We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, March 16. 2020
What’s the Point of Panic Shopping? With growing coronavirus fears, grocery-store dry goods and bottled water are being bought out — but it’s not really necessary
What about beer?
How the coronavirus hype developed
Remember the H1N1 Pandemic? I Don’t Either
Whatever you do is wrong. When Trump blocked travel from China, he was zenophobic. When he blocked Europe travel, he was plain stupid. Now the complaint is that he should have done them sooner.
Fauci Favors National Shutdown: ‘You Don’t Want To Be Complacent’
Pelosi Tried To Include Abortion Funding In COVID-19 Spending Bill
Lawsuit Demands USDA Stop Certifying Hydroponic Foods as 'Organic'
Biden did not screw up
Dem Gov Candidate Was With Meth Male Escort Because He Was Depressed Over Losing
ISIS advises terrorists to steer clear of Europe during coronavirus outbreak
Greece Erects Massive Concrete Blocks On Border To Halt Migrant Wave From Turkey
Mexico Is Considering Closing Its Border To Stop Americans Bringing Wuhan Coronavirus Into Country
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Gosh, if the Mexicans feel that strongly about restricting visitors from the United States, perhaps they could talk with President Trump about kicking in some pesos to help build a wall.
I'm of the notion we're actually being prepared for aliens.
I keed, I keed...
In some parts of the world - to some degree where we've lived in the last 32+ years - regular just in time supply chains have regularly broken down for weeks at a time.
We keep a bit on hand, get drawn down from time to time, ramp up a few weeks out when trends start, you know, trending, purchase around the edges outside of the budget right up until the crazy sets in then step away and work around the house and in the shop while lifting up the neighbors that need it.
Compared to my family over the past few centuries, we're slackers.
Compared to the majority of the here and now we're just short of the most strident LDS leadership.
Cap this off with competition for the eyes of pampered first worlders totally divorced from group hardship - "I'll pay attention to infectious disease right after we finish shopping at IKEA for that - because my husband just returned from an international business conference" - and it's simply time for a correction.
Most people know this, are looking for an excuse to bring it about (through, ignorance, stupidity, selfishness or altruistic deliberation) and grasp at every chance to assure that it happens.
Well, here it is.
Panic shopping; A self fulfilling prophecy.
In all fairness to those out there buying up necessities they are right and the pundits are wrong. It is human nature to do this and most of us know this that is why the effort is to do it first. If you weren't prescient enough to know this you are reduced to complaing and declaring that panic shopping is foolish.
The people who are panic shopping are the ones who have given no thought to being prepared. I doubt they will after things are back to normal. I think they're trying to compensate because they are aware they don't think things through. Sure enough, I went for normal shoping this weekend and there was no toilet paper, cleaning supplies, rice, beeans, and canned food was thin. I doubled up on coffee, grits, oatmeal, laundry soap, and bought one of the last three bottles of dish soap, and two boxes of wine. Oh and two stacks of coffee filters because we're down to our last three rolls of TP.
I have several weeks of food stored, also medicine, candles, and whiskey. I did that a few years ago and then got lazy about keeping up. I will be doing a serious review and update on our prep situation when things settle down. It feels good to be prepared. My goal wil be 3 months of food for everyone. Water storage is a little trickier. Two gallons per person per day is a lot of water. I don't expect to have to pull out the food packets for this situation.
Your "normal shopping" turned into panic shopping and you then declare that you were "prepared". I'm not sure you understand what that word means?
Not really. Our normal routine is to have at least 2 of any toiletry or soap. With four young boys that doesn't last long. Neither does a can of grits or oatmeal. We hadn't been shopping for a while, so most of what I said falls under the category of normal shopping. I bought extra coffee but the shelves were full of it. I wouldn't normally buy 2 stacks of filters, but it's about to be my toilet paper for the unforeseeable future.
Buying 2 of something isn't panic shopping.
When I say I'm prepared I mean that I have enough dehyrdrated food that we can eat for weeks, if necessary, without leaving the house. There's no reason to break into that yet.
What about beer? Local Guiness sale all the chain stores. Up to 25% off. Usually 8 6packs on the shelf. Yesterday a pallet on the floor of the walk in cooler.
By all means, keep a goodly supply of beer on hand (it's the perfect vegan beverage, and helps restore your electrolytes). BUT, it's not nearly as shelf-stable as wine or distilled spirits, which where I put my money.
Shortages are always the result of price controls. In this case anti-gouging laws.
$10 a roll TP would end the shortage instantly. You could get all you want.
In addition an extra TP pipeline would open wide very fast.
It's called market-clearing price. It would return to normal quickly for the same reason.
Exactly. We go through this "gouging" debate every time there's a change in demand, and we persist in the fantasy that price controls ever lead to any result but supply crashes. You can limit purchase sizes briefly, to a degree, but then you'll substitute expenditure of time (in line) for expenditure of money. Nothing but prices will stimulate supply, which is what we really want.
It's not panic to change behavior abruptly on news that it may be necessary to stock up for several weeks because it may be necessary to forgo outings to the store for several weeks. Nor is it "hoarding."
People talk as if the only possible reason for sudden changes in behavior were "panic," and as if the only possible emotional settings were "coma" and "panic."
Has anyone heard or does anyone have a sense of how long a covid 19 patient might be on a ventilator, a couple of days, a couple of weeks, more than 3 weeks?
The doctors may not agree but here is one opinion: When you go on the ventilator you are deathly sick. You are either going to get better in less than 6 days or you will die. The ventilator (more correctly the increased oxygen) begins to destroy whatever is left of your lungs. Probably if you are on the ventilator more than four days without any improvement it is time for your loved ones to say their goodbyes.
This Bloomberg article from 3 weeks ago has a bit of info from Chinese cases. Some patients were still on a ventilator after a month. Others died after a week. These apparently were some of the most severe cases, and the article doesn't shed much light on the average days of use for patients who recovered. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-23/coronavirus-patients-long-ventilator-stays-strain-hospitals
in Australia and New Zealand, in the 2010 influenza season, ventilated patients were on a ventilator for 8.5 days (range: 3.2–25.6), and 7 days (range: 3.0–16) for the 2009 season . In Canada, among ventilated patients, those who survived were on a ventilator for a median of 12 days (25th and 75th percentiles, interquartile range [IQR]: 5–22 days), and nonsurvivors a median of 12 days (IQR: 4–20 days) . Similarly, ventilated 2009 influenza A(H1N1) patients in Mexico who survived had median of 15 days (IQR: 8–26 days) on a mechanical ventilator, whereas nonsurvivors had a median of 7.5 days (IQR: 3–13.5 days) . Pereira et al, reporting on a study that enrolled patients from 31 countries, found that those placed on mechanical ventilation stayed on ventilation for a median of 12 days (IQR: 8–20 days) . https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/60/suppl_1/S52/356562 (via Instapundit)
Wife is watching Fox Business and NY Governor Cuomo is getting lots of airtime complaining about Trump COVID-19 response and detailing what NY state is doing. Why is this on national TV? Who outside of NY state is interested in (a) a Democratic Governor in a Blue state attacking Trump and (b) what his new code of public behavior is for NY?
Starting to look a lot like COVID-19 is being stroked for maximum effect for VOTE-20 with an assist from their minions in the press. It's a shame they think so little of voter intelligence.
I think their lack of confidence in voter intelligence is well founded.
More radical decrees from the federal and state governments. What do they know that we don't? By many measures you could say that they are over reacting. They aren't stupid, they know that this appears to be over reacting, but they are doing it anyway. What do they know that they aren't sharing with us? Now, literally right now on TV, a doctor is telling everyone to stay home. Is that the next step? A federal decree that everyone stay home? Would that require martial law? Clearly the people in the know are very worried. And what about the economic impact? Some pundits are predicting another great depression. That's depressing! But even in the face of serious economic impact the experts and the government are implementing even stricter controls on our movement. What is next and why are they so worried. I'm worried that they are so worried.
I thought the panic buying was foolish, but now we see idiot government officials shutting everything down without regard to the fact that people need food, etc., so it might not have been such a bad idea. Per usual, government is the one that is the more existential threat in a crisis.
I understand the purpose of social distancing, cancellations of many gatherings, and shutdowns of gathering places to slow the roll of the outbreak but I'm a bit fuzzy on what Fauci hopes to accomplish with a two week comprehensive shutdown. We're certainly not going to have a vaccine or other treatment protocols cooked up in two weeks if we don't have them already. Everybody is going to be exposed to this eventually. Two weeks just delays the peak but I'm not sure how it would flatten the curve any more than what we're already seeing put in place, and would be a monumental disruption. I can already imagine the debate over whether it should be lifted once it's put in place (Exponential growth! Lily pads!) as people will lose sight of the purpose of distancing and insist that any evidence the virus is still active means we're need to keep draconian measures in place. Is he hoping that warmer weather will attenuate the virus? I've seen some information that indicates yes but other indications are that it might not work out that way.
So the Coronavirus scare is causing a huge disruption to the economy. Businesses are closing left and right for the duration, usually as a result of an edict form a panicked politician.
Wait for the end of this quarter and probably the next, and watch these same politicians pick their noses and wonder why their tax revenues are way down.
Who will pick up the tab for the shortfall? Will taxes be raised on the little people or will Uncle Sugar print up a batch of money to make state and local governments whole?
For that matter, who will pick up the tab for the $700B quantitative easing?
One of the things I disagree with Trump on is his continued insistence that interest rates should be lowered (Though I readily admit that for reasons I can't fathom, there seems to be a very robust demand for government bonds in spite of the fact that they pay almost nothing). In the first place, "healthy" interest rates prior to 2008 were much higher (we have had a pretty strong economy, haven't we?) and in the second, many instruments such as pension and insurance plans are required to hold a certain percentage of bonds. Those are now non-performing assets.
In any case, I don't see what lowering interest rates further will do to help the economy that is hobbled by lack of production brought on by the global pandemic - especially in China where we get so man products and parts of products. Does anybody expect that, while the CDC says that people shouldn't gather in groups more than 50, businesses will get a jolt from low interest rates?