Friday, March 20, 2020

This Is Getting Annoying...

(Source)
I don't know how you readers are handling this pandemic, it's not a subject I wanted to write about, but there ya go, I don't have anything else at the moment. I guess the Muse is out hunting for toilet paper.

When the most exciting thing that's happened all week was, yup, finding toilet paper, then you know the week has been rather sad. True story right there, I was headed into the local grocery emporium and saw people coming out with, you guessed it, toilet paper.

While we are at a normal supply level here at Chez Sarge, it doesn't hurt to strike while the iron is hot. So to speak.

There in the store, between shelves absolutely barren of paper products, was a wheeled cart, with about ten packs of toilet paper. So I headed that way, as I reached for a pack, I heard a voice sing out, "Those are mine!" Followed by raucous laughter.

I looked up to see a guy with a big smile on his face, saying "Just kidding, I only need one." As a store employee in the background said that there was a limit of five packs per customer. (Each pack contains four rolls, for those who keep track of such things.)

Well, I took two packs and I did feel somewhat guilty about that. Did I really need those, right now? Well, the wee voice in my head asked me how I'd feel a week from now if (for whatever reason) we ran out of toilet paper because I'd only picked up one pack.

Still, it feels damned odd rationing toilet paper, whether through necessity or through choice. What is this, the old Soviet Union? I mean Comrade Bernie hasn't won yet. (Nor will he.)

I won't comment on the disease itself, nor what the gubmint is doing in response, though I think what's being done is necessary and proper. Rather irksome to be sitting on the sidelines though, while work can be a pain in the butt at times, I miss my mates. 'Tis a good bunch and we all get along well.

Sigh, well nothing lasts forever I suppose, eventually we'll get control of this thing and life will return to something which passes for normal.

Whatever normal means...

Here's some A-10 to cheer you up -



I feel better already.

Update:

If any more ill-informed assholes care to leave a comment inviting us "Boomers" to go ahead and die over "this flu," I invite yourselves to go ahead and not bother commenting. I will delete your sorry ass "Anonymous" comments. Instead, go reproduce in solo fashion.

That is all...




72 comments:

  1. well, being semi-shut-in nerd with online friends and plenty of gaming to do is definitely plus now for me...
    I am enjoying World of Warships and some old series I always wanted to watch.
    I am still pending decision if I get to to extend my weeklong leave from work, but I presume every cashier at my supermarket is now needed onboard, so ready to report to work on Tuesday

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    1. I'm thinking it would be tough to work from home in that job. It's the folks who work in grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and other places that have been pretty much shut down during this thing. A lot of those folks live paycheck to paycheck and missing more than one of those would be crippling. Let's hope we all get back to work soon!

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  2. That first picture looks a bit like home stomping grounds. No vertical dirt in the distance, tho. I really miss those views. They only exist in my memory now. So many little hobby farms, with gaudy "look at me" houses on them. Every one with a night light. My old country doesn't exist anymore.

    I'm getting a chance to test my antibodies this weekend! I feel I haven't studied adequately. I'm tempted to ask, since the work is required, do I workman's comp if I get the CV?!?!?!?!??! I mean, is my company doing enough to keep my workplace safe?? I'll probably get my teeth kicked in if I say that out loud!!

    This has been a wild year so far. Lots of family drama, with a family member hospitalized for a while, and now in a care facility. Charlie Victor 1-9 is just gravy on the ice cream at this point....

    Enjoy your time off, dance with the missus... Serve her breakfast in bed. Make a few memories... At least, I'd try that if I didn't have to work during the doldrums...... "stroke, stroke, stroke......" Keep the taxes flowing into uncle Sugar's hip pocket...

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    1. I like the emptiness of that photo, with the power lines reminding one that civilization does exist. With all the good and evil which that entails.

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    2. "So many little hobby farms, with gaudy "look at me" houses on them."
      Would you be referring to a particular blogger's 'nueva casa' ??

      just kidding, juvat!

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    3. I find it funny-haha and funny-schadenfreudistic that the green's insistence on replacing incandescent lighting has resulted in bulbs so energy efficient that one doesn't have to worry about leaving one's lights on. Thus the outside world has gotten brighter and brighter as more and more efficient lighting takes over from evil incandescent.

      Muhahahahahahahaha.

      Though it does suck if one enjoys the dark, and/or an astronomer.

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    4. What? Fluorescent bulbs (made in a place I shall not mention) more efficient? Since when, turn the lamp on then come back in 15 minutes when it's actually at full brightness. Then there is the disposal problem, a pox on the so-called "greens." They aren't, they're just more of Lenin's "useful idiots."

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    5. But if you leave that fluorescent bulb on, you don't have to wait for it to become fully bright. And replace both with LEDs and you can leave even more on for less energy expenditure.

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    6. LEDs, for me the jury is still out on those. They seem to be good indoors, horrible on motor vehicles.

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    7. LED household lighting FTW! More efficient than CFL's, (usually) less RF Noise, and very long life.

      It's nice getting "75 Watts" worth of light for 10 Watts worth of electrons.

      They can be very good on motor vehicles, but there's a bunch of ding-dongs running around with aftermarket kits that have the wrong color temperature and poor reflector design, along with being badly aimed.

      NOT good for other drivers.

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  3. If you are in a world of shit the whine of the GE engines and the burrrrp of the GAU-8 is the best sound in the world.

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    1. Even if you aren't in a world of shite, they are still comforting sounds, as long as you aren't on the receiving end of the sounds.

      The A-10 is 'Republic' pretty. Fairchild must have imported some of Repub's designers when Repub went TU.

      I like planes that are 'Republic' pretty. Awesome firepower and capability has a prettiness of it's own.

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    2. This wasn't a Warthog, but...
      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pilot-blamed-in-nj-school-strafing/

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    3. Interestingly, Soviet/Russian aircraft go even further (assuming DCS is at all accurate, which I assume they would be or be slammed for it online) in unifying triggers/modes. It doesn't take a lot of imagination looking at radar display and controls to understand why F-15/16/18s might have a serious advantage. They're not bad, but they're not anywhere close to optimal, either. Though maybe being closely directed by ground control might help. Until comms go down -- which is one of my pet peeves with unmanned vehicles. Assuming electronic communications is a fool's game!

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    4. John - I hadn't seen that article. Switchology is VERY IMPORTANT, but good design tends to minimize those kinds of errors. I'm against using the trigger for anything that doesn't go boom. Lasers don't go boom.

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    5. Larry - Assuming that anything electronic will work is dicey, comms will probably be the first thing to go!

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    6. Unarguably the finest CAS asset ever - wish we had these beasts in the stack in NAM.

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  4. When toilet paper is fully stocked in markets, that is the signal to buy stocks on Wall Street.

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  5. My trip to the supermarket yesterday, with a note from Mrs HD for two tins of chick peas @240 grams per tin, went like this: I see only the small 130 gram tins so I take four (doing the mental gymrithmatic I know I'm a tad over, but I never go `under weight` when following chef's orders). I get to the self service checkout and an employee on checkout picket duty barks, "Only two of the same item per person". I start to explain I'm shopping by weight and that the nearest mass to my order equates very closely to two of the larger size, a mere 40 grams over, then I notice the eyes fixed in glassy stare and realised that 'rithmetick with or without pencil and paper was possibly not her strongest subject, plus it wasn't my regular shop, where the staff can all string sentences together. I returned two tins to the shelf and returned to the checkout, thanking the TSM (`till Sgt. Major)as I had remembered I also needed toothpaste, and waved my one tube of Arm&Hammer Super White under her nose. She said, `it's ok you can have more than two packs of toothpaste`. I told her to keep her voice down or she'd start a stampede. She didn't get that either.

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    1. OMG, you crossed a line there HD. No doubt you're now on a list somewhere.

      The nomenklatura aren't chosen for their ability to think on their feet, nor their sense of humor. Only the ability to follow the "rulz."

      Ich habe nur Befehle befolgt - didn't work in '45, probably won't work the next time.

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  6. “...I think what's being done is necessary and proper...”
    I agree.
    We’re ordered to stay in place here.
    That was probably the only way they were going to rectify my risky behavior.
    I may have to turn on the tv now.
    I almost envy the Prairie Adventurer his wide open spaces.

    Stay safe out there, everyone.

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    1. I'm sure the proles out there will assume it doesn't apply to them.

      Those who will limit contact with the outside world probably already were. They didn't need to be told.

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    2. You got that right Sarge! See my contribution to your next post about what rules apply to whom😉

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    3. The wide open spaces continue to be wonderful!

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  7. Seen in a meme recently, "Let's hope a viral diarrhea pandemic doesn't break out. People will buy up all the nation's nasal spray."

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    1. Sprayed the monitor on that one, Larry wins the Internet today.

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    2. No, they will need toothpaste & mouthwash. Old Guns

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    3. Woohoo! How many cases of 5.56x45mm can I trade that in for? 0.1 might be enough to make it worth my while...

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    4. Not that I even have something that can fire that. 6.5mm Grendel works for me, just in case anyone want to send me some ammo for my win...

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    5. Old Guns - You might be right.

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    6. Larry - Sorry, winning the Internet is worthless. Much like Congress, actually probably better than Congress.

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    7. 6.5mm Grendel, first I've heard of that.

      I need to get out more...

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  8. More and more, as I venture to the store (hey, that rhymes...) I see evidence of my 'disaster cooking hypothesis' being true.

    Here's disaster cooking hypothesis:

    Given a normal time, not including holiday or game-day traffic, there are three types of grocery store consumers:
    X - composed of people that rarely, if ever, buy prepared or restaurant (including fast-food and up to sit-down places)
    Y - composed of people who cook at home and regularly also buy prepared/restaurant food
    Z - composed of people who can screw up cold cereal, so they buy prepared/restaurant food all the time.

    In normal times, grocery stores stock for X + Y levels of consumerism plus some. Thus the grocery stores are normally stocked and occasionally run out of one or two items depending. Normal stock is based upon history of sales over time, date, weather conditions, phases of moon, recorded number of lycanthropes, etc. It's what makes being in retail such fun, and why so many new stores fail, as they have no long-term trends to follow.

    Given a normal crisis, one will see X + Y + (X-N) = people shopping at grocery store, where 'N' is some of X who pick up some food just in case. So in a normal 'Snowmaggedon' or 'Hurricane' event, there will be some runs on stock, but store will remain mostly full of stuff, and replacements will be available forthwith, as long as store still stands and roads are open.

    Given a crisis where people are isolated, whether by major storm or by pandemic or idiocy or all three, the number of people shopping at grocery store to cook is X + Y (normal purchases + purchases to cover normally prepared food at restaurants) + X.

    Thus the store, expecting X + Y people, now has all people shopping for all food items at all times, thus scarcity of food items. Like canned foods, rice, potatoes, uncooked meats, eggs, etc.

    Suddenly the whole world (in your area) has discovered the necessity of preparing foods at home. And the stores, with no historical basis to stock on, are wiped out.

    It's all math. And it explains what happens at holiday times or game days, too, if the store doesn't track historical trends and prepares accordingly.

    Now, these formulae can bite the store owner in the posterior in several ways. Say a holiday where normally the 'crisis' or maybe 'crisis minus some' buying occurs, and store stocks at that historic level, and for some strange reason the herd of shoppers isn't buying those historic items at historic levels anymore, store gets slammed. Example: Halloween Candy. For years stores stocked huge amounts of HC, and it was mostly bought before Halloween, thus little extra stock remaining. Then for some strange reason (idiots scaring people is my guess, that and tofu-eaters) people stopped purchasing at previously recorded historic levels, so stores were stuck with lots of excess stock, which is a no bueno. So stores slowly reduced stock to meet new trend levels.

    Another example is how local game day team is performing. People come in to watch on boob tube or into stadium when team(s) is/are doing well, or not being overly political. Team(s) suck(s) or league goes all political, traffic of store items pertaining to those who watch sports or tailgate sports drops. Thus stock set at 'game day' level goes unsold, store readjusts. Notes trend of suckness = lack of sales, enters into historic trend. Buy more when team/league is good, buy less when team/league sucks.

    Thus my hypothesis on buying trends of the American Public. It does seem, due to experimental data, to be heading towards theory level. And as a side note, it is more scientifically correct than 'globull climate warming change caused by man.'

    As to toilet paper, no friggin clue, except as a conspiracy the MSM based on Australia, which doesn't produce a lot of its own butt-wipe. Panic stupid Americans in America, which does produce a metric butt-load of butt-wipe, and enjoy blaming Trump for Butt-wipe-calypse.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The MSM predicted an economic downturn in the 2008/2009 time frame. So people didn't go out to eat, didn't buy "luxury" items. Then people who depended on that stuff lost their jobs, businesses closed, and voila, economic downturn.

      If you believe the MSM, it's your own fault. A lot of people are sheep in many ways, if you follow the herd, don't be surprised if one day you run off a cliff. It's bound to happen.

      We did not run out of staples in this area, only toilet paper and bottled water, because the proles believed the MSM.

      It's as simple as that.

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    2. Beans, do you dictate your posts, or do you spend too much time near your computer?
      Marvelous, mindful post. Thanks, Dave

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    3. We need to get him to write more!

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    4. In olden days, Young Beans learned to type on a manuel. Typewriter, not a waiter at Faulty Towers. So Beans has some mad speed with keyboards, even after correcting mistakes. Which helps a lot, because Bean's Brain random brain farts way too quickly for a manual typewriter to keep up.

      And, well, I have a quirky mind. I collect stuff and can do deep analysis of things and trends and other serious stuffs. Sometimes almost immediately, sometimes it takes quite a long time to percolate and combobulate results.

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    5. Beans: Anecdotal evidence from the UK....in the first wave of supermarket rush, tinned and pre cooked shelves were empty. Fresh veggies and fish were there in shed loads. QED?

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  9. In the interest of history, and certainly not because of my puerile sense of humor, I suggest some research on the toilet paper topic.
    http://www.toiletpaperhistory.net/toilet-paper-history/history-of-toilet-paper/

    And a timely article from Popular Mechanics called, "So You've Run Out of Toilet Paper. What Else Will Flush?"
    https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/a31740030/toilet-paper-alternatives-what-will-flush-coronavirus/

    An internet meme suggested it's time to make use of the orphan socks. And if you do, then you should know what our pre-washing machine ancestors knew. How to hand wash diapers.
    http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/how-to-wash-your-cloth-diapers-by-hand/

    It's a cra**y subject, but the research has left me flushed with excitement!

    Perhaps it will be the birth of the ABM. (American Bidet Movement) Maybe our resistance to the bidet is only because the Euro bidets are weak and wimpy. This is America! We can build a bidet that combines the best of modern electric pressure washers and moves them into the bathroom!

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    1. You have far too much time on your hands!

      😂

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    2. And a basement workshop! (Insert mad scientist laughing)

      Many folks have used the expression, "I don't like dealing with your sh*t." But after you have worked on a shipboard CHT (Collection, Holding, Transfer) system, you can say that and truly mean it.

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    3. Before Grandma Skip passed, she had chronic diarrhea for almost three years.
      We had switched to wash cloths because they were more efficient (and cheaper in the long run).
      The next step would have been a bidet.
      I is something My Bride and I are contemplating now.

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    4. We're a very adaptable species in general, those who can't adapt, won't survive. Least not with clean butts anyway...

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    5. (Don McCollor)...Toilet paper shortages have happened before. There is the classic WW2 letter of the Captain of the sub USS Skipjack to the Mare Island Navy Yard Supply Officer [http://submarinesailor.com/History/toiletpaper.asp]...

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    6. That right there is a great story!

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  10. They locked down my kids and oldest was looking forward to a brief break. Then they named him an "essential worker" and made him start his commute again. He is a fraud investigative detective for the County. Go figure. Probably lots of fraudsters about.

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    1. This kind of thing brings them out of the woodwork.

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  11. I have figured out the toilet paper hoarding. It is the same impulse that drives my friends to hoard ammo or reloading components.

    An example. You learn to reload. All is well. You buy a couple of hundred primers in the various types, some powder, and you make some ammo. You observe that there is a price break to buy a thousand primers. Next time you get a thousand. Moving along, you use a couple of hundred and you feel understocked so you buy another thousand. You have established a floor, the minimum number you feel comfortable having. Next time you buy five thousand. Well above your minimum, but wait, it becomes the new floor.

    Then there is a shortage. There was panic buying at some point several years ago and the supply and manufacturing did not keep up. There were outages for a while. If you needed large pistol primers and didn't have a supply, you were out of luck. People remember that. They buy ten thousand. That sets a nice base, they don't use them, they are the emergency reserve. They go back to buying a thousand here and there and working from that, maintaining the reserve that has become their minimum.

    Ammo the same way, in whatever quantities are the baseline.

    Now it's toilet paper and it's everyone. Might be 48 or 96 rolls, but there's now a minimum stock that people want on hand. Store stocks will not recover until people's attics and garages are filled to the new minimums. There's nothing to be done about this except ramp up production for a while.

    Humans and human behavior can only be observed. Telling people to be comfortable when they have an open eight pack of toilet paper is now impossible. The stores are empty, rolls are being snatched off the pallets before they can be unloaded, and having eight rolls is like having the fire warning light on in the cockpit. More must be found.

    It will sort out. Our grandchildren will wonder why we felt the need to have 96 rolls of TP in the garage at all times, just like we looked back at our grandparents that lived through the Depression and wondered about the things they did.

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    Replies
    1. I suppose we need to go through things like this from time to time.

      Sigh...

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    2. Fortunately for Miss Jeanie and I, there is a lot of sand just nearby.

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    3. I have cats, so I get that. 😂

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    4. No need for any of that. Enter the
      new smart bidet system – no more need for toilet paper!
      It's fairly easy and cheap to build and install as part of your existing toilet.

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    5. It's highly recommended. I'll be putting one in for the mother-in-law.

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  12. Instead, go reproduce in solo fashion

    I'm stealing that!

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  13. Well, all I know is work is just totally crazy over this. Hand sanitizer, and masks (the silly surgical ones that don't do much anyway) are just in wicked short supply. If my nursing instructors were still alive, they would be having full grown cows over what we are being told to do, and do without!!

    Trust me guys--I get that you are bored out of your minds, but, truly, honestly--ya really, really, really don't want to get this sucker, so if it means ya spend time at home with the family, or the kids, or the kitties--enjoy your time.

    Every year we have to re-qualify with our skills. And every month we have a team meeting. So the IV team supervisor, being efficient, booked the skills day at the March team meeting--they last a couple of hours typically. So 10 RN's spent 2 hours or so of quality time together a couple of weeks ago...24 hours later 1 gal was all of a sudden VERY sick, and everyone else in that room was on lockdown. The gal who got sick first is now in the hospital, and not doing well...everyone else is popping up positive in various degrees of feeling putrid.

    A major advantage of being a home care nurse is that it is 99% of the time just me in the car. Although I did have a new employee riding along for a few days 2 weeks ago--and she woke up a week ago with a "whopper of a head cold"...which thankfully turned out to be just a whopper of a head cold, per the CV test. Before we go see any patient, we have to ask them and document their answers about if they have a fever, or a cough, traveled out of the country or been exposed to anyone else who has, yada yada. Problem is most of the patients are folks status post a 40+ year smoking habit, so of course they have a cough...lol.
    So I go see them, taking a calculated risk, wash my hands, use hand sanitizer, wear the single mask that I have FOR THE ENTIRE DAY, lather, rinse and repeat, which is nothing new for nurses, it's just a bit more intense now. And then clean off all of my equipment (not anything new there either) and then at least twice a day I am cleaning down every surface I touch in my car. That is new.

    Paranoid?? Yup. You betcha!! But just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean that they aren't out to get ya...and being in the high risk group--age, asthma--I am not taking chances. I read someplace that 1 person who is infected, but goes out, then infects 248 other folks--2 of those folks die. My mom and Dad are both North of 85, and mom's health is lousy on a good day. Plus I have this cutie pie of a grandson--growing like a weed, thanks for asking--and I don't want anything to happen to him either as it now sounds like kids make it through this, but then have significant lung issues for the rest of their lives.
    So, in my opinion, this just has bad written all over it...and I have this little niggling feeling that we are just getting started on how bad it could get. Normally, I am pretty optimistic--this one, not so much. I'm praying that these anti-viral meds the FDA is currently looking at work like a dream, and help get folks back on their feet, but it will be a while before we get there.

    John Ringo's Black water series leaps to mind--his character Capt Steven Smith used to say ask me for anything but time. Listening to some of the news conferences, I am reminded of that phrase. Another good book to read is The Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly. The last one is pretty scary for how dead nuts on it is compared to reality right now.

    So, my hope is that we get shut down, but my fear is that instead of being able to stay home, I will be recruited to go work in a hospital...which I have not done in literally decades. Have said for years "Hospitals are full of sick people!! Stay outta there!!" Seems to be pretty true nowdays.

    And, yes, I have tp--but then I always have lots of tp. But if I did run out, I have washcloths, and there are lots of holey t-shirts, old towels, and some thin old sheets around that could be cut up and used instead. Always have a plan B...always!!

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    1. My constant thoughts and prayers are for those, like you Suz, who have to keep working, otherwise many would die. Also for the folks in small businesses (especially local restaurants) who will be hurt badly by this. Hopefully when Uncle Sam starts cutting checks they go to those who couldn't work. We shall see.

      Stay safe out there Suz, God bless you and those you work with. Thanks for doing what you do.

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  14. Because I am an arsehole, I have refused to purchase bog rolls when available. There are non-commercial alternatives which every American born before 1930 knows about and those born later have either figured out or can figure out.

    I get an enormous kick out of the "boomer remover" jokes. Many of those youngsters have an actual reasoned argument to make, and for those who can't reason, the joke's on them. The whole thing is funny and as with most excellent humor it hits uncomfortably close to home on certain levels.

    Scale, context, and perspective are our friends. To those who are convinced this is the most horrible thing evah, may I offer a thought experiment? What if you could trade places with a 1920-era American? Go on, I dare ye! ;-)

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    1. I'm good right here, thanks.

      My Mom and I were talking today, living through the Depression, WWII, and all the rest. She found the current thing unsettling. I think my grandparents would get it, WWI, Spanish Flu, then the Depression, WWII, all the rest.

      You play the hand you're dealt, it's all you can do, it's all we're expected to do.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)