shopping during a pandemic

And so here we are (my wife and I), sitting mostly at home, only going out for absolute necessities such as food and drugs. The drugs are coming from my local CVS, and I can do the drive-through for that, thus staying away from the contaminated herds of stupid denying people. The food and other basic supplies I’m getting almost exclusively from a local Costco. Here’s what that was like when I went out this past Tuesday.

Firstly, all the grocery stores have suffered from panic buying. Toilet paper was the biggest visible buyout, but other items were being scarfed up and hoarded for no good reason. These included bottled water packs, eggs, and bread. I’ve read that pastas were also being scarfed up, and I’m sure there are even more items.

When I got to the Costco closest to where we live, I discovered that the Costco staff had closed off the front of the store with stacks of blue flats at least waist high (at least to me), and we were directed to start a queue off the side, single file. The the staff let us in a few at a time. I was able to get in after a five minute wait outside. Note the sign at the entrance about social distancing.

I got in and picked up the few items we needed. As I moved through the store I kept hearing staff saying “one egg, one bread, one water.” By one egg they meant flats that contain two dozen eggs. Two dozen is all the two of us can consume even in a single week. It usually takes about a week-and-a-half before I have to go back and get more eggs. A single bread purchase from there lasts a week, and as for water, well, tap water is actually pretty good around here. Once I got to the checkout, the Costco staff had set up the checkout lanes so that every other one was closed, helping to maintain social distancing.

And to give you the obligatory empty toilet paper isle, this is from the Publix closest to where we live. This was taken right before I went to Costco. All the other Publix isles were still fairly full, at least at a glance. I didn’t spend any time in that store because it was too crowded to suite me; I was in and out in under two minutes and kept my “social distance” the entire time.

I don’t know a “good” way to end this except with this latest COVID-19 map update. The numbers are steadily climbing, especially for the US. We could have avoided the worst of this if we’d acted eight weeks before we finally did. Now, we have to get through this as best we can.

practicing democracy during a pandemic

This post has had so many re-writes over the last weeks. I originally wanted to comment on how the novel corona virus was being handled in the US (not very well at all) and the reasons for the poor handling. Next was Bidens’ winning rout through South Carolina. Then there was Super Tuesday (and the start of early voting here in Florida on the same day) and Biden’s continued rout through the Super Tuesday voting states. By the time the dust had cleared, Biden had the lead in delegates, and four candidates had dropped out, with three of them endorsing Biden. Elizabeth Warren, the last of the four to leave, has yet to endorse either Biden or Sanders, and I can understand that. She fought long and hard, harder than anybody still standing, and had articulated pretty clearly what, why, and most importantly how she would execute her platform if elected President. I feel we have lost the better candidate with Warren’s exit, better than Biden, and certainly better than Sanders.

A week ago Biden picked up the three ‘M’ states in primary voting, which included Michigan, Sander’s so-called fire-wall state, the state he had to win. He lost it big time to Biden. Then this past Tuesday more states (Illinois, Arizona and Florida) overwhelmingly chose Biden. I helped by voting for Biden the first day of early voting.

So let’s talk about Sanders for a moment. Back in 2016 I wrote a positive post about Sanders, titled “Feel the Bern”. I have since come to regret those feelings, but I leave the post up as a reminder of how stupid I can be at times. It is my opinion that Sanders was in part responsible for the election of Trump, and I find his candidacy for 2020 to be wrong for the Democratic Party and wrong for the country. If by some miracle he was elected we’d have four worse years than we’ve had under Trump, and I consider Trump’s presidency God-awful to the extreme. I can’t prove it, but my gut tells me that Sander’s Bernie Bro’s helped to torpedo Warren’s candidacy. Sanders was in many ways attempting to beat Biden with tactics far too similar those employed by Trump and his minions. At this point it may not matter. Based on the results from this last Tuesday, various news reports have it that Sanders is considering whether he should stay in as a candidate. We shall have to wait on his decision; I sure can’t predict what he may or may not do.

If there’s one thing that COVID-19 has shown it’s that the current president it grossly unfit to be given four more years. If we’d jumped on COVID-19 when it first appeared and prepared ourselves, I have no doubt whatsoever that we could have contained it far better than we currently have. Biden has to become our next president, or we as a nation will come to an ignominious end as a democratic republic.