpected/unforeseen change, particularly when that change was negative.

Note there is credible reason to say Europe is dying from WWI.

On top of that, we were already dealing with extreme technological change, at a pace that was causing psychological problems.  Weirdly — this isn’t unusual when the wheels come off, so it shouldn’t be “weirdly” but most people think of a society being ruined as stepping back to an earlier level of technology. Unless the ruin continues to be enforced by government — Venezuelization or Cubanization — in fact ruin tends to accelerate technological driven societal change — this will only make the changes we were experiencing faster, because a lot of the digital revolution makes things cheaper/more streamlined.  Which means we’re more likely to go in that direction in hard economic times.

And a lot of us are over fifty. Not as many as in Europe, but still a lot of us.  Which means these changes will be hitting at just the right time to give a lot of people Unemployed Middle Aged Man Syndrome. (Note “man” because most women have other sources of “self” than job.  But not all. And my generation of women is more like men on that.) What this means is that some number of people will simply be unable to cope with changed work/life circumstances brought on by this insanity.

Yes, some will perhaps kill themselves, and those are visible. The invisible ones are the ones who go pottering into the sunset, alive but no longer able to contribute anything to society.

In that group, stress will also cause new and interesting forms of disease, including cancer, which a broke society might or might not be able to treat.

When people say we should stay “quarantined” (It’s not) till July, or for a year, or till the cows come home, “if it saves even one life.” this is what they and we must weight it against.

It’s all very well to say you won’t die FOR Wall Street. But will you die of the economy?

Because Wall Street is retirement plans. It is investment and innovation funds. It is rainy day funds.  All of these for middle America.  More than that, the economy and its ability to allow people to work for pay or find the food they need, or whatever IS lives.

Money is lives. All of us trade away some portion of our lives to produce goods and services which in turn get paid for and allow us to continue living.  It has always been so.  Since we’ve had money, money is simply a symbol, a way to keep track.

Money, and food and goods and services, and “simple” things like stores being open and stocked are LIVES. They’re hours and investments of people’s time and creativity.

How much of that do we burn to save lives. Where is the balance?
I don’t know. I know it’s possible to lose 1/3 of the population, particularly when that population is very old and forge on.  Sure, we’ll lose institutional memory, but we’ve already lost that, having decided to indoctrinate the last three generations in an utter vacuum of history or hard facts. (Sorry, but you know it’s true.)

Look, I don’t want to die more than the next person, and the next person is playing with the peaches of immortality.  It’s not that I want to live forever, or live for its own sake. But I want to live long enough to write 100 novels, cuddle four grandchildren, and … well, I want to live while I have things to do.

On the other hand, I know I’m 57 and not in perfect health. And I’ve survived expectations at birth for 57 years. So far so good. (Said the man as he fell past the 20th floor.)

I think a lot of our response to this is our fear of disease and death writ in sky high letters.

None of us is going to live forever. We’ve been dying since the day we’ve been born.

Sure, we have things to do and places to go. BUT it does no good to pay for our diminished future with the future of the entire society.

This fake quarantine isn’t free.  Life isn’t free. Nothing is free.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, in anything.  And the smart person asks the price before dipping a hand in the supposed freebies.

Caveat Emptor.

 

 

347 thoughts on “Destroyed Lives

  1. Sarah? Everything I’ve been reading says the most effective time for the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin/zinc-cocktail *cure* appears to be when symptoms start popping up. Get a test. Now. (We’re talking $20 worth of drugs here.) If tests aren’t easily available, find a sympathetic doctor.

    Pretty sure we (wife and I) went through two rounds (mid-Dec, and early Feb… we live in WA state) of covid-19… it really is the flu-from-hell (at our age: 68, 60 respectively). Just sayin’.

      1. Yeah, but get on that cocktail soonest. Seriously. Go get some today. Ask me how I know by email if you care.

        All the docs in the Demented Dominion are giving it to their families/staff/friends even though the official line is “No.”

        Canadians are also being told not to wear masks. Yep. They went there. Don’t ramp up mask production, just impose rationing. Its cheaper and the sheep won’t know the difference.

          1. And not giving it to folks with the symptoms is stupid. There’s lots of it on the way, and it would seem that prophylactic measures (either before any sickness, or during the onset of symptoms) would be the second-best use of it.

            1. Not-testing is just another way for them to add another layer of uncertaintly below their made-up figures.

              That’s even granting that the “tests” can accurately identify COVID-19 vs. two dozen viruses that are almost the same thing. That ordinarily takes DNA sequencing. The tests are magic and must not be questioned.

              1. A week and a half ago, the local head of (the only) hospital in the county said that while independent test kits were available, they all needed test media that was in short supply. There’s been very little testing in our county of 60K people (150 total).

                OTOH, the county just west of us (Jackson, holding Medford and the Peoples Republic of Ashland) is getting a lot of testing. They’ve had some trouble with [redacted, redacted] *creatures* who thought nothing of flying from Seattle to Medford Airport while symptomatic CV+. As of this morning, they’ve tested 1725 people, netting 22 cases. The only two counties with higher testing are in Portland Metro (with 10% higher positive rates, last I looked).

                So, it looks like testing is on a triage over here (Jackson has spiked recently) and they are trying to stay ahead of the situation.

                FWIW, the flu testing station by ushas been relocated in a tent a half mile from the hospital/clinic campus, and the testing (not much going on this morning) is drive-through only. They’re preparing for SHTF, not sure we’ll get clobbered or passed over. Lamb’s blood optional.

              1. Given the state of public education these days, that response would have been sensible WITHOUT a virus.

              2. Heh, I was looking more at the transmission vector thing– ANYTIME there’s an outbreak of anything, the schools should close, because of the risks and pressures.

                  1. *sympathy*

                    I’d much prefer if they just had at least day care level harsh rules about not exposing sick kids to the general population, but with funding the way it is that seems unlikely.

                1. Reading further, he points out Japan’s low rates as most likely due to wearing masks in public.

                1. My home valley went one up on that kind of dumb– they’re using the school as a day care for people who can’t get any other daycare, since the building is already open so that the kitchen workers can make meals, and I-can’t-remember-what-job sits on the bus, which drives around and drops the meals off, goes back to the school, pick up the second meal of the day, and drives around dropping THOSE off……

                  I guess I should be glad they’re not forcing parents to send their kids in?

                    1. Straight from one of the lunch ladies.

                      It lets the school get all kinds of funding, without the kids actually having to be there, although I don’t even want to think of what is going to happen when one of the kids gets hurt.

          2. Tell ’em you’re shortly going to be inventorying snakes in Panama and need hydroxychloroquine to keep from getting malaria. Take zinc on your own. If you start getting symptoms, see if you can get a course of z-pack. They’re lying to us all, don’t fret about lying to them. Take large doses of vitamin C — but not within an hour of taking the zinc.

            Rumor has it that six days of HCQ will purge the virus from your system — you won’t be contagious, and your viral symptoms will resolve (although follow-ons may continue, thus the z-pack). If you never had it, you’ll also be clean.

          1. Same in Ontario. No testing, no screw all, wait until you’re at Death’s door and -maybe- they’ll find a bed for you. That’s why Ontario is showing low infection numbers, they’re not testing. The labs have a backlog of several days. You get tested, you get sicker, you get better, then a week later the test comes back “oh yeah, you were positive. Stay home for 14 more days.”

            Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington is -building- a COVID-19 ward in the parking lot. Temporary structures, cots, the whole MASH thing. Still zero movement on the cocktail, zero movement on the 5-minute tests, airplanes from China and Europe are still landing in Toronto.

            But the parks are closed, so we’re all safe now.

              1. If I come down with it (or come down with it again if the crud I had for 6+ weeks in January/February was it) and start showing symptoms I may luck out in being able to get tested, because my regular doctor practices out of an emergent care center that actually has one of its offices (the one I usually go to as it is closest) operating as their virus treatment/.triage center, and they actually have ability to administer the tests on site (at least according to the website where they post info related to the virus). Oh, and my doctor happens to be the medical director for the practice and is ordinarily aggressive in treating me if I get sick because I am considered high risk because of the MS. Thus, if I come down with symptoms, he might have me tested (if they have enough test kits on hand) so that he can justify prescribing the cocktail for me early on.

            1. airplanes from China and Europe are still landing in Toronto
              But they’re doing all they can to stop the spread. *eyerooooollllllll*

              1. I’ve been reading yesterday and today that there’s new evidence: from 25% to HALF the cases of COVID-19 aka Wuhan Flu are silent. People have the bug, they’re contagious, they’re spreading it, but they have no symptoms at all. They don’t even feel crappy. They have no way to tell if they are carrying it.

                Current official testing backlog is TWELVE DAYS. I checked. That means its twelve days with a stiff breeze behind it, real-world is probably full 14 days aka two weeks aka the full quarantine period.

                That means that everyone wearing a mask in public is the ONLY thing that will slow the spread. A little.

                I’m looking forward to the 5 minute test. I’ll buy a crate and hand deliver it to my mother’s nursing home. Re-testing every staff member every single day will be a life-or-death safety requirement until the vaccine shows up.

                1. Link?

                  I’ve seen a ton of mentions (Diamond Princess, South Korea, Iceland, basically wherever they’re testing randomly/comprehensively instead of only sick people) of half the cases being asymptomatic, but I also keep remembering that if your false positive rate is similar to the actual rate in the population, you should expect about half the people who test positive not to actually have it. Which would, well, also account for a lack of symptoms.

                  What I have not yet tracked down and should really make the time to hunt is procedural information on, for example, how many tests they’re doing per person and which way it counts if they don’t match. And the estimated error rates, if they’ve got ’em. If you’re deciding whom to quarantine or contact trace, you obviously err on the side of “that’s a yes”… but if you’re making policy based on the presumption of asymptomatic contagion….

                  1. I think the Iceland story quoted 25% and there was another claiming 50%, can’t remember where it was.

                    Obviously all of this needs to be taken with a big grain of salt because complicating factors abound.

                    That said, I’ve -seen- a couple of cases where people in the same house with a case have no symptoms. There’s no way they didn’t catch it in the same house.

                    1. Ehhh… I think the study claiming a 10% chance of catching it if you were living with someone who had it seems absurdly low, but I don’t see why it should necessarily be inevitable any more than the cold my husband didn’t get from me and our daughter in January, or the cold we didn’t get from him in February. (I considered the possibility that they were the same thing, but the temporal separation and distinct course of symptoms make me doubt it.)

                      It’s not that I am rejecting asymptomatic transmission as a possibility; it’s just one of the many things on which I would like more information.

      2. That’s called “allergy season.” We endure it twice a year.

        Like the perfidious “symptom” page at the CDC, it’s not only useless, it’s anti-information.

          1. That was what I was left with after the flu two years ago. Taste was back to normal in a few weeks, smell still isn’t quite, although improved from just after the flu knocking me down.

          2. Those are my first sumptoms, before having trouble breathing and crippling joint pain as it aggravates the arthritis.

            Mother Nature hates my guts.

  2. It’s so complicated and wretched. The only reason that the photography studio I used to work for (family business going back more than 65 years) hasn’t folded is that this is the usual slow season; the prime focus is high schools and their photographs and so forth. So they’d essentially be shut down right now anyway. (And proms, once such a huge revenue stream, have almost collapsed as a market since smartphones came in.) But restaurants, salons, childcare places, all manner of groups are suddenly without work, often permanently.

    Telecommuting should be a permanent part of the work world going forward, and that’s a good thing. But there’s not much else good coming out of this.

    1. Childcare places, and arguably the amount of restaurants we have, are a byproduct of huge changes driven, in no small part, by deciding paid work was worth more than a homemaking parent/spouse. Maybe we’ll relearn the value of families instead of creches designed out of socialism central.

        1. Even we have cooked more than we have in two months since everything mostly closed. And we do a take-out run every couple of days just so one or both of us get out.

          I don’t know how typical greater Atlanta is, but most places are running on cut down crews doing carry out if food is their man business (the place we play trivia tried for a bit, but it’s a gathering place, not a food place in terms of why people are patrons there) so I suspect will be okayish when it lifts. They’ll cover the bills and keep core employees. Their part timers will be gone and it’ll be a low profit year, but they’ll survive more often than not.

          I suspect our trivia bar is gone, though.

        2. You take it out of the box, you put it in the microwave, and you push the button. It’s not rocket surgery…

          Mrs. TRX ventured to the grocery store a couple of days ago and noticed most of an aisle was empty. It had formerly held flour, cornmeal, and similar products. *All* of it was gone, while packaged pasta, etc. was nearby in normal quantities.

          1. Here, they have tags reversed and a shelf filled with store brand(s) of flour. It’s getting better as name brands are reappearing, if slowly. Sugar seems to have recovered or mostly so. Packaged yeast is scarce (I do wonder how many realize air is full of yeasts… but you need some patience to go that route, and some luck – not all yeasts are the same). Pasta is still taking something of a hit. Of course, the real indicator will be when the TP shipment lasts more than a few hours and is no longer rationed at “One package per family.”

            1. There are hundreds of yeast varieties, and they are NOT interchangeable. You don’t want bread yeast in your beer, or wine yeast in your cake. As for whisky, the exact correct yeast is CRITICAL. Also important for whiskey.

              1. I don’t know. I might want wine yeast in my cake.
                Or, wine in my cake.
                Or, just wine. And cake.

            2. >> “Of course, the real indicator will be when the TP shipment lasts more than a few hours and is no longer rationed at “One package per family.””

              The toilet paper seems to last longer at Dollar General than at grocery stores (and has since the beginning). Although the 1-per-customer limit is still in place there, too.

              1. I’ve been told that there was actually TP still on the shelf at 6 PM, which is quite an improvement (and likely the result of getting a larger/normal amount in the shipment) over being gone before noon. And the local store will, next week, extend its hours some and close at 11 PM rather than 8 PM. Things here seem to be slowly returning to normal in some ways – and getting stranger in others. They now have circular pads on the floor in various areas, six feet apart. I can’t help but think of Star Trek transporter pads.

                1. >> “They now have circular pads on the floor in various areas, six feet apart. I can’t help but think of Star Trek transporter pads.”

                  First reaction: “Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here.”

                  Second reaction was to wonder what the pads are for.

                  1. They’re marked ‘STAND HERE’ or such and have addition text about keeping distance from others. These are very thin ‘stickers’ (I do wonder how well they will eventually come off, and what the floor cleaning equipment will do to them) so nobody *should* be tripping on them. Gentlemen, place your bets.

              2. An update: I found out today that my local Dollar General has stopped the 1-per-customer limit on paper products.

                Although in addition to being the only store I’ve seen using protective measures such a gloves (which they’ve been doing from the beginning), they now have marked places on the floor (with tape lines) for customers in line to stand to keep them separated by a few feet. It’s like they’re the only local business taking preventative measures seriously.

        3. $SPOUSE likes to cook in batches so for a lot of the meal, there’s a few weeks of it in the freezer. This saved our tail when both of us were sick. Once I was doing better than her, I started doing potatoes and carrots in her ancient pressure cooker. We’re getting a takeout dinner each trip into town, just for a change of pace.

          Doing 6-8 servings at a time isn’t that much harder than 2, if you have suitable cookware and storage.

          1. I have something like 30 pint mason jars full of frozen meals, because I regularly make big batches of chili, stew, clam chowder, chicken cacciatore, stroganoff, etc., and then eat one bowl full and freeze the rest. Normally this is for lunches, but since I’ve effectively been home for six weeks it’s become easy dinners if I don’t feel like cooking from scratch.

        4. Blog subject possibility?
          I won’t be writing such, but admit I would likely benefit from such.
          And I did have the “Home Ec.” class, but it did a really good job of making me dislike almost everything it tried to cover.

        5. …”know how to cook”.. Yeah, I’m dying here, heh. Haven’t eaten breakfast at home in probably 20 years(got out of the habit while I was field engineering for 30 years). The three restaurants in town are closed and I’m eating Sugar Smacks from a paper cup with a class of milk. It’s that or one of the loca lburger doodles… IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD, I TELLS YA!!!!11!!

          1. OK, I’m Odd, but my standard breakfast has been going more-or-less unchanged over 10 years.
            (I weigh, because reasons.)

            “Dry” nuked oatmeal:

            In a microwaveable bowl:
            1-2 oz raisins
            1 banana, cut into bitesized pieces
            2 ounces old-fashioned oats. (Before this, I used to use the Quaker packets, but that was more sugar than I needed. If you go this route, try skipping the raisins.)
            2-3 ounces microwaveable fruit (strawberries, raspberries, peaches. Melon is too weird for words.)

            (note: no extra liquid; the banana below and fruit above will hydrate the oats.)

            Nuke about 2 minutes on high.

            Top with yogurt; I use 6 oz tubs of the Kroger Carbmaster yogurt-like stuff. YMMV.

            Sweeten to taste.

            The heat and a bit of fluid from the fruit is sufficient to soften the oats.

            —-

            If it’s a cold morning, I’ve hauled out the saucepan and a bag of steel-cut oats. Raisins and non-banana fruit in the water, including apples, strawberries, [rasp|black|blue]berries. Note that the color might be weird…. The same approach works with those old fashioned oats. Quick oats work fine cooked in water, but the 2 minute “dry” nuke, not so much. Old fashioned works better that way.

            —-

            For the first cuppa caffeine, we use a non-cinnamon version of Alton Brown’s hot cocoa recipe (1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1-3/4 cups powdered milk, and 1/2 cup sucralose (because diabetes)). 1 tablespoon of this in coffee makes a nice mocha.

            —-

            About once a week, I’ll dice potatoes small enough to brown, add mushrooms as a variant on hash browns. Seasoned with pepper, some cumin we bought too much of, garlic and whatever. Once that’s out of the skillet, I’ll do an omlette (a bit of dried onion in the eggs) with a slice of cheese in the middle. I do the omlette in a cast-iron pan; the hard part is remembering to get the eggs cooked enough so that when I flip it over the cheese, I don’t have egg everywhere. Don’t ask.

            —-

            If you are spicing/seasoning things, if you don’t have what the recipe calls out, fake it. We learned in a college apartment that a lot of substitutes work, though powdered cloves are a mystery to me. Never did figure out what that way of doing cloves is useful for, and almost a half century later, don’t need to know.

            I’m not a great cook, but it ain’t rocket surgery, folks. OTOH, $SPOUSE is a *really* good cook, but she sleeps later, so if I want breakfast, it’s on me.

            FWIW, a lot of useful recipes can be found on the Food Network website. Alton Brown and Anne Burrell and Melissa d’Arabian (I think I have that name right) all did stuff that is useful. We download what we want and keep it in a binder, using plastic sleeves to prevent oops problems.

            1. Fridge oatmeal works, too.

              Literally “dump oatmeal into one of those ziplock boxes, add a pinch of salt and between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of brown sugar per cup of dry oatmeal, pour milk until it’s level with the oats (visible if you like dry, floating if you like fluid), add walnuts or whatever fruit you’d eat on the oatmeal, put a lid on and leave it.

              Scoop out however much you want to eat into a microwave safe bowl and nuke it. Can add milk at this point, too.

              Lasts at least three, four days before I can smell the milk complaining, although the kids insist it still tastes fine.

              *why yes, I do have kids for whom this recipe was calibrated. However did the 1:16 ratio of sugar clue you in? ^.^

            1. “I don’t know how to tie my shoes, and I’m proud of that. That’s what loafers are for.”
              –hypothetical idiot on social media

              I’ll skip the relevant quote from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long.

              1. As an I.T. person I routinely have people tell me, with a backward sense of pride, “Oh I don’t know anything about computers (and/or electronics).”

                In the recent past I fixed something really easy on our Chef’s computer and the new employee or vendor rep he was showing around our Admin building said, “Oh I don’t know this stuff, I was born in 1966.” I coldly looked up from Chef’s monitor, stared straight into her eyes and said: “I was born in 1965.” Then I got up and went back to my office.

                1. I was born in 1963 myself. I have absolutely zero sympathy for the arrogant idiots who hysterically, desperately, mindlessly refuse to learn the littlest thing about the most basic concepts of working with computing devices. -_-

                  1. I was born in 1963 myself. I have absolutely zero sympathy for the arrogant idiots who hysterically, desperately, mindlessly refuse to learn the littlest thing about the most basic concepts of working with computing devices. -_-


                    Born 1956. 1+ 🙂

                    Although I have been known to hear someone say something about computers, and I am suddenly become deaf & blind.

                    Someone told me mom needed a “real” computer. She has a Samsung 10″ with a keyboard. Good enough to read/write emails & FB, and do her online banking. But, no, she needs a real computer so she can print things on her printer. No. She. Does. Not. Right now, she sends, whatever needs to be printed to me, I print it, and drop it off. The only thing that would change if she had a computer she could print from, is I would have to over there to print it for her. Been there, done that. Tried to teach her to print when she had a computer (she was getting hand-me-downs), gave it up as a lost cause, over a decade ago. Yes, I know, with the right newer printer, the Samsung can be printed from, not bothering. Fewer headaches status quo.

              2. That makes too much sense. If your loafers wear out before quarantine ends, we have a BIG problem.

            2. seen posts about being proud the poster, usually a feminist of some stripe, is about not being ‘a good cook’ or knowing how to cook, nor needing to since takeout exists.


              Quote from one of the Maverick western made-for-TV movies. The for-that-movie woman sidekick, when they were setting into wait for the bad-people-to-do-something, a discussion came up about cooking the next meals. Her statement … “Don’t look at me. If I knew how to cook, I’d always be expected to cook. I don’t know how to cook.” OTOH if you don’t know how to cook you are at the mercy of those that do. Personally, I’d rather know how to cook.

              Am I an adventurous cook? No. Basics, yes. OTOH we aren’t very adventurous when we eat out either. We tend to frequent the same restaurants for each type of eat-out. OMG the fun of having to find a new restaurant because say the Mexican one we liked closed. Or the Chinese one we like sold & changed slightly. Or the one of two fish restaurants closed (at least we still have the one).

              Our biggest challenge is there is very little either of us like as leftovers. Which leaves off making larger meals and subdividing it into the freezer. Both of us despise canned all but a few items. Luckily kid, will eat leftovers still. Gives me some freedom to create larger portions & leave them for him to have when he gets home from work sometime between 1 and 4 AM.

              I’ve had a few spectacular failures too. A few I’ve been forgiven, some just got made too often. Banned are: Meat Loaf – made too often. Chicken & Dumplings – you don’t want to know, you really don’t. Chile – well this one is forgiven as long as I don’t substitute, Cayenne Pepper for Chile Pepper … in fact I’m banned from having Cayenne Pepper in the house, still, after 41 years … It was a surprise left for my new groom for after he got off work, & I headed to work … Imagine my surprise when he showed up at my lunch break with Subway sandwiches. I swear the guys we worked with, back then, for next 35 years, all someone had to say was Cayenne Pepper, & they were ROFLOL. Who knew that you don’t use the same amount of Cayenne Pepper as a substitute for the Chile Pepper you didn’t have, I mean they are both hot. Right?

              1. Both of use were single until we got married around 50, so unless either of us wanted to cook something every night, having leftovers was a good idea. I wasn’t cooking much when I was taking the part time Masters, but I’d do things like buy a Stouffer’s Lasagna and have it over several days.

                $SPOUSE prefers much less spice than I do, so when I had to do our last batch of chicken and sauce, I got firm instructions as to how much. She’ll use a tiny(!) bit of Cayenne for the BBQ sauce we use for pulled pork, as well as any other relevant occasion.

                Greenhouse Cayenne peppers are an order of magnitude more, er, flavorfull (that’s the word! Really!) than powdered. So much that most of that crop ended up in compost. The side benefit of that was that the garden ground squirrels took a nibble and moved far away.

                I tried making a Yorkshire Pudding in the college apartment. Calling it a disaster would be far too kind. (“Rise, why don’t you!”) Never tried again.

                1. She’ll use a tiny(!) bit of Cayenne for the BBQ sauce we use for pulled pork

                  So, less than a tablespoon per pint?

              2. You’ve reminded me of something from a novel I can’t recall; just this one idea is floating up alone in the Magic 8-Ball of my mind:

                A camp — logging, cattle, I don’t recall, but operating for an extended period — has an established rule that anybody who complains about the cooking gets the job. This results in the current cook doing his damnedest to provoke complaints and the diners doing their damnedest to swallow without complaint whatever is dished up.

                1. Chancy and the Grand Rascal (1966) by Sid Fleischman?

                  “That afternoon Chancy discovered a lump of soap missing from over the cookstove. When he ladled out supper he discovered what had happened to it. ‘Doggone!’ snorted Potato Mike, making a face like a dried pumpkin. ‘These beans taste soapy!'”

                  “A hush fell over the raftsmen. In an instant, Potato Mike realized his mistake. “But, boys,” he grinned, straightening out his face, ‘if there’s anything I always hungered for — it’s soapy beans! Fill my plate again, Chancy lad!'”

                2. A camp — logging, cattle, I don’t recall, but operating for an extended period — has an established rule that anybody who complains about the cooking gets the job. This results in the current cook doing his damnedest to provoke complaints and the diners doing their damnedest to swallow without complaint whatever is dished up.

                  Not a recommended method of stopping complaints about meals when dealing with youth in scouting patrols … regardless of gender. OTOH “you cooked it, you eat it”, no one else has to, but cook does, works wonders.

                  I have been known to use the statement when I cook. Not trying for someone else to take over. But not willing to listen to complains either. Worse I ever get is “mom is experimenting again”. Although hubby or kid are the “grill masters”, regardless of what it is, & cook the bacon & eggs, or pancakes/waffles. Not from anything I did. But from when we were teaching kid to cook & letting him practice for scout cooking. I just never took over again. Did the same with kid’s laundry, and other chores. I haven’t done kid’s laundry since he was 11.

                3. I never ran across it in print, but U. Utah Phillips’ had that as part of his show. (IWW Wobbly, played the college circuit in the 70s.) Let’s just say the bit was titled “Moose Turd Pie”.

                  OK, found it on GoogleVision:

                  “It’s good though.”

                  1. New to me — but the “punchline” of the story I read involved something along that line. It involved, as I’ve thought about it, a cattle drive and the cook had resorted to making cow-pie pie.

                    A writer steal an anecdote? Unheard of!

                    Give me three weeks and I’ll probably wake up in the middle of the night announcing the name of the book.

            3. And then they wonder why they can’t land a man who meets their 30+ requirement lists.

              They brag about things they refuse to bring to the table. I find such women, when ask what they bring to the table, think “me” is enough.

              Sorry, tangent.

              1. But it’s precisely the problem. Somebody who has been sold on the idea that they have the ‘right’ to every single negative trait they can come up with, shriek that everything awful in their life is someone else’s fault (patriarchy, capitalism, etc) then wonder why they can’t find a ‘good man/woman.’

                Pets at least are cute and affectionate. Or, in the case of tank fish, at least swim soothingly around.

                1. Not saying men aren’t doing the same (in fact, they seem to be working hard to catch up), but women seem more encouraged, and have more acceptance, in it.

                  To me the “what do I bring to the table? me” answer is related to the whole “vote for Hillary because vagina”. Both seem to reduce the value of women to what is now called a “front hole”.

                  The odd thing is women who make their living, long term (as opposed to addicts or 20 somethings cruising through life as cam girls sans plans) with their “front hole” bring a lot more to their clients than the average feminist. Daniel Sawyer, in defining professions as “fields requiring the application of a wide variety of abstract knowledge on the level of a PhD to a variety of problems” includes career prostitutes in the list as experts in social interaction and psychology.

                  And now we are way tangented.

                  1. Heinlein has a quote about judging whores with the same criteria as any other profession.

                  2. Ann Biddle Barrows wrote a book about running her escort service. The girls who did the best were educated, could discuss current events and various topics of general interest, gave the job their complete attention, and were gracious and cheerful. Looks and bed skills were also good, but not the single most important thing that clients preferred.

                    That was a fascinating read, to put it mildly.

                    1. When my first marriage fell apart every Thursday, driving home from Gotheffe, I stopped at a strip joint for months. There was one girl who I bought table dances from 2-3 times a visit.

                      I never had her dance. She sat close to me like a date, talked to me, and pretended to like me for 2-3 (or more) table dances worth of time.

                      She was a sex worker, but her Thursday regular (who other SWs have told me is the good kind of regular) got no sex and completely innocent touch.

                      You also see escorts offering the “full girlfriend experience” which makes me sad. Not that they offer it, but what it says about a lot of women when it comes to dating.

                    2. Back in the Old West the successful brothels all had newspapers from Back East or San Francisco, even the Times of London, shipped in, amongst other non-carnal amenities.

                    3. That’s kind of the philosophy behind geisha or Firefly companions, as I understand it.

                      There’s a reason I used to put in my online dating site profiles that I wanted to find a guy I could be a combination Who companion and Firefly Companion for.

                    4. I was never particularly a fan of the show — it came on while the TV was providing background noise to fixing dinner and wasn’t sufficiently annoying to turn off … and, to be honest, offered a certain :occurring traffic accident” interest — but it will always remain in memory for providing the most realistic portrayal of sex with a hooker I’ve ever seen on screen:

                      “It’s not even the biggest I’ve ever seen!”

              2. There was a time i my insufficiently misspent youth when read newspaper “Life Section” newspaper columns, Yeah. I’ve long had an embarrassingly fascination with human traffic accidents. Dear Abby, Ann Landers, MISS MANNERS!!! If it was in the paper I read it. There was a time, I guess it was back in the Eighties, when the most commonly heard complaint from single women of a certain age was “All the good men are taken!”

                Well, after the reflexive, “Honey, what makes you think you’re worth having?” and “A lot of them weren”t that good when they got took, Toots, there’s some housebreaking involved” I’d read along and get to the deeper entitlement of their plaints. One memorable opinion (as evidenced by the fact I still remember it so long after) was from a gal who spoke of all the things she expected from a date, that he clean himself and dress up nicely, that he come to her door to pick her up (no sitting in the street and honking) that he bring her flowers or a bit of candy (although small items of jewelry, one suspected, wouldn’t have evoked sneers.) He should escort her to the car, hold doors for her, take her to a nice restaurant with drinks, salad, entree and dessert. After which he should return her graciously home, see her to her door and thank-her for a wonderful evening.”

                That seems nice enough, and not overly much to ask for a date, although it sounds a might expensive for him. The question naturally arose of what the guy got out of this exchange, considering all of the time and money he was expected to invest. Not that it should be a purely financial exchange, mind you, but surely his effort merited some recognition.

                The gal allowed as it did indeed, and that his compensation consisted of “the pleasure of my company.”

                And it struck me that it was no wonder the gal was writing a newspaper lonely hearts columnist, given the high value she placed on her time and what she required to endure some fella’s company for a few hours.

                1. The where are the good men gone comment still very common. Often by women who describe how they are everything women want in a man, who don’t get why men don’t want them.

          1. Or who want hairpats for doing basic stuff. I can’t tell you how sick I am of people in their 30s and even 40s who post things to Facebook like “I adulted today! I put on socks and went to the store!”

            Well, bully for you, buttercup. In the real world we call that taking care of responsibilities. “Adult” is a noun or adjective, never a verb.

            Is it too much to ask for the pandemic to kill off that aspect of American frivolity, please?

            1. Depends on who is using it– you’ve mentioned you’ve got a lot of FB from the Seattle blob, so I am pretty sure I know the sort you’re dealing with. (And agree with your reaction.)

              On the flip side, a lot of my FB is sailors, especially married, geek sailors, so “I adulted” is more of a… a sort of recognition of that silly sense of satisfaction that comes from doing something simple but hard to get started. (say, taxes)

              “Whooo, I’m a contributing member of society! Yay, me!”

            2. In our household, it’s used only in humour. If we stopped doing chores, as I have pointed out to oldest son, we would soon be buried in dirty dishes, laundry and garbage. He is only 13 and learning still that the secret to true laziness is to get all the work out of the way early and rightfully done, so you can goof off without penalty til the next round of chores.

        6. This is my understanding. But you wouldn’t think that given the purchasing patterns at my usual supermarket. The frozen foods section there is mostly intact. But the flour and sugar is completely gone.

          1. *facepalm*

            I can’t believe it took me this long to figure this out– that could be because they’re low demand items.

            Look, other than loons like me and some of y’all here, how many people are going to Walmart on a normal week and buying the little box-flats of canned goods, the mega-boxes of ramen, two packs of eggs, six gallons of milk, the 50lb sack of flour, the feeds-20 cans of veggies, the 20lb bag of not-ethnic beans, the generic rice, the… you get the idea.

            It’s like when you buy hand sanitizer and it’s NOT flu season, it takes a while for them to restock. Or if you buy all six bottles of rubbing alcohol when it’s not a usual high demand season. (Me, several months ago, because we the 91% stuff for non-medical things, and I like having a fully stocked bathroom closet.)

            All the “survival” food stuff.

            Heck, this winter the local Walmarts stopped offering cup-o-noodles in big boxes, because they simply didn’t sell often enough. (Was 32c/cup if you bought the box, rather than 35c/cup to pick a variety, so I’m pouting.)

            1. We’re not quite there because there is only the two of us, but we do something similar: canned beans and veggies by the flat, big packs of canned meats at Costco, all the cans of a specific canned ham at WalMart (they usually only have 6 or so and she eats 2-3/wk for lunch), and so on.

            2. I could believe this, but…

              The flour and sugar still aren’t there. If it was just due to having a small starting number, I could see that getting hit by the initial frenzy. But last time I was at the supermarket (last Saturday), it was still all gone. That sounds like it keeps getting hit hard even after the restocks.

              I suspect that ramen is a high demand item for the same reason that pasta would be. It’s a simple item that’s easy to fix. And, if you’re creative, it can be used in many of the same ways that most pasta noodles can be used. Also, I live in an area with a high concentration of east asians (mostly Chinese, afaik).

              Rice – again, there are a lot of east asians in my area. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re cleaning it out. Plus, more and more people have instant pots these days, and those have a rice cooker function. And people who don’t might already have a rice cooker. I already had one before my uncle bought me one for Christmas a few years ago (I didn’t mention that to him, obviously ^_^;; ). With a cooker, rice is a very simple meal to fix.

              1. You already know this, of course, but I feel mildly compelled to point out for other readers that ramen noodles strongly tend to spoil quickly. The frying oil goes rancid within a year or two. White rice, if stored properly, can last literally 40 years. Oxygen absorbers and mylar bags work excellently.

                In any case, I don’t have a rice cooker myself, and rice is still ultra-simple to cook in my combination of a stainless-steel pan with aluminum bottom and a borrowed, matching cast-iron lid from a dutch oven of the same diameter. I add water, oil, spices, herbs, and rice to the pan. I raise the mixture to a boil over high heat and then lower the temperature to a simmer for twenty minutes with one or two stirs along the way. Done!

                1. The advantage of a modern rice-cooker is that it’s also a crockpot and general one-unit-kitchen, although you may be bored sick in a week or three.

              2. But the restock isn’t going to match demand, even if they tripled the order– if usual is one in a hundred, and now it’s one in twenty, that still means you’ve got two folks who want to buy it but can’t right now. And a lot of people are doing like Sarah mentioned with stress-baking, and if I have to read one more “gosh I’m going to use my time at home to Learn Praiseworthy Skill” I may scream.

                Heck, we did a lot of stress baking, too; for a week we were eating leftovers because of it!

              3. It’s like how the lunch meat section looks like the day before the new stuff comes in, but half a week early, and the overstock bread place I like has maybe half the bread and a fifth of the breakfast bread.

                The demand is shifted. In the case of the sandwich meat and bread, oh and the cereal, it’s all those folks who were eating at school or work. (Ditto the cup-o-noodles, and frozen pizzas, and man are the “healthy” peanutbutters gone fast.)

          2. We have a flour mill in state that grows their own wheat, and our little Walmart had a freshly delivered ~5000 pounds on hand… probably the best year that mill has ever had. TP was limited to one bale per customer, but seemed sufficient. Canned goods, pasta, and anything that looks like cooking oil were scarce. Cheese, peanut butter (??!) and dairy mostly intact, meat at about half-staff (no worse than before a holiday) but coming in 2x per week as usual. Frozen foods about normal. Bread is baked in-store and was as abundant as always. Cleaning stuff was stripped but they’d found a stash of pool bleach (10% at half the price) and had that by the pallet. Veggies mostly intact tho potatoes come and go. (I grow more than I can eat, so y’all can have ’em. Would you like some zucchini? Please??)

            Wasn’t going to grow spaghetti squash again, cuz it takes over the world (planted four, supposedly produce a mere 4-5 apiece… gave away 130 =ginormous= squash and still had a big pile) but I think I’ll plant a few seeds across the road for whoever wants ’em. Might throw in a few others that naturalize well (tomatoes and those mini watermelons are like weeds, and we won’t discuss the weird things corn does when left to its own devices).

        7. I didn’t think to add my required comment: at least 1/4 to 1/2 of the courses for lifestyle submissives at BDSM events fall under some version of home economics from basics like ironing and menu planning to full on butler books.

          Tells me there is a lack of skills being passed on and a desire for those skills.

          1. Our students at Day Job have asked for Home Ec type classes. We do have a one-day “survival skills” class for seniors, but they want more. Heck, when I was in college the first time, the deans were horrified that the students wanted Home Econ options. We were supposed to be liberated women, free from the bonds of domestic toil. Yeah, and we didn’t want to starve to death, go broke, or ruin the laundry, either.

            1. I have thought there is a bundle to be made in an adulting school. There are online things, but actually rent a space and have in person classes. You can even advertising it as a dating option, “Meet people you know what to have the skills to be actual partners and not just a fling”.

              1. There is. I had to teach myself how to iron for instance. PROPERLY. Mom had taught me, but she had no patience for beginner-errors.
                I’d like a course in altering clothes. I’m learning it, but dear Lord…. the errors.

                1. Well, nothing to do for now. Plus, individual courses are great, but I’m thinking a “degree in adulting” with required classes and electives. Marketing would be recently college graduates and women who just turned 31 and are single.

        8. In the immortal words of director Robert Rodriguez: “Not knowing how to cook is like not knowing how to f***.)

  3. Please don’t die. My mornings would be so much less interesting without you.

  4. As I told an idiot on the Weber Forums:

    The declining stock market is an indicator and a symptom of what is being done to the economy, the way a face turning purple is a symptom of being choked to death.


    That’s what they are doing. They are strangling the economy and they either don’t know, don’t care, or believe that it’s worth it to get what they want. These are people that would cut off their own foot, if it meant they could cut both feet off the people they hate.

    And they hate everybody that doesn’t agree with them, everybody saying the ‘wrong’ words and believing the ‘wrong’ truths.

    If this virus was as bad as they claim, we would already be living The Last Centurion.
    ———————————
    Bring out yer dead!

    1. We don’t really get “The Last Centurion” until next fall when last year’s food stocks are exhausted and there are no new ones due to the “quarantine”.

      1. Look at is this way: The United States of America is a *massive* exporter of food worldwide.

        If American agriculture collapses, it will be interesting to see if whatever administration is in power tells the foreigners to eat dirt, or if they maintain export quotas while Americans starve.

          1. After seeing how obediently Americans took to the fake quarantine, I honestly doubt Americans have a boogaloo in them anymore. Maybe if Netflix goes down or something.

            1. That depends.

              I only took to it because work ordered us to work from home (which I hated, but oddly I’m seeming to be more productive) and I had exactly two regular outings. D&D continued until recently. Trivia ended only because the bar is closed.

              But I don’t think Americans are being that obedient and I say that as someone who thinks doing what those studies I posted elsewhere found evidence were key for the Spanish Flu: closing public schools, restaurants/bars, and theaters, but not business or industry in general. I think people, on the whole, get the wisdom of that much, but not much else and the pushback is starting outside of blue areas.

              1. I think there’s also the aspect that most people inclined to boogaloo realize that isn’t a Magical Restoration of the Republic and the danger of it devolving into a French Revolution-esque reign of terror or Russian Civil War red terror are very real. As long as things are marginally tolerable the boog is off the table.

                1. My concern is the people who have given up on restoration of the Republic and convince themselves the ruins must be burnt to the ground that we may rebuild, this time with better materials.

                  There ain’t better materials available, the architects we have make Dono Vorrutyer seem sensible and there’s not much alternative so we’ve damned little to lose.

                  1. You mean Ges Vorrutyer, right? I think that Donna/Dono is almost Beta-scary rational.

                    1. Perhaps — I had to do that via online search and that’s who the Wiki turned up — the ancestor and namesake of the “present” Lord Dono.

                      I could remember the character but there are too many words i the series to start thumbing through the books in search of a minor “throwaway” character.
                      -.

                    2. Oh! I see what you mean now. I’d forgotten they had a mad architect, although I can’t claim to be precisely surprised.

                    3. Yep – the “genius” responsible for the design of ImpSec Headquarters.

                      Which reminds me I ought have remembered to pull Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance in which that building’s fate is dramatically involved … although that would have entailed leaving my chair, so …

                    4. Yeah, he meant the architect of the Imperial Security Headquarters building. Remember, though, he was paranoid and misanthropic, not stupid or incompetent. Much better than the ones that want to destroy and rebuild our society.

            1. But that won’t be how our betters will roll. Instead, it will be “We must ship food to our enemies; Fat slob Deplorable Americans need to go on diets anyway.”

      2. Agriculture is on the list of critical businesses in most states, along with the stores that support agriculture.

          1. https://www.agri-pulse.com/articles/13330-homeland-security-deems-agriculture-as-critical-infrastructure-amid-covid-19-pandemic Shelter in place doesn’t apply to critical infrastructure jobs. Power plants, those keeping the natural gas, oil, and gasoline flowing, home improvement stores, seed and feed stores that sell fertilizer and weed killers, agriculture, food factories, truckers, grocery stores, all of it should still be happening even with the shelter in place order, along with things like first responders, hospital workers, medical technology companies. Heck, in some places, even gun stores are still considered critical infrastructure and are open, though the blue states are trying to shut that down. There’s whole supply chains of the economy that isn’t impacted by the order. It’s actually amazing how much of the economy is exempted from this due to being critical. Many of them are shifting to a much lower contact form of shopping and pickup though. Farming by its nature is pretty socially distant, so as long as you can get the supplies in with minimal contact, and you’re not in one of those crop categories that requires intensive human labor for harvesting (migrant workers) the farming itself is reasonably safe from spreading those viruses.

            1. Great, the piece of paper says it doesn’t apply.

              Now go get that through the head of the twit who just pulled over a lady who is going to watch her brother’s kids because he drives the parts truck that repairs the fertilizer, and his wife works at the gas station which has to have a cashier to run the fleet fuel cards.

              Or how about the guy who bar-tends part time to make ends meet on his farm? (Sadly common.)

              People suck at identifying what stuff is “essential” or “supports” essential things, especially when it’s something they don’t understand.

              Which is why Iowa’s governor, at least last time I checked, was showing some signs of brain waves and refusing to put the state on shelter-in-place. Gave advice– including telling people to buy MORE when they’re grocery shopping, so that they don’t have to go out every day or three– and said basically that if we don’t want to starve, we’re going to have to allow people to be responsible for themselves.

          2. I’d loooove to see the state police trying to make the eastern Colorado ranchers and wheat farmers shelter in place. Because it will be like Rocky Top. “Strangers ain’t come down from Rocky Top/ ‘Reckon they never will.”

        1. But do they have the slightest clue how many, many jobs ‘support agriculture’? I used to live on a farm. Milk had to be picked up EVERY TWO DAYS, WITHOUT FAIL or it had to be dumped. We grew hay, oats and corn, but feed supplements and bovine medications had to be delivered every month or so. If we needed the vet, we needed him RIGHT NOW. We used disposable filters to keep contaminants out of the milk. There was extra-strong chlorine detergent and a phosphoric acid rinse agent for the milking equipment. Extra-concentrated bug spray for the barn. Run out of any of those, and the milk couldn’t legally be sold.

          We needed regular deliveries of gasoline, diesel fuel and propane. Specialized seed grains in the spring — gee, that’s right about now. Fertilizer, weed killer, and bug killer, all through the spring and summer. Parts to repair the tractors and other machinery. Oil, grease and paint. Open stores, to buy all of those things. We grew cow feed, not people food, so we bought a LOT of groceries. Plus all the other miscellaneous stuff a dozen people need.

          The dairy which bought all that milk needed a lot of things, too. They needed to get their products to stores, and customers, or they wouldn’t need to pick up our milk any more. Trains, ships and trucks have to run reliably, so, all the support THEY need.

          ‘Agriculture’ is huge and complicated, in ways politicians and media wankers just don’t get.
          ———————————
          A politician is worse than a toilet. They’re both full of shit — but at least you can flush the toilet.

          1. https://www.agweb.com/article/homeland-security-recognizes-agriculture-critical-industry << DHS recognizing that all of the things you mentioned are critical industry.

            "Specifically, DHS recognized these food and agriculture roles as critical:

            • Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, etc.; transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; raising of animals for food; animal production operations; slaughter and packing plants and associated regulatory and government workforce

            • Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically

            • Farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops; commodity inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; storage facilities; and other agricultural inputs

            • Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail that sells food and beverage products

            • Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations – Carry-out and delivery food employees

            • Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees—to include those employed in food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging

            • Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution, including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers and blockchain managers

            • Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail

            • Company cafeterias – in-plant cafeterias used to feed employees

            • Workers in food testing labs in private industries and in institutions of higher education

            • Workers essential for assistance programs and government payments

            • Employees of companies engaged in the production of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids

            • Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood products

            • Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution"

            1. My state has a ‘shutdown’ in place, but if you read through the list of exceptions, all that’s actually affected are schools, entertainment venues (including bars and eat-in restaurants), stores that deal in other than grocery or pharma, and tourism.

              That last is the big impact, as the state’s #2 industry. As I’ve been saying for decades… it’s not smart to hang your economy on other people’s disposable income, especially when for the past 20 years most of the tourists have come from China.

              Hopefully we’ll elect the GOP governor this fall (“Deck him again, Greg!”) and put his business-building acumen to work creating jobs that aren’t beholden to the excess income of random others.

          2. “If you can’t grow it, ya gotta mine it.”
            and
            “If you can’t mine it, ya gotta grow it.”

            Everything else derives from farming or mining. And I suppose you could consider much farming to be a means of mining CO2 from the air and turning it into something more useful.

            1. If it is any comfort, the agriculture equipment manufacturer I work for is still going at full production!
              Ten hour days and most Saturdays!
              And yes, I am considered an “essential employee”!

              1. My son is working 60+ hours a week building cabinets. They are considered essential. They are down people, but not because the company has let people go. They have been short people because of the economy, and now people are using the CCF as an excuse to stay home in quarantine, they don’t have enough backups and can’t get them.

          3. ‘Agriculture’ is huge and complicated, in ways politicians and media wankers just don’t get.
            And this goes back to our discussions of why a ‘directed’ economy is such a bat-eating stupid idea. Because it isn’t just agriculture. So many things that make up Western Civilization are interwoven of loads of threads. Transportation. Homes. Information Technology. HVAC. Plumbing.

            Yes, all those things can be simplified if you must or desire to. But life will be much different.

              1. And a great many of those threads are regulations. Get rid of them and you have to revamp your weave – but the cloth is a lot more flexible and resilient.
                (Overdoing the metaphor?)

          4. ‘Agriculture’ is huge and complicated, in ways politicians and media wankers just don’t get.

            Nonsense. A billionaire former mayor of America’s Greatest City [TM] has assured me that all it takes is poking a kernel of corn into a hole in the ground, sprinkling a little water on it then sitting back and waiting.

            Easy-peasey.

      1. Democrats have been openly saying they want one ever since Trump won the election. They view the economy crashing as a feature, not a bug.

        1. Because they think they can get it roaring again, quickly, and show everyone how well their ideas work, and thus maintain their power. And then there are those who know that keeping everyone down, and reliant on the government teat, will help them maintain their power. There’s not a lot to choose between the ignorant and the evil, unfortunately.

            1. Didn’t you know? The many failures of communism were caused by all those capitalist countries around them. If they could just get rid of all the Eeeevul capitalist economies, communism would totally bring about Paradise On Earth as promised by the Prophet Marx!

              1. You laugh, one of Clinton’s economic advisers at one point had written a paper claiming Romania under that crazy C named guy, would have been the greatest economy in the world if only they’d been allowed access to Western tech.

                No discussion of why such an advanced country needed tech created elsewhere and couldn’t just duplicate it.

          1. More importantly, they are confident they (with the aid of their MSM adjunct, can successfully blame the collapse on Trump.

            Any failure to re-start the economy will be a) treated as the Obama Recovery Summers were, b) blamed o Trump, c) blamed o wreckers and kulaks greedy capitalists, and d) all of the above.

              1. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

                kulaks greedy capitalists, and d) all of the above.

        2. They think that will create a revolution to go further left.

          That’s their fundamental error. Revolutions go against the status quo, and despite what they tell themselves the US is not some reactionary conservative fascist state, it is a very left nations, especially compared to its historical center. Even in my lifetime I’ve watch it go very left (especially the past decade).

          A revolution won’t be communist, it’ll be that reactionary, conservative state, probably Franco’s Spain like (I’ve been thinking the Spanish Civil War, at least the lead up, maps to our current situation better than other examples I’ve found). Despite what leftists claim, Franco was not a fascist. In fact, the Flange (Spanish fascists) felt they were used by Franco as shock troops and support then abandoned when he took power for more traditional elements. The BBC documentary series on the war, which is on YouTube and is actually quite good (from the 80s, so before the rot got deep at the Beeb) has interviews with Spanish Fascists making that complaint.

          In fact, the one time I got through to a Che shirt wearing leftie was to bring up Franco and ask how he’d react to conservatives in the US wearing Franco shirts (one of his grandparents fled Franco’s Spains) after he explained, yeah, Che was a murderer, but he stood for these things we believed in. When he said that was different, as Franco was just a tyrant, I went through the things, like religious conservatism Franco championed, and pointed out, “Yeah, he was a tyrant, but he did support these good things”. I saw the light go on and, in no small part, I think because he realized a Franco type revolution was likely to get traction in the US in response to a Che style one.

    2. The stock market is mostly being done by oligarchs who hate the Trumpster being in office enough to destroy the country in the hope that this will force him out or he will lose the up-comimg. They’re are too stupid to realize that (a)most of them will go down with the country and (b) most people don’t want to change leaders in the middle of a fire-fight.

    3. Personal suspicion is that the destruction of the market/economy is being helped along partly by a group of oligarchs who hate the idea of Trump in charge so much that they would willingly destroy the country to take him out – with idea being that they will survive and prosper. Obviously none of them ever read Ringo…

  5. Sarah,
    First, let me say that you will be added to my daily prayers that you will remain/return to health.

    Second, I am not a “Pollyanna” by any means. I have experienced sudden/dramatic loss since before I was out of high school. Some of my later future losses were self-inflicted (really poor choices) and some were the result of being caught up in the thresher of political expediency/ correctness. None of it was easy to get through. At several times it was only by accepting what was to come and putting the matter entirely into God’s Hands that I was able to get through it all and survive (literally) and even thrive. But, life has not turned out the way I thought. And to that I say, Thank God! We – You, I, our families will get through this. Maybe it’s being part of that mongrel race called American. Our DNA is made up of races and cultures that have been kicked and persecuted and beaten for centuries. We survive and thrive. The Elites that want to take over or control this country and maybe more have no real grasp of what America is all about. None. They cannot grasp putting your life into service to others. They focus on making more and more while most of us share more and more when times are hard. They are the One-Worlders. We are America, under God.
    A friend, while we were speaking of having patience, once said, “You can stick an umbrella up my butt, but you better not open it”. Patience has a limit! That proverbial umbrella is getting a tad uncomfortable, right now. For those wielding it, they had better know how far they can go! But, we will be o.k.
    Pray, be kind, be vigilant, pray again.
    Bill

  6. Gee, hasn’t it been the Left that always goes on about the collateral damage from our military’s actions?

    1. But when they do it, those are ‘necessary sacrifices’.

      I swear, they don’t care how little they have, so long as everybody else has even less.
      ———————————
      “E must be a King!”
      “Ow d’yer know that?”
      “E ‘asn’t got shit all over ‘im!”

      1. The left are Satanists, worshiping Milton’s Satan.

        If they were at least dynamic ubermench like the person I learned the relevant quote from, Khan Noonien Singh (the real one, not the fake one from the J J Abraham’s movie), they would at least be people who set out to build grand things that were supposed to outlast them, there would at least be an aluminium lining (dictators don’t get silver), but they’re just said little men who wish to abuse their little bit of authority out of a Pushkin story.

      2. Being rich isn’t about how much you have, it’s about how much more you have than your neighbors.

        1. Wealth is how many days forward you can survive without working.

          Which means a pantry of canned goods is arguably more wealth than the cash cost to replace it, as you still have it when store shelves are empty.

  7. the only metric that counts is the deaths … everything else is window dressing …

    since we know the 99% of deaths will be in at risk seniors locking them down would have reduced the total deaths due to corona …

    locking everyone down will reduce the death count from corona but will also kill 10’s of thousands of people for years to come because of the financial ruin …

    neither of these choices and outcomes were unknown 3 weeks ago … the pros and cons of both were known …

    so why did leaders pick choice 2 ?

      1. Partly. Also, as controlling personalities, exerting control over the populace gave them the illusion of control over the virus. And, since that’s the sort of thing they want to do anyway – control the populace – it worked for them.

        1. I agree they are controlling personalities and the drama of the whole thing must appeal. They are also, by and large, innumerate and stupid. Cunning yes, but stupid.

          That’s said we shouldn’t lose sight of the path this took. ICL came out with their model and emails were sent to just about every jurisdiction and all the news media giving what the number of dead in each jurisdiction would be. The shelter in place rolled across the world in under two days. You still hear the more stupid governors quoting numbers from it. This was panic. No politician, and certainly no democrat politician, was going to allow themselves to be blamed for the death of millions. It was cascading failure, no different than a large scale power failure and, I think, can be analyzed by the same math.

          Also, remember the fog-of-war. All they knew was what they saw on TV and what their very limited group had to say. The thing I remember about the mean girls in grammar school, (it’s why I went to a boys high school) was their unanimity. Any one who disagreed with the group think was Crazy Eddie.

      2. Lawyers. The liability lawyers are whispering that if they take the least-intrusive course, and people die, then the Powers That Be will be to blame. If they go full potato, then it’s an Act of G-d or the fault of the medical teams.

        1. A basic concept in risk management is not to let your lawyers do it since they have a very narrow view of risk.

          1. The same should be realized as it concerns doctors – of the bureaucratic or academic sort. They have a Zero Risk Infection mentality that informs all of their decisions. It’s unrealistic, but it achieves victory over their foe, the disease.

        2. Same reason companies aren’t staying open. Because if they stay open and anyone gets sick because they were told “show up or lose your job”, they’ll be sued; if they terminate and hire replacements, they’ll be sued; they’re in better shape to close and go out of business.

          1. Or worse – “somebody else” could end up owning your business:

            NY Unions to Amazon: It Sure Would Be a Shame If Anything Happened to Your Company, Jeff Bezos.
            What was that notoriously cynical thing that one-time Obama aide, Rahm Emanuel, once said? Oh, yes, “you never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

            And the middle of a national emergency, in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of a time when everyone is making sacrifices, union members are threatening Amazon: Do what I say. Or Else.

            [SNIP]

            As PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil reports, it all started with a warehouse worker who was fired when he declared the Amazon warehouse unsafe for the employees during the COVID-19 outbreak and decided to organize a strike. Well, that’s how the unions tell it. The backstory is a bit more, ah, interesting than that. It turns out that the wannabe unionist was under orders not to come to work because he’d been exposed to COVID-19 and was on fully PAID medically-ordered quarantine. He came to his strike anyway and potentially exposed other people to the virus. That’s why he was fired. He broke the company’s COVID-19 protocols.

            [END EXCERPT]

            Emphasis added.

      1. As opposed to a more likely answer, which was “If China says they beat it, they are almost certainly lying. And if they DID beat it, it is very likely accidental.”

        Yes, I think badthink all the time.

        😈

          1. Or as Our Gracious Hostess said last week: “It’s not that they lie. It’s that they don’t really have a concept of the truth.”

      2. What is odd is we have good evidence a much milder version of this is what really helped control the Spanish flu. Something virulent enough just having quarantines only gets you so far. But instead of just doing that, we turned it up to eleventy-seven for some reason (I speculated on some below).

        Also, I wonder how much the shrinking of household size contributes to the sense that we need to go this far. Your talk about coffee shops being the living room in NYC for most people probably means 1919 like shutdowns of gathering places means shutting down everything in a way that was not true then.

        1. Add in that NYC and LA and DC are the only places that they know, and that makes very good sense. “Everyplace has to be like us, and we’re getting hammered, so the entire country has to shut down!” Thanks be that Trump has passed it on to the governors and mayors, as he should have.

          1. It’s a federal system. I find the lack of basic knowledge of civics fascinating. Especially because these are the kids who got straight A’s and went to Ivy’s

            1. And who have spent the last three years calling Trump a fascist dictator; now they are denouncing him for not acting like one and doing what is proper constitutionally and leaving things up to the states when it comes to quarantines. To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds, worst dictator ever.

              1. Politico actually ran an editorial, by one of the founders, that this proves Trump is incompetent. He wants to be a dictator and failed to take advantage of the crisis to become one. The conclusion is he is an authoritarian weakman.

                The idea that their believe he wants to be a dictator is never entertained.

            2. Doesn’t mean they ever had any civics classes. By the 1970s when I was in high school it was an elective, and I think they dropped it entirely before my senior year.

              And if they’re under 40 and *did* have civics or American government classes, they were probably far-left propaganda.

              1. In Alaska in 1981-82 we all had to take “US Government” as a senior requirement. It was taught by rote by the hockey coach.

            3. Straight As and went to Ivy’s is why they are ignorant. Understanding civics and voicing that understanding you get Ds or Fs and no acceptance to an “elite” university.

          2. Hell, if this had hit Denver instead of NYC and LA it wouldn’t even be on the news except as an example of how those mouth breathers don’t even wash up.

          3. LA is actually in pretty good shape. California in its entirety has twice the population of New York State. But as of Tuesday, New York had suffered *NINE TIMES* as many deaths. That’s despite the fact that Los Angeles and San Francisco both have very large Chinese populations that still have close ties to mainland China.

            I don’t know what accounts for the disparity.

            Also, I’ll note that Los Angeles often gets ignored even by our elites. ABC (owned by Disney, which is headquartered in Burbank) might give lots of attention to something that exclusively hit LA. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the other networks downplayed it, and the elites generally mocked it as “just something hitting those crazy Angelenos”.

            1. I remember somebody (Foxfier?) commenting on NYC doing everything about as badly as possible all along, but I’m afraid I wasn’t paying that close attention while they were doing it.

            2. New York had a judge who blocked Trump’s ban on incoming flights from China. That was probably the seed, but there was also deBlasio going “nothing to see here” until it was obvious.

          4. This, too. So many of our national ‘journalists’ never get out of the Acela Corridor (Boston-NYC-DC).

      3. Oh my…yes. Last night I read in horror as some local journalist was saying we needed to do *exactly* what China did to curtail the deaths of, what? At most 10% of the population. Sure, if it’s someone you know, it’ll be devastating, but LIFE IS RISK!!! Yet, I see people running to the government to keep them safe. I’ve seen how that works. (Here’s a hint, it all ends in tears, because one size does not fit all.)

          1. Oh, I know. I know. “But it’s for MY own good, you have to be locked up.” I’m so disgusted. Yet how do you tell people who are terrified of that which comes for us all, that it’s just a LIE that THEY will be SAFE.

            1. Democrats want people to get used to emergency declarations so they can use them for other things, particularly their “green” boondoggle. Governor Cuomo is already declaring a “climate emergency” that enables the State of New York to overrule local government’s planning rights, which includes the right to veto solar farms and wind farms, so they can build these monstrosities over the objections of the vast majority of the locals.

              It is not hyperbole at this point to say that the November 2020 election is the most important election, if not in the nation’s history, certainly since the 1860 election. If Democrats win the presidency and control of Congress, the republic will be stick a fork in it dead, because they will push their Marxist insanity and pack the courts with radical leftists, including expanding the Supreme Court, until they can get enough Judges will go along with their Great Cultural Revolution Leap Forward Redux.

              1. Have you looked at the New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, passed last year? Honestly, declared emergencies are … well, okay, mostly implied in the requirements; anything that gets in the way of the Climate Council’s recommendations and the Five Year Plan *will* be swept away.

                (Our plans for getting Out Of Here have been postponed somewhat with the Current Unpleasantness. -_- I’d appreciate any good will; I think it likely we’re gonna need help to get through the combined clusterstorm that’s coming.)

        1. They secretly want to do EXACTLY what China did to ‘beat’ the coronavirus: purge political dissidents, spread lies and cover up the truth.

      4. and then there’s the leaked intel report saying that (duh) China is vastly understating their numbers of infected and dead.

        Smart money says by a factor of 10

        1. And those numbers don’t include all the people who have died of starvation and lead poisoning.

  8. As side note, if you’re going to get a prescription for hydroxychloroquine go to your pharmacist and use the SingleCare app on your phone. The price for 60 tables is $18.87 or thereabouts, the price with GoodRX was from $110 to $170.

      1. I understand completely. I did it as I’ve had congestive heart failure (now back to 60-65% ejection fraction) and my wife is diabetic and has had four strokes in the past two years.

        On the lockdown – look at Willis Eschenbach’s article “Do Lockdowns Work?” Short answer, not as good as simple masks. Japan is a poster child!
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/01/do-lockdowns-work/

        1. Yeah, honestly, the entire reason we have the lockdown is because the government didn’t plan ahead and have enough masks on hand to deal with this, and enough for everyone to wear them to prevent asymptomatic spread. That, and the parallel traders from China stripped the country’s masks from every store in the country and sent them back to China right before it spread here. As soon as we have random testing in place, and masks for everyone, we can probably break the lockdown and go back to work.

          1. Why should that ever have been up to the government? Hospitals and medical suppliers should maintain stockpiles, just in case — except that the government taxes businesses for keeping inventory on hand. And, of course, most of our products come from China, and the supplies stopped just when we needed them.

            I have worked 2 days in the last 3 weeks, because the company I work for needs parts from China.

            1. Hah, you have a point there. Ok, the local hospitals failed to keep a sufficient stockpile of masks, and our retailers failed to keep a sufficient stockpile of masks, and that’s why we have the lockdown now.

              1. No, but being taxed on inventory means everyone only keeps just-in-time quantities on hand, so there IS no stockpile anywhere taxation can reach (thus encouraging sourcing from abroad, too). Trump mentioned that this tax policy is a problem and he wants it to end (suspended for now, if I understood him right).

                1. Agreed. But that’s a different kettle of fish than the “only China can make masks for us!!1!” yells I keep seeing. I got into an argument over in the comments on Ace’s blog because someone there kept insisting that we were reliant on Chinese production for masks. This despite the fact that 3M makes them here in the US, and announced that it was ramping up production of them several weeks ago.

              2. Yeah, but China also came in and stripped our stock in january-march to send back and sell in China, so we’re starting from a depleted state. https://youtu.be/R7VE7-dn8MY They discuss these parallel traders here. Even though we don’t rely on PRC/CCP for our masks, they still impacted our availability.

            2. Those stock piles have capital costs far beyond inventory taxes, capital costs which get passed along to the consumer. The law likely sets limits on such stockpiles in order to ensure affordable care for all.

          2. PJmedia has had articles that the Lightbringer (Grrr) never replenished the masks in the federal emergency stockpile after the H1N1 epidemic. They also mentioned that Obama kept trying to cut CDC budgets for epi/pandemic preparations. Gun violence and 57 gendered bathrooms were a far more important mission.

        2. My wife would like to talk or trade emails with you. we found out in February that she has severe heart damage from her breast cancer chemo. Her EF is ~30% but the doctor has told her that a regimen he prescribes will fix it in about 50% of the cases. She would like to talk to someone who has gone through it and recovered.

          j dot j wooten at sbcglobal dot net

    1. I don’t think they will fill a prescription for Plaquenil right now unless you have one of the other conditions it’s usually used for. I got some for my daughter, who has lupus, and the pharmacist asked before he would fill the prescription.

      Daughter and I were exposed at the ER last Thursday (she’s been having medical issues pop up that we didn’t know about, and has been in the ER three times in the last two and a half weeks). Yesterday we were both having mild symptoms. But we are taking vitamin D, C, and elderberry, along with a multi-vitamin which has zinc in it. That’s in addition to her Plaquenil (and an antibiotic, since she’s got a catheter in). So far, so good.

      Sarah, take care of yourself! You would be missed by your family and a lot of other people. And all those books you still hope to write? I hope to read them!

  9. Because Wall Street is retirement plans. It is investment and innovation funds. It is rainy day funds. All of these for middle America. More than that, the economy and its ability to allow people to work for pay or find the food they need, or whatever IS lives.


    I know of at least 2 people that have, by their own admission, have nothing beyond what they get from SS, at age 70. One of them admitted even then he wasn’t retiring unless forced (he was forced, long story). My response was “Wait! What?” Their response to my retiring (at 59) was “Wait? What? How can you afford that?” (Bet you all can guess?) Hints of what not to guess: No inheritance. Have not won any lotteries. We don’t gamble. Haven’t won any competitions. No insurance payouts. No court settlements. Sure I’m missing something that hard work and reasonable smarts that have been granted everyone (whether they are used or not).

    1. Debt kills. We bought into the seduction of “you deserve it.” This is not a criticism of any person who finds themselves with nothing since I don’t know if they took on debt or not, but the inflation caused by the prevalence of debt made it so you couldnt live on one salary unless you were very lucky, inheritance, etc., One of the tragedies in life is that Liz Warren was right about this back in the day but her ambition made her sell her soul.

      1. We lived on one salary. And until this year we had savings. Not sitting pretty, but not BAD.
        Mind you, I made/fixed/etc a lot of what we needed. And we did without a lot.
        BUT we did it.
        (For the first 13 years of our marriage my writing made nothing. After that it was the butter to the bread. I made “decent income” for about 5 years of 20. And NOT last year.)

      2. We saved and built some financial security for our retirement. And we were debt-free; only taxes, utilities, and food.

        And then my wife had some medical problems right after ACA went into effect, and it vacuumed everything plus added six-figure debt. And the interest was more than we made.

        1. Yep. Death, Disease, and Divorce are the three horsemen. You do your best and scrape by and then … boom. it’s so unfair.

          I wasn’t born poor and have done well in my own career but I find it amazing how many of our highest income people are not very far from ruin. Everyone who lives around me makes more or less the same. Somehow they all drove much better cars than I did. I asked my wife where they got the money and she said “they borrowed it you idiot.” we never borrowed money and lived below our means but they all had more stuff, better trips, bigger cars. It’s hard to keep,perspective.

          Too much grasshoppers not enough ants. Especially since the state comes in and takes the ants stuff away and gives it to the grasshoppers.

          1. I have an Aunt & Uncle who are always calling poverty. How much they “owe” on the house & whichever vehicle they are paying off. Now I know better. They’ve always paid cash. Bought the property, paid cash, whined about paying back themselves, with interest! House, they built, repeat. Any new cars? Ditto.

            We’ve borrowed. But we’ve never, ever, borrowed beyond our means; not ever. We use credit regularly. But, you know when we look at the checking account that is not free unused money, it is what is used to pay the credit card … then rake in the cash refunds (which goes back into checking, not spent, still not free money). Can’t say we haven’t “wasted” money. Because by some standards we do. We eat out too much, not because neither of us cook, we can, just, well we eat out too much. We have pets …

            1. When we sold the house in California, that was the last of the debt. Since we were retired in our early 50s, we lived (frugally!) on a combination of the house proceeds and savings until retirement accounts could be tapped. The credit card is paid off monthly (just did that today, got the statement), vehicles are purchased from savings.

              One savings account gets income from an IRA, and is split into a vehicle virtual piggy bank and a virtual backup savings. (One account at the institution, two accounts on our books. Reconciliation is still pretty simple.) We try to use the piggy bank, but when the old pickup failed, we did a virtual borrow to get the new one. That was paid off, and now we’re saving. For what, don’t know.

            2. I timed the market to buy a house and waited until the bottom of the market in the 2009 crisis. When the mortgage broker told us how much we “qualified” for, I laughed in her face. No way was I going to commit to that much in mortgage payments when I had student loan payments, a newborn, and hadn’t found a long-term employer yet.

              1. When the mortgage broker told us how much we “qualified” for, I laughed in her face.


                Yes. Both our homes we ran into the same problem (’80 & ’88). Good thing we didn’t in ’80. It was bad enough as it was. We were able to hold on to it to sell it for what we had into it. But if we’d gone for max allowed, we’d been hosed. Learned our lesson, so ’88 purchase we were very conservative. Even on refi’s. We owe about 2/3rds more, what we actually paid for it, but only 33% of what it will sell for, now. Even if it crashes down to ’08 levels we’re still in the green. The extra went to the sewer connection, upgraded windows, forced air (replaced electric ceiling), and other improvements, over the last 31 years. If it crashes all the way? Well we aren’t going anywhere … before what nailed us was a force transfer. Retired, so that hammer is gone. If we go through on our dreams, mortgage would be the same amount, for the same rate, as well as insurance costs, but property taxes will likely triple.

        2. Mom & Dad were going along strong too. Then dad had his stroke. Don’t know all the particulars of their costs beyond what insurance paid out. Do know that dad’s company carried their insurance until mom found work that had insurance coverage. They were 50. ’08 didn’t help. Now, at 85, mom is one major health crisis from insolvency, if she can’t live at home.

      3. Debt kills. We bought into the seduction of “you deserve it.” This is not a criticism of any person who finds themselves with nothing since I don’t know if they took on debt or not, but the inflation caused by the prevalence of debt made it so you couldnt live on one salary unless you were very lucky, inheritance, etc., One of the tragedies in life is that Liz Warren was right about this back in the day but her ambition made her sell her soul.


        Seduction of “you deserve it” or lesson of the ’20’s “if I don’t use it, it will go ‘poof’.” Because Grandma & Grandpa told *me* it will … never mind that Grandma & Grandpa didn’t have anything to go ‘poof’ during black Friday, for most. For various degrees of *me*.

        1. It was debt that made it go poof then and it’s debt that makes it go poof now. Sometimes there’s no alternative and I’m not opposed to debt for capital spending where there’s a real possibility of a return. Debt for consumer goods, nah.

          If you’re starving you do what you have to do. Otherwise debt kills. It’s a seduction.

          1. Most of my CC debt is dental. And we haven’t even gotten to braces age yet, though so far my kids’ teeth seem to have plenty of room.

              1. Both investments. At least the kids are, I have 3. Ive never been entirely sure about mortgages but I suppose it’s better than rent receipts.

    2. Debt in itself is not a problem. Excessive debt (24 TRILLION DOLLARS, HELLO!!) will drown ya.

      Here’s how I see it:

      Our incredible economic boom of the 1950’s and early 1960’s was primarily driven by manufacturing. We made EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY. We made half of the stuff the whole WORLD needed. We were unbelievably prosperous, and the politicians assumed that it would always be so. They assumed that we could afford to convert Social Security from supplemental income for the few who lived past 65 into ‘free’ retirement for everybody, load on the ‘Great Society’ entitlements, tax and spend without limit forever.

      Nothing lasts forever.

      By 1960 the countries devastated by WW2 had mostly rebuilt their industries and they needed less from us. Our business leaders failed to recognize that the times they were a-changin’ and kept on with business as usual while foreign competition first wiped out our export markets, then started chewing away at our domestic markets. Our economy suffered, and suddenly all those perpetually expanding government handouts became unsustainable — but NOBODY dared to say it out loud. They still don’t dare.

      There are four segments of an economy which create all value: farming, mining, manufacturing, and construction. Those are the activities which result in tangible products that are worth more than they cost. They are the foundation of any economy, and without a strong foundation of farming, mining, manufacturing and construction the economy will collapse.

      The government has destroyed our mining industry with environmental regulations that are almost impossible to comply with; shut down our factories with perverse taxes that favor ‘offshoring’ to foreign countries; imposed burdensome rules and taxes on construction; and even placed severe restrictions on farming.

      Idiot politicians and bureaucrats try to replace those jobs with completely unproductive government jobs which do NOT contribute to the economy. Government drones filling out mountains of government forms do NOT create value, nor do ‘environmental compliance officers’ and ‘diversity monitors’ contribute to economic prosperity.

      The government has been strangling our economy for decades; it’s just that in the last month they’ve been taking direct action.
      ———————————
      People can make mistakes, even stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME mistakes.

      1. Regarding construction, churning building is part of how China keeps its GDP up. I had an instructor at UofA for History of Modern China, and what he said (as of 2010) was that, except for truly historic ones, any building standing longer than five years in Beijing was considered “old.”

        1. The whole thing is a Potemkin village. Very few if any of the pundits who talk about China have ever been there or if they have they’ve not been outside the hotel and office with the very attractive “assistants” to help them along. I remember taking the train into Guandong and seeing families lighting fires in the shells of 20 story buildings that had never been closed in and iridescent streams irrigating farms. It’s filthy beyond belief and corrupt beyond your wildest imagining.

        2. Though China has an extreme form of it, I see something similar where I live.
          We have a WalMart nearby with a huge parking lot and loads surrounding land. There is a shopping center adjacent the WalMart. Except for the one restaurant, the gov’t liquor store, a game store, a medical practice, and a martial arts studio, it is EMPTY. Note that all those things take less than half the space of the center. The rest is dark and unoccupied.

          So, almost a year ago, they started building another building next to the Taco Bell. It’s a multi-store storefront (with its BACK to the Taco Bell – seems odd), and is now sitting there looking for tenants.

          Despite there being unused storefront space literally 150 yards away. It might even be the same company that owns the other property. Why?

  10. I think a lot of our response to this is our fear of disease and death writ in sky high letters.

    Been reading (for unrelated reasons) The Denial of Death by Becker and something from the Preface is relevant:

    To be sure, primitives often celebrate death – as Hocart and others have shown – because they believe that death is the ultimate promotion, of eternity in some form. Most modern Westerners have trouble believing this anymore,

    Those three generations of miseducation you cite have, among other goals, the destruction of faith. I don’t just mean religion, although that is the easiest part to observe. They have been about destroying faith in those things that, to again quote Becker’s Preface, “designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny of man.”

    Beyond religious faith in our afterlife, people used to deny that final destiny by building things, families mostly, but businesses and institutions. Our new materialist to the point of reduction (inherent in Marx, but also in Objectivism and some other Libertarian systems, but oddly not in fascism) makes it impossible for the average person to comprehend the idea of planting trees whose shade you shall not enjoy, much less something like La Sagrada Família Basilica.

    I’m sure people are sick of my complaint about being 50+ with no children, but people with children have a future, one to invest in, one to care about. People whose only “hope” is to live as long as they can and then become dust, not even having the imperishable fame their linguistic ancestors so valued, then shutting down the economy to a zero point to save their own skin and to hell with tomorrow, makes sense.

    The more I think about our possible over-reaction (we won’t know for years) and certainly our taking the things we have learned worked in 1919[1] beyond mere quarantine to eleventy-seven despite one of the most dangerous things about the Spanish Flu, that it disproportionately killed the young and healthy (interesting theories on that) should be unsurprising. People with no faith, in an afterlife, in imperishable fame, in a grand creation, or even simply grandchildren, will cling to their own lives without concern for others.

    We are living that now.

    [1]: https://www.pnas.org/content/104/18/7582 – one reason I give this some respect is they date to 2007, so aren’t skewed for the current pandemic.

      1. Hostage implies you have investment.

        I get what you are saying, but I’d suggest reading some darker MGTWO or even out and out black pill material, to see what not having children or any other form of hope will do to you.

        1. I’d recommend against.

          Even the mild stuff you see in comment sections is unremittingly creepy. As though a skull-masked death cultist walked up to you and handed you an invitation.

          1. To win a battle you have to know your enemy.

            MGTOW is a huge scale and most isn’t too bad. It’s confirmed bachelor with an attitude that is usually well earned.

            Black pill, well, yeah. Those are people who give the abortion worshippers a run for their money. The Nazis to the PP Commie crowd.

        1. Add Joy.
          Joy is not happiness. I cannot be happy my son has died of cancer, but I can be Joyful. This is because like Love, Joy is not influenced by circumstances.
          The difficulty is that Joy is a gift. A gift we need to prepare to receive. Joy is an attribute of God, a strange infinity.

          Just when I think it can’t get any worse, it does. Sarah, you are added to our very long prayer list. I am starting to understand what praying without ceasing means. Be not afraid. Find a copy of the hymn “How Firm a Foundation”, and sing all the verses.

          1. Become? Nope. You are it already. You just keep it on a leash, like the rest of us werewolves.

            Your kids are big, smart and well trained. I’m channeling Mr. T: “I pity the fool!”

            1. Bingo.

              I know the upper and lower bounds of what I can burn down if I let got both unplanned and planned. It scares me. Perhaps one good side effect of having been in the kink world is you look at your dark side and its fantasies that thrill you and learn to tame them some.

              That said, buggaloo is a great cover for settling scores and I have an exceptional memory.

          2. I love my kids, I’d kill for my kids if I had to. My wife would destroy suns and lay waste galaxies for them.

          3. Exactly. I know what saved the life of the *%&@# that murdered my cousin from her parents. Her older two siblings and an infant grandchild …

        1. Good days I can substitute writing something people might read for pleasure when I’m gone and doing for my nieces and nephews.

          Meh days I just don’t think about it.

          Bad days I look for matches.

    1. There are other methods of investing in the future, if you can’t or won’t have kids. The people I know who have done that are much happier than those without, kids or not.

      1. I know, I mentioned several. The problem is our culture has devalued those as well. That is what I mean by destroying faith. For a group that named itself after progress and brags about being in the right side of history, progressive have very little faith in the future.

        I also think the two categories of childless by choice and childless not by choice have different reactions. Further the subcategory of the second “childless by rejection” (ie, no one wanted to have children with them) are a third category. The later two are more likely to find path than most of the first. Those of the first who find a path probably choose it over children (priesthood being the easy example). The last category is also the most dangerous as they may project that failure to find a mate onto society as a whole and decide to return the favor.

    2. I agree. The people I know going the most crazy are the much older childless people. They are out right cheering on the destruction of the seed corn so they can live…what a decade more of watching the latest tv shows, eating at the best restaurants, or going to concerts?

      I know one 70+ year childless person saying that people need to start locking up the elementary age children, because them playing in the street is spreading the disease! Meanwhile, that same person brags about going out every day for restaurant take out and shopping at the supermarket. But the children should be LOCKED UP?

      I can’t even process this.

      1. I can to a degree.

        Not so much the lock up, but in some platonic sense children, especially those we’ve allowed to be children up to 21, are less likely to follow through on reasonable precautions. One of the markers of childhood is lack of well developed self control. Kids playing in the street in your home town or Ft. Lauterdale are not going to distance, wash, not cough or sneeze on each other, etc.

        That said, I can’t endorse locking up, but I can see parents wanting smaller than normal play groups, shorter times, and supervised clean up after.

  11. Question, how much of the need to shutdown the economy to implement items that were used for the Spanish flu, specifically the closing of those germ factories called public schools but also the huge restaurant industry, is due to the common nature of two income households.

    In 1919 the US shut down schools, public gathering places such as saloons, theaters, and restaurants. We did not, as far as I can find, shut down most shops or factories. You could shutdown schools and restaurants as most families had a person, the wife, at home who cooked, so restaurants weren’t the major source of food for a large swath of the population, and who could watch kids.

    Today, neither is widely true.

    Are we killing the economy to have had the “joys” of two incomes for 40 years?

    1. Schools, non-school daycare, and airports are the top three disease vectors in the US, and have been for at least half a century.

      1. YES! This virus flew here at 500mph from China. Close the airports to foreign traffic, no virus. Easy.

        What did they do? They called me a racist for mentioning it. I’m pretty pissed about that.

        1. I wouldn’t be.

          If I’m called a racist, I just hear a mouth noise that says “I cannot think on this topic and you are disturbing me.”

          1. What’s annoying is that his is my own government calling me a racist, and they are doing it a a ruse to distract the masses from the fact that our public health system lacks the most basic equipment to meet this crisis.

            The don’t have masks, at the hospital, for the doctors. But the Minister of Health is busy saying I’m a racist because I want to stop flights from China. And she’s still doing it too, April 2nd and going strong.

            1. Well, if it’s the Ministry Of Health in the same sense as the Ministry Of Truth and the Ministry Of Peace, that would make perfect sense.

              1. Lately they’ve been looking a lot like MiniTrue. Same modus operandi made famous by Orwell, that’s for sure. Double-plus ungood, comrades.

      2. Which is why if you need to do more than quarantine those should be the first to shut down…but all schools are daycare, which Seattle’s public schools pretty much admitted when the city was questioned on banning gatherings of 10+ people but not closing schools.

        We’re learning one cost of non raising your own children is you have to shut down the economy for things that require shutting down the schools.

  12. i’m somewhat hopeful, The risk is that the politicians become accustomed to this and try it on again and, if they can keep it all closed up long enough, the damage might be sufficient for a Venezuela. Then we might get a man on horseback to bring order. Given the state of the history curriculum in US schools not impossible.

    That said, I see two narratives developing In the first, Trump lied and people died. This ought to be impossible in the face of the actual events but the press and Malignancy knows that if they all lie together they’ll get away with it. The second is the heroic efforts of the American people saved the lives of Granny and granddad. now let’s come together and rebuild. This is Trump’s narrative and what lies behind the $2Trillion he’s asking for now. If nothing else it’d be a better use of money than trying to bring democracy to the Pathans by blowing up random rocks in the Hindu Kush.

    This was all utterly unnecessary and a great many good people were hurt by it. I agree that the death toll of the shut-down will be higher than the total number of deaths never mind the number of lives saved. But, for the youth, particularly for those with skills, these could be glory days. So much of the establishment have been shown to be empty vessels. My hope is that the spell of China and Davos has been damaged. Too much to hope it’s been destroyed. A good dose of populism might be just what we need. Chavez was no populist.

    1. Then we might get a man on horseback to bring order.

      That strikes me as a reason to fear rather than hope. The “man on horseback to bring order” has not had what I would call a good track record historically.

        1. Yes. it could happen but I don’t think so. I’m very hopeful. I apologize if I was unclear

      1. For all his faults we have been having shockingly good luck with the Orange Man On An Orange Horse.

        That he has obvious flaws which even his most die-hard supporters will acknowledge might even be part of what is keeping it sane. Assuming that “sane” can be used to describe anything at this time.

        1. Some of the pre-Vulgate Latin translations have the sword guy’s horse being “roseus” instead of red, which is a dawn pink which includes salmon-orange. (It’s a red/pink roan, in horse colors.)

          But I don’t see any commands “that he should take peace from the earth, so that they should beclown each other,” so I’m not thinking that’s Orange Man. (Besides, Trump is Scottish, not an Orangeman.)

  13. > he is a jack leg programmer, and he might be able to make a living coding on a gig basis, and make do, more or less.

    Unfortunately, programming is an international thing now. He’s not going to be competing against guys in West Virginia making 12 dollars an hour, he’s going to be competing against guys in Bangalore making $2 an hour, who’ll be sweating the competition from guys in Bhutan or Mali willing to do it for $1.50/hr.

    Yeah, there are still a few startupvilles paying reasonably good money for programming, but that’s not going to be for long. Even venture capitalists are beginning to understand that code is a commodity now.

    At least minimum-wage yard or fast food work isn’t exportable. Yet.

    1. Kind of sort of, TRX. The fact is a lot of companies take coding abroad and …. bring it right back.
      Why? Because performance over face, productivity over work as a sinecure, etc.

      1. Depends on where you take it to. I have a gaming friend who is working for a software company that works mostly with Eastern European contractors,and he says it’s nothing like what they got from India and China.

    2. Yes, but mostly due to little understanding of their own processes.

      It’s cheaper to pay someone to do software testing than it is to pay two dozen programmers. But I’ve never worked at any place willing to “waste” money to pay someone to validate code…

      They’ll learn, or they’ll go under.

      1. Although an economist by training, I have been doing software testing for years and am now working in an independent verification and validation (IV&V) lab and hiring cheap coders who don’t know the business process results in bad software and higher costs in the end that not even “agile” programming can cure. This is because it takes endless rewrites of bad code to make the software work. As for getting coding work, there is work especially if you get on a government job and get a clearance. Also data analysis is a good area if you know statistics. Unfortunately, you also have to compete with H1B visa holders.

        I also hear you Sarah, since I have a son finishing up in chemical engineering who just got shut out of the lab where he was doing research that he expects to use in graduate school. Now we are staying at home and working as best we can on overloaded networks that are as slow as molasses in January. We are now under a mandatory stay at home order, but we are good since my wife, who is from Albania and has gone through real time revolutions, began stocking up, including a large supply of sardines – good for when food is really in short supply.

        On the one hand “It’s the economy stupid”

        On the other hand it’s really grim where coronavirus is rampant. My wife has a cousin who works in the hospital in Bergamo, Italy. She was working many hours and sleeping in the hospital. She would sometimes call up my wife in the middle of the night crying because so many people were dying, as well as 3 of the doctors. The hospital finally sent her home after three weeks because it was too much for her. That is the real danger – running short of health care people, so be glad your hospitals have enough people and beds.

        In end we will make it through, though at what cost we don’t know. Be well all!

        1. “That is the real danger – running short of health care people, so be glad your hospitals have enough people and beds.”

          ————————-

          I read an article about a month ago (I think) that mentioned that a number of healthcare workers in Wuhan were quite literally working themselves to death. They’d work day after day after day, and then not wake up the next time they went to sleep.

    3. The guys in Bangalore don’t make $2 an hour anymore. Why should they, they can get a US visa and work here. Most expensive city I ever spent significant time in was Bombay and parts of Bangalore would pass for nice places anywhere.

  14. It can cost a lot of things and yeah, lives. Perhaps not in the sense that people die, but in the sense that lives are not what they should be or even are wasted

    Oh, people dying is going to be part of it to. Strangle the economy and there are less resources available for all purposes, including things that can save people’s lives. Disrupt transportation and there’s less food in the stores, and what’s there is higher priced. You’ll lose some people on the margins because poorer diet leaves them more vulnerable to things like infection and disease. People out of work means more people can’t pay their heating/cooling bills. And, again, people at the margins who would have survived given proper heat or air conditioning will die. A thousand, a million different ways where people are put at greater risk simply because we are poorer as a society, and people will die who would not have otherwise. But most of this will happen at the margins, scattered throughout the economy, and nothing specific folk can point to and say “see who your economic disruption killed?” A little here. A little there. But over a population of, nearly 330 million those little bits add up. And unlike deaths by Winnie the Flu (or deaths caused by various causes where the person also had CV19) they don’t have somebody out trumpeting them as a reason we have to “do something.”

    And me over here? Let’s just say that hat is taking a beating.

  15. If I ruled the world (an event we must pray never comes to pass) not only would ALL journalists be required to take two semesters of Statistics but nobody would be qualified to vote who could not explain* the concept of “Opportunity Cost.”

    As in: the cost of a four-year college degree is not merely the tuition, fees and book costs — it is also the $80K in foregone wages ($10/hr X 40 X 50 X 4) while getting that degree.

    *Okay, in the interest of keeping the process objective, pick the correct definition in a multiple choice format.

  16. Another issue on why they don’t get it is killing the economy is the same reason they think an increased minimum wage, the platinum $1,000,000,000,000, and UBI are good ideas is they don’t get money is just the score.

    They think no matter what “having the money to meet the price means I will have it if I want it”. To quote Heinlein (roughly, don’t have the book open), they thing food comes from the grocery store. They can’t even get prices are related to demand, hence their complaints about profiteering, or that inflation is an issue of money supply not supply of goods.

    Hell, I’ve heard people up and down the education and age chain make comments about gas prices amounting to “the fact two gas stations across the street from each other have the same price, but one down the road has a different one proves gas prices are set by greedy corporations and not the market”.

    How can you expect people whose knowledge of economics is at that level to get how shutting everything down has lasting effect, especially when the government can just give you the most you lost.

    1. I don’t know about your quote, but Heinlein DID say, “It doesn’t matter if a hamburger costs ten dollars, as long as there are plenty of hamburgers.”

      Back when he said it, hamburgers cost thirty cents and a ten-dollar hamburger was ridiculous and unthinkable. Today you can spend ten bucks on a hamburger without even trying.
      ———————————
      Governments can only print money; they can’t make it worth anything. They CAN make it worth nothing.

    2. they don’t get money is just the score.

      They don’t believe in keeping score. That promotes harmful competition and hurt feelz

  17. A less pessimistic thought that’s been wandering around my head of late: are countries that have padded their population counts for increased foreign aid going to hide some of that padding in their infection and death statistics?

  18. More than anything, I hate the idea that the only thing we can do is hide inside our caves so the evil spirits don’t get us. We’ve beaten worse plagues than this. And don’t get me started on people talking about another year to year and a half of “quarantine” . . .

      1. Some of them seem almost terrified by the notion that life might return to normal.

        1. Yep. That is the bit that tees me off. Its risk management gone nuts. But it also bears fruit as to the stupidness of this response. That is the admittance that the “social distancing” can only delay the explosion. That as soon as the lockdown is relaxed you’ll get a spike and be news fodder. Hope can never be the plan, and that seems to be all this plan is. Lockdown the elderly storage facilities, prepare mobile ICUs, and push common sense measures to stay healthy. Instead we’ve shut down to save 80 yo who’s in a memory care facility and thinks tricky dick still president.

          1. Occasionally I think Reagan is still president…

            Then I wake up to the nightmare that is called reality.

            1. For the last few years I’ve been waking up every morning in a timeline where Hillary isn’t President.

              It may seem like a small thing, but so far it has cheered the beginning of every day.

          2. … as soon as the lockdown is relaxed you’ll get a spike and be news fodder.

            Much as I loathe the lock-down, and much as I think it a wrong decision, I will acknowledge it buys time. Time to flatten the curve, time to increase our stock of ventilators and ICU beds, time to discover ameliorative treatments, such as (leave us hope) the hydroxychloroquine.

            Like a neck tourniquet, the time it buys is brief and at terrible cost, but you cannot deny it buys time.

        2. Just as today’s SJWs suffer from Selma Envy, I think a lot of people suffer from World War Two Envy. Their lives are unimportant and meaningless, so they dream of a time when they could feel like they were Doing Their Bit.

          Even if their bit is nothing more than scolding other people on Facebook.

  19. Status report from, according to the statistics, one of the better metropolae in which to be located in the Lockdown Extended Don’t Make Us Extend It Further Bear Flag Peoples Republic:

    Just made a Target run and the grocery side was fairly well stocked. Odd things, like plenty of cans of soup but only in one flavor per brand on the shelves (chicken noodle for Chunky, chicken & wild rice for Progresso), and they have quantity limits being enforced on some things, but nothing really absent other than paper goods, and where they used to be stocked was something else entirely (plastic bins). As I drove away it occurred to me I should PROBABLY have COMPLETED an orbit of the entire store to see if any paper products were actually consolidated under guard somewhere else, all while maintaining the mandatory (now under penalty of law per the latest lockdown order) 6ft distance.

    Similarly at the closer more upscale supermarket last time I was there, it was pretty much well stocked given the situation – you might need to substitute brands and such but you could find mostly everything except paper goods – to get those we’ll have to invade Canada later in the spring.

    Also a fair number of cars on the street, though nothing like normal.

    Weirdest apocalypse I’ve ever seen. Wouldn’t it be a laugh if after all the efforts to kill off the economy and blame The Donald, all they end up doing is guaranteeing DJT’s reelection and building up so much pent up demand that there’s an economic boom when they loosen the reigns.

    1. When I was at the store last week they had stacks and stacks and STACKS of paper napkins overflowing onto the paper towel and TP shelves. It was surreal. Have we wandered into the Twilight Zone?

    2. Produce prices are climbing here already, especially tomatoes. DadRed was Not Amused. And no TP in the store he visited, probably because of the local tightening of movement restrictions. Everyone’s spooked about a lock-in, even though the city is saying, “Chill, we’re not going that far, relax, don’t hoard.”

      1. Still empty shelves for TP. And tissues come in single boxes, not the packages I prefer, except at the wholesale club. (It wasn’t urgent, but I did pick them up there even though it was a package of the smaller boxes.)

      2. Produce prices used to always climb (by 2x to 4x) in late winter and spring, because last fall’s stocks were running out. Then we got used to having imported produce during our nonproductive seasons, at no worse price than our own in summer and fall. I expect right now the imports are down, hence the price spike.

    3. Fred Meyer (Oregon Kroger) was moderately well stocked. Soups were partially depleted, but they had some displays of Campbell something or other, and some varieties of Progresso. Dairy OK, including yogurt and cottage cheese.

      Produce was, well, Kroger. Red bell peppers good, zucchini OK. Mushrooms meh. I’ve given up on the loose mushrooms; they look like they’ve done a few too many days in transit. The prepackaged ‘shrooms looked good at first, but the generic white ones had a Use By date of April 1. (The organics were marked down half price, but nope.) I found some crimini (sold as “Baby Bellas”, where’d did my eyes roll off to?) good through 4/6. Spouse wants to try no grocery trip next week; I can live without mushrooms.

      Meat OK. Didn’t look at frozen, but it was OK last Friday.

    4. > chicken & wild rice

      That is not-a-thing in my area. Chicken and white rice is very nearly not-a-thing in my area. I’ve been known to restack huge display piles to find the one or two cans buried somewhere in the back. Most of the time there simply isn’t any to be had, of any brand.

      Yeah, we make our own, but the canned stuff is for our emergency supplies, which might as well be something I actually like…

      1. See if a different store handles Progresso, too. Bi-Mart (local discount department store) sells Progresso, and has a certain list of flavors. Fred Meyer (Kroger affiliate) also sells Progresso, and a fairly different selection. Chix+wild rice at Bi-Mart, Savory Chicken+(white) rice at Fred’s.

        Both stores had limited supplies, but enough for the fewer people shopping at the time. We’re in a limited shut-in, but groceries are fair game.

        FWIW, I’ve discovered that the identical flavor is offered in gluten-free and with wheat at times. Checking every can is part of my sense of survival.

        1. We have a Wal-Mall and a Kroger that I’m not welcome at. There’s a semi-local small-chain grocery store I go to when I have to – it’s big enough, with the usual “walk them down every aisle for basic aisle” arrangement, that mobility problems make it awkward and painful to visit. Otherwise, Dollar General or driving to another town.

          Twenty years ago we had six or seven grocery stores, but they’re gone now, as my town’s internal economy continues to collapse due to vicious regulation and taxation by the city management.

          1. We lost a couple of Safeways due to the Albertson’s buyout. The company that bought those stores wasn’t paying attention, and crashed and burned. The downtown store got sold again, and the one at the main crossroad got split up into multiple stores, one of which is an organic/cruelty free/whatever store. Haven’t darkened the door.

            Klamath Falls survived (barely) the loss of timber and wood products jobs (spits at the spotted owl mafia), and kept its groceries. Becoming a destination for not-so-rich California ex-pats, as well as the market center for rural northern Cali has kept business alive. We have the usual biggies and some independents, and other stores that have usable grocery sections.

            We lost our chance at a Costco because the late owner of Jeld-Wen didn’t want competition for wages [and left a corporate trainwreck when he died without ever actually considering that he would die], but it wasn’t clear that a Costco here would have been viable. Lowes and Sonic drive-in made moves to set up here, but both efforts were abandoned during the multiple Summers of Recovery..

      2. Sorry, emergency supplies should NOT be things you LIKE. If they are you WILL eat them faster. Emergency rations are SUPPOSED to be at best neutral. Oatmeal, rice, dried beans(peas, etc.), pasta, canned meats (SPAM and such). Will you LIKE them? NO! Will they last? YES!

        People who buy freeze dried fruit and expect to have it very long, are fooling themselves,

        Stock what you want to but remember if it is good you will eat it for pleasure and NOT need.

        1. Oh, hell no– you want emergency supplies that are stuff you actually eat, so that you can cycle through them before they go bad.

          That’s part of why our household is able to cruise through “limit everyone to buying enough for two people for a week” when we’ve got four times that many– because I’ve got at least a month’s worth of “emergency supplies” before we’d have to start getting creative.

          Food is morale. If you’re afraid you’ll eat it too fast, stock more.

        2. The printed expiration dates are largely meaningless, but as the older cans rotate forward it’s something I won’t have to choke down at mealtime.

    5. I went to Safeway for the weekly resupply trip. It was mostly the same, almost everything restocked, somethings were slightly more expensive than usual, The things that were out of stock before like bread crumbs and shake n bake were back in stock. TP still sold out. Produce was basically fully back in stock. There were some gaps in certain brands of things, but there was always at least one brand of everything I looked for. There was a ton of one brand of paper towel at least. The number of shoppers at the store was back to the level it was before this stuff happened, where it was running at 2x-3x for a couple of weeks. The wife went to the dollar store and the local Kroger subsidiary, and she said it calmed her down immensely that everything seemed to be back in stock there as well. She’d been panicking for a couple of weeks. I prefer only going to 1 store and 1 takeout place for our weekly shopping trip, but she wanted to check for some items she was running low on once she heard that the stock was back up.

  20. Might have demand, but if the supply has been stripped raw it cannot do much. Eventually it will equalize but lives have already been sundered and I will almost put my paycheck down that some poor bastard has already suck started a shotgun over his lifestyle work being destroyed to protect the politicos.

    1. It is a shame really that his anger would be pointed towards himself and NOT the people that caused his problems. I would hope he would see the light.

  21. The oddest consequence of not-a-flu and cutting down on food “just in case” was the blood test results for my clotting time. Doc had me go up slightly when my INR* dropped below 2, to 1.7. Was running OK at 2.5, then got sick, and we started watching what we ate (weren’t going into town; by the time I had sort of an appetite, $SPOUSE was sick).

    Todays number: 4.3. Yikes! I dropped 20% on warfarin (it’s a rat poison *and* a heart medication!) and am going without my twice daily ibuprofen for the remainder of the week. Will see if my feet will let me keep the dose zero or low.

    (*) Ratio of clotting time to normal clotting. Atrial fibrillation and normal clotting is a bad combination. Getting cut with sloooow clotting is also bad. My dad had to keep at a number near 4 and bruised at a harsh look.

    1. Warfarin is a trade name for coumarin, which is one of the chemicals with the interesting property of radiating coherent light when properly excited.

      it’s a rat poison, a heart medication, *and* a laser!

        1. It’s lifelong for me; the procedure that stops AFIB in some people has to happen before certain changes happen in the heart. I was lucky in that it never caused much pain; unlucky in that I didn’t know about the AFIB until too late to fix it.

          Life with warfarin beats the alternative.

  22. For anyone interested in the empirical side of this, there is an Epidemic Calculator at gabgoh dot github dot io. Fun for all the family. If you put in what seems to be the R0 factor used in the US modeling (around 2.25) and the WHO assumptions you get around 40k US dead. if you put in what seems to be the empirical average for R0, which seems to be between 3&4 you find we’re past the peak but 6mm people have already died and 37mm people are currently in hospital.

    I’ve played around with it and think it broadly confirms my “gut” that this is both more contagious and less deadly than the models say, otherwise you would see massively more deaths than we have. it was nice to have a pretty model but I did it in a spreadsheet and it works fine.

    An argument for not shutting the world down but also an argument for taking basic precautions. Your probabilities are not ergodic.

    1. I couldn’t get to it from the top page but found it at gabgoh dot github dot io /COVID/index.html

      1. There’s something wrong with that model, though. If you increase the “Duration patient is infectious”, the fatalities go down. WTF? Am I missing something?

        1. Sorry for the address thing, I’m three tech generations behind.

          I didn’t debug the model and non linear models do strange things sometimes. What I found interesting is how sensitive to assumptions it is — non linear models do strange things — and the danger of applying BS to real things. What I liked is that I could more or less duplicate the ICL model and the one shown on Tuesday. Both contain a death rate that is hugely overstated according to everything we know.

          Tell your friends, the more people who know just how little is actually known the better? this has to stop.

          My day job gives me one of the best views into just how catastrophic this is for people. There needs to be a reckoning.

  23. Oh, shit. Coronavirus. You’re a remarkably smart, courageous lady, Ms. Hoyt, and I’m hoping very much that you get through your infection with no lung scarring or other serious complications.

    With a history myself of bronchitis and pneumonia, this pandemic sounds like the bony clacking of the Grim Reaper. I almost died from influenza when very young, and the especially nasty Kung Flu from Communist China is shaping up to be the true Red Menace. -_-

    Let’s all hope for the best, both for ourselves personally and for liberty in the last great island of relative freedom in the world. I’m quite hopeful that the natural orneriness of most Americans will ultimately return the country to normalcy after the unusual death toll from viral infections has passed.

  24. Have a day off, so I emerged from my cave to go grocery shopping (yay! sunny day!). Later today, my parents and I are going to Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery to visit some of our (Protestant) relatives, because the grass has finally dried off a bit. (The Wright Brothers are there, too, if you ever want to visit them.)

    Woodland has a special announcement on their webpage that they are still open for visits, although the guided tours are a no-go, and the mausoleum is locked up so they don’t have to clean it all the time. Made me laugh.

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