Pandemic Panic

It’s winter in Canada and I’m somewhat surprised by the people I’ve seen today. In some ways it is disappointing to see what society has come to.

Common sense does not seem to be so common anymore.

If people were smart about it they would already have sufficient stock on hand to last a couple weeks. As it is winter still people should have additional stock on hand to account for weather locking things down (i.e. an ice storm that takes out power for 3 days).

For the area I’m located in, it is recommended to have a 72 hour “survival kit” on hand. I am close to two (2) nuclear power plants and have read the “emergency preparedness” pamphlets. While my kit has taken a hit a few times, that is good as it forces me to cycle the stock set aside for that.

In my case I have enough stock on hand to last several weeks depending on the situation. I add to my collection for every winter to account for possible weather delays. The only thing I have to go out for is the perishables.

  • Toilet paper: enough to last 2 months.
  • Canned goods: 2-3 weeks.
  • Dry goods (cereal, pasta): 2 weeks

While I have experimented with a dehydrator, I do not use it much. I do vacuum pack some things that I know will take longer to use. I will buy in bulk (10 pound bag of rice) which is broken down into jars that are vacuum packed and then put away.

I have debated on getting some MREs for the emergency kit but have not ventured into that area just yet.

I have never had a flu shot. However, the few times I felt sick I just stayed home had some chicken noodle soup and napped in front of the idiot box. I think I’ve actually been sick twice in the last 20 years. The sayings “misery likes company”, “sharing is caring”, “best way to get rid of a cold is to give it to someone else” are okay in polite society but I prefer to just stay away if I do not feel at the top of my game.

This morning I was out for my normal grocery shopping and was somewhat shocked at the conditions. The usually empty parking lot was as full as it is in the afternoon. The checkout staff was saying people were lined up at the door before opening time. I go at 08:00.

The checkout line was at least 200 feet long and did not go down much.

I ended up skipping part of the store (ice cream so no big deal) as the line was in the way.

There were a number of stock outages, some surprising some not.

The Freshco store I go to had:

  • no milk ( all I could see in the back were empty crates)
  • no potatoes, carrots, onions
  • no french fries
  • no Diet coke (six packs of 700ml bottles)
  • bottled water was down to 2 partial skids
  • toilet paper and paper towels were low
  • 1 flat of canned beans left
  • most of the meat (roasts, chicken, steaks, pork chops) was gone
  • no hamburger

The Nofrills store I go to had:

  • no store brand cold meat for sandwiches
  • to place a limit of 1 per customer for toilet paper
  • cereals had taken a huge hit
  • shipments that did not arrive further reducing the stock levels

Thankfully there was no “panic” displayed while I was in the stores. There was some “rude” behavour; people cutting in front to get something, then not looking when they moved away and not saying anything to the people they affected.

For those people that want to purchase multiple packs of toilet paper for the purpose of reselling or hoarding, I say “shame on you”. This is Canada, we help each other. We are not supposed to take advantage of a bad situation just to make money, money that may be of little use to you. That is more of a Trump move (slang: “a dick move”).

The people I do work for have a partial plan for business continuity. They’ve identified who can work from home. They are in the supply chain business (i.e. trucking). Unfortunately they still push a lot of paper so the office still needs to be populated. For a few years now they have had hand sanitizer in the office.

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