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March 22, 2020

OPEN THREAD

Blog community, feel free to weigh in here on the COVID-19 situation and all the covidiotic things that have been happening during this time of worldwide suckage. Also let your fellow blog people know how you're doing in the crisis. Do you have enough toilet paper? Food? How about toilet paper? FOR GOD'S SAKE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH TOILET PAPER.

Us? We're fine! Why do you ask? 

Update: I'll keep this post on top of the blog for a while, since it seems to be semi-therapeutic.

Update to the Update: We checked the little box that supposedly keeps this post on top, but Typepad doesn't seem to want to keep it on top. So you may have to hunt for it. We apologize for any inconvenience. Rest assured that judi will be fired from a minimum distance of six feet.

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For starters, I specifically avoid listening to any broadcast even loosely related to 'News' and instead listen to cheerful music

We're using toilet paper my wife's father purchased in the 90's. Prophet? Soothsayer? Prepper?

Nah, just a guy with time on his hands and triple coupons.

And no, I'm not telling you which bunker it's stored in.

Keep your chin up and your hands to yourself.

And in case you haven't had enough helpful tips on personal hygiene, there's this highly informative video:

Google Translate Explains How to Wash Your Hands

Well, I'm old, for one thing, but: I got hand soap, I got TP, I got Purel, who could ask for anything more? Actually, we've had some earthquakes lately, just had a 4.8 little over an hour ago. Could do without those.

Years ago I wanted to hike to one of Colorado's remote lakes and do some trout fishing. A lady friend who worked at the hospital wanted to go with me. We never made it a half mile before she just had to use a restroom. Being none anywhere around, she was forced to go in some bushes and then she started yelling for toilet paper which I didn't have. I told her to just use leaves like the Indians did.
Before we even got to the lake we had to make a fast trip back to Denver. How was I to know she was from New York and didn't know what poison ivy looked like?

Here's a site I've spent some time on lately Salt and a Flicker of Light... at Table 86

Fair warning: it leans heavily toward religious content, though the articles, etc, seem thoughtful to me, as opposed to being whacked out.

As an introverted curmudgeon who is retired, I’m not noticing a big lifestyle change as I “shelter in place” here in rural Illinois. Fortunately, my favorite local restaurant is still offering curbside pickup and delivery, our local brew pub is offering 19-oz. cans and growlers (also curbside pickup), and the marijuana dispensaries are still operating. Oh, and liquor stores. I just hope the small businesses in our community make it through this.

Cyclical panic and hoarding...

https://youtu.be/5K9-Lz0SbrA

Now that we're back from Florida in Ground Zero with (according to the Governor) FIFTEEN TIMES AS MANY CASES as any other state (*twitches*) we're fine, or will be as soon as I finish my Dave Barry Official Toilet Paper Holder. Fortunately, we had bought a 30-roll pack at Costco before we left here in January, so we are set for a week or so.

What amused me was the collection of idiots in the supermarket yesterday warding off the virus with a collection of painter's masks and other equally ineffective things, like a thin scarf wrapped around a woman's face. Then there was the woman with the mask pulled down under her chin so she could talk on the phone. And the older Russian couple, her masked and him with the mask...on the top of his head. And even the people who had the right type of mask didn't seem to get it that the mask was to prevent them infecting someone else, not vice versa - not to mention the fact that the spaces at the side of the maskwould have let in any germ passing by.

Hey, we're old and we just spent four days on the road from Florida, staying in hotels, eating lunches purchased from Walmart Subways stores, using gas station bathrooms, going maskless, and - so far at least - still without the virus.

Of course, as my wife pointed out, it is quite possible that we got infected, had a case so mild as to barely notice it, and now done with it.

Good luck, bloggers.

My wife was on a 2.5 week birding tour of Cambodia when this broke out. On top of that, she got a sore throat and diarrhea toward the end of the trip. But the symptoms disappeared when they got back to Phnom Penh for return flights. EVA (Taiwan airline) had cancelled some flights so changes were needed at a very busy airport. She finally routed through Taipei (Taiwan had just closed borders to foreigners) and LA to Houston, and made it home. Lots of scenarios were coming to mind, like living in Phnom Penh for a year+. Thankfully that did not happen. Most importantly, I managed to score some toilet paper B-}

The Czech Republic is in full quarantine. To save our mental health, an important video "10 hours of relaxing pub sounds" was released.

https://youtu.be/OVuvSeNMWF4

Everything you want to know about the 2020 Toilet Paper Famine but are afraid to ask...

https://youtu.be/lNPodC4KJYU

An individual would have to consume thousands of pounds of food over several months in order to utilize the huge quantities of t.p. being hoarded.

https://youtu.be/p13yZAjhU0M

My liquor store has just informed me that they now offer "curbside pickup." Pay online, drive to store, text that you are there, and a HazMat-suited employee will bring your wine outside, put it down near your car, and scuttle back inside the store, much like a cockroach when you turn the light on.

Dave is helping us through this.

No, really.

It's a tradition in our house that one of us reads his 'Year in Review" aloud to the others over the New Year's holiday, so now we're reading older bits from "Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up" and others, out loud to the family. Breaks have to be taken while the reader composes his/her self because it is HARD to read this stuff out loud without collapsing into giggles.

The world's gone insane & stupid simultaneously. Dave is helping, at least in this house. ;)

We are low on TP, but we have plenty of booze. I figure as the weather warms we can just use the garden hose a a DIY bidet. We live in a rural area so we won't freak out the neighbors.

I apologize for the visual you can't get out of your head right now.

Sure to make best images of 2020 lists..

I have plenty of toilet paper, at least two months of food, my nearest neighbor is 1/4 mile away (my house is way back in the woods), I'm armed and theoretically dangerous, and my last trip to "civilization" was last Wednesday. It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

The aliens have invaded, and as expected, all of Trump's "security" measures were about as useful as the Maginot Line.

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

COVID-19 Quarantine Day 5: Rum supplies holding out nicely, with 6 of original 10 1.75L remaining. Becoming concerned about mixers though, as usage levels higher than anticipated. Might break quarantine tomorrow for a WM run. Sun is out after heavy AM rains filled catchment tank. Batteries at 13.3V. & fridge & freezer chilling. Started seeds: mullein, horehound, echinacea. Finally read what I was doing wrong:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004OR1KWC/

For those with kids and closed schools. Enjoy:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/20/coronavirus-impossible-mother-tirade-remote-schooling

Plenty of tp, plenty of paper towels. The intelligence agency I work for told us in late February that we should have a two week supply of food laid in, so I missed most of the insanity.

Actually looking forward to going to work tomorrow.

We're well supplied with paper products, cleaning supplies and food -- luck, not planning. We decided to try the local supermarket's delivery service. It worked pretty well except we have a giant jar of mayonnaise and no Cheerios. Swap will be made during tomorrow's 7 a.m. "senior hour" at the supermarket.

We ordered a list of essentials online scheduled to be delivered April 2022. We're good.

I ended up going to three stores to get everything from the shopping list. I picked up a large package of TP just because the pallet arrived and people were descending on it like, like, like, Walmart customers. One of the workers said,"I just wish they would let me work the Tire department like I always have."

Tuesday we sing "Happy Birthday" to my youngest turning 20 over Zoom. That's going to be hard

Ralph - I think I drove past your house the other day. Is it the one with the flag out front behind my cousin's house?

Ralph - My cousin's name is Danny and you may have seen him driving around town in that purple car. That really is my cousin's house. Ralph, if you do any bar-hopping or other covidiotic things during this period uncertainty, Danny is the Bass player for the local band and gets the chicks. He'll be the guy with all the chicks. You can't him.

I always keep things stocked, make my own bread, and since I live in the country I don't go out very often. I've been reading, doing a lot of writing, crossword puzzles, knitting, calling old boyfriends over who won't observe the 6-10 ft. rule, and watching old TV shows on Hulu because I'm sick of hearing about all of this!

Reporting from Arizona (the #1 state for TP hoarding!)

All is good in Tucson. Warm sunny days, friends meet up for hiking or swimming...staying outdoors for anything social, keeping groups small, keeping a distance. Bars are closed tho :(

Most important: reading Dave's blog everyday and all the insane comments keeps me laughing

A revolution is an ugly thing. And it's just about time we had one.

(Apologies to Mel Brooks)

man tom: Nice car color, but I can't say much for that house. Mine isn't fancy, but it's energy efficient and keeps the bears out. Unfortunately, my bar-hopping days are over. My body no longer tolerates more than two drinks without a miserable headache. These days I have to stick to doing stupid stuff online.

Ralph - Keep an eye out for Danny's sister. She is a strawberry blonde and is easily identifiable by the court ordered tracking device around her right ankle.

I just ventured out of the house to the office to pick up ten boxed of latex gloves to give to my son. We are concerned about him due to his job as President and Field Commander of Ground Operations for the Hell's Angels. He Once took down Conner McGregor. But, 'yawl should know I heard from neighbor who works at a large grocery store, the company will give her a letter or certificate to give to police should she be stopped stating she works at the store and is needed because of the disasterous situation we face in this time of social distancing. Please note: My neighbor told me no one is allowed to drive from 11PM to 5pm unless they are 'disater qualified' to do so. Also, my maintenance man called to see how I was doing. He is a bit hard to understand mainly due to the fact He speaks little English, but I managed to discern he was saying He got a ticket for working and a friend was jailed for working. So, things are looking up here.

Please note I meant curfew coming from 11PM till 5AM. I also wanted to let Ralph know, Danny's sister, the blonde, is also supposedly accused of embezzling, I guess you could call it that, taking advantage would be a better description, of her boss. The guy is missing so kind of be on the lookout for him too.

It reminds me of that Star Trek episode, where everybody turned against each other, only to discover some alien force was at play. In this case, American politics and news is rife with blame and accusations. In the mean time, the Communist Chinese Government is like, ummm, wasn’t us! (Then they run in other direction, hide behind rocks)

Listening to a car show on the radio yesterday, I heard a guy call in from Waco and describe a grocery store trip. The store had one end of the paper goods aisle blocked off, and an armed guard stationed at the other end. He let in shoppers one at a time, and made sure they didn't come out with more than their limit. Why aren't all the stores doing that?

Hmm? What? Coronavirus? What's that?

JK.

My semi-retirement job involves delivering certain radiology supplies to area hospitals each morning. It's been weird to have my temperature checked by security people with each delivery. With so many people's appointments being canceled, things have slowed down for us, though we expect to be quite busy once this thing is over and everyone reschedules. I hope others can expect their work to rebound as well.

When I would yell, "Get off my lawn!" at the neighbors' kids, they would call me a grouchy old man.

Now, I'd admired for advocating social distancing.

Gov. Carney: Stay at home starting Tuesday.
Me : That's horrible!
My Wife: What did you do today that you won't be able to do Tuesday?
Me:
Me:
Me: Shut up.

Straight Female Twitter lit up with this yesterday, so I figured I'd share it with the blog ladies.

I've grown tired of streaming TV shows and movies, instead I've chosen to do some 'lite' reading. I'll start with my 'new' book "The King in Yellow".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_in_Yellow

Dave's books have more than once helped me negotiate PTSD and associated depression. With those conditions in mind, I look at the world: nobody knows what is going on, they are terrified of social contact, they switch from rage to fear to weeping instantly. Yep, I think, that's about right.

At the risk of sounding like a Monty Python skit, I enjoyed my first meal of Spam "Lite" and potatoes last night. Pretty good. More proof that if you combine salt and pork there's probably not much you can do to mess it up.

TP good for a month or so, but my wife has started listing plants in our back yard that have leaves that can be used in emergencies... :)

Enjoy this compilation of Italian mayors getting real with idiots defying the no walking around orders...

We’ve been “hunkered down” as my wife puts it since we’re in the older demographic. No major problems, except the last time I actually ventured into the grocery store I was the only one not procuring a basketful of toilet paper. Apparently there is some special toilet papering event I’m unaware of that’s coming up. Did run out of beer, but that’s not essential. Coffee is essential, and the supply is being rationed until the next grocery pickup coming up on Saturday. Lack of caffeine for some will make them grumpier than normal, unless they’re not awake from lack of caffeine.

If you want free entertainment, download the Nextdoor app where you’ll see people arguing over important items such as dog poop in yards and a special investigative report on just whose dog might be involved. Or the fuzzy, barely recognizable picture of some animal with the request “what the hell kind of animal is this?”

On the other hand, airfare to Hawaii is the lowest cost I’ve ever seen.

Dave, this is a wonderful thread. There is community here. Helping each other keep the same level of sanity we've always had.

Is there any possibility you could alter your blog so people could comment directly to a posting? I'm old and so when I think of something to say to someone by the time I scroll to the bottom I've either forgotten the name of the poster or what they were talking about or what it was that I wanted to say.

No seriously. Wait, why am I here?

It’s not so bad. I’ve been getting a hot breakfast every morning lately.

Four doctor’s appts cancelled so far.

Except for one essential trip (to the liquor store) I haven’t been out in ten days.

We're fine here on the Big Island.

We were down to about 8 rolls of toilet paper,
but the local Safeway got some in (MEGA-ROLLS, EVEN),
and I bought a 12-pack. We've got plenty of hand
sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes as well.

Pluses: Telling my wife (repeatedly):
"THIS is why I buy in bulk!"
Negatives: Local businesses hit HARD. I hope they
recover quickly. The localities are definitely going
to be a lot different when this thing burns out.

Going to start binge-watching "24," and dig up "The
Amazing Steve" recaps...

We don't have TP but we don't care. Since our neighbor lets his big stupid dog go on our yard, we have been paying him back by going on his. The grass is a bit scratchy this time of year but we're getting used to it as we scoot along.

I like to say we were socially distancing before it was cool. In our little neighborhood here in rural New Mexico, we are staying home except for grocery runs and takeout at our local cafe, trying to help them stay afloat. Old guy advice is not real popular these days, but I've been around a long time and we'll get through this if we pay attention to medical experts. Speaking of medical experts, I'm now getting email CV advice from Gwyneth Paltrow, Discount Tire, the local oil change guy, and the place I bought my computer 3 years ago. Stay safe and be well. Oh, and thanks Dave,

Over it:

It reminds me of the " Leave It To Beaver " episode where Eddie showed up with a green nose and all the other kids shunned him, except for the Beaver, who stood up for him, and later developed a green nose like Eddie and was shunned by his family and ended up having to sleep in the park. I'm not sure what the point of the episode was, but a practically identical plot later turned up on Star Trek TNG where Data got a green nose, except he explained that he got it by sticking his face in the replicator while trying to make green beer for St. Patrick's Day, and everyone on the bridge had a good laugh.

Late to the thread ..
I saw my stylist on Saturday & gave her an extra $20 tip. Then found out that beginning at 6pm, all salons, etc. were ordered to close. I also stocked up the weekend before the panic hit, so we are good on food and supplies. I am still shocked when I do venture to the store and see long empty shelves where there was once an overabundance of bread, flour & sugar, and canned goods. I was stunned to read Dallas County Judge signed an order to restrict TP purchases. As he stated, "It is time to move away from selfishness to sacrifice." Why did it take a County Judge to sign an order for that, people?
I am WFH and my college boys are on-line only. Husband is self-employed and always WFH. One positive (of several): all cavemen have thoroughly done Spring Cleaning on their rooms. By themselves. They have only asked me which type of spray was best to use for this or that surface, but they have done it. That is a big biggie.
I, too, am reading books. I am reading 'Peter & the Starcatchers' to my grandson. I get to do voices. It's fun.
Y'all be safe and keep commenting!

I have a confession - I am a toilet paper hoarder, by mistake.
About a month ago, or 6 weeks I bought a box of 36 TP rolls. I am moving soon so I was planning to buy paper towels at Costco, for cleaning and packing and I grabbed a wrong box. Only when I got home I realized my mistake.
So, ladies, as you can see, I am rich and single.

With a lot of cats I've been buying cat litter like crazy because I can find a substitute for TP but litter-not so much. As I said before I'm the infection Preventionist at our hospital and so listening to lots of phone calls from affiliates and the state and stuff.
OH Dave-my SIL called me last night-she wanted to borrow jigsaw puzzles because the shelves were nearly bare at Walmart.

To add a a little 'zip'to our already awesome quarantine activities, the good Lord saw fit to unleash a deluge on our town, flooding thousands of basements, mine included. This had never happened before (we're kind of on top of a hill) so it was a complete surprise.

So I got to spend a couple grand for a new sump pump (the old ran until it burned itself out), area rugs, etc. the whole time trying to get rid of the stink while explaining to the Mrs. why this wasn't my fault. Good times.

We’re sheltered at an undisclosed location, with a small supply of TP, which is why our location is undisclosed. I will give you a hint: It has the abbreviation ILL. I'm not comforted by this abbreviation.

Our local grocery store has been pretty much cleaned out, which has been a learning experience for the grocery store. They now know pretty much everything that no one ever buys. If I had to start from scratch, pretty much all I can make is a Peanut Butter Oreo Clam Juice souffle - if I could find more eggs. Fortunately, we're not starting from scratch and are ok for food.

Hope everyone is well.

As long as Judi can still be fired, all is well. (Just kidding, Judi. ;-) )

Steve (The 24 Guy) - if you run low on cooking oil (our local store has none available) and have an air fryer, you can make air fried Peanut Butter Oreo Clam Juice souffle. Perhaps substitute mayonnaise and cook on low.

Someone (hint, hint) should write a book about what people choose NOT to hoard during a crisis. I am finding great amusement whilst perusing the nearly empty shelves in our local stores. For instance, all the snack cakes were gone, but there was a goodly assortment of rice cakes available.

townpeople around here don't buy that sliced Eye-talian bread just the good white bread.....WTFBBQ?

Klezmerphan:

Someone posted pictures on line of items left on wiped-out food shelves. One of the items was Hawaiian pizza.

Klezmerphan: You might want to check the vegan section...

Has anyone noticed super model looking news anchors are going on air without make-up? I'm certain social distancing has caused this. Sandra Smith looked a little like our housekeeper I didn't recognize her, seriously. I took a double take at my screen and imagined she was about to be quarantined with the virus changing her from super model to Quasimoto.

All this panic and absolute idiocy from our leaders about the Wu Tang Flu has made people unaware of the *real* dangers:

8 people died yesterday by getting attacked by Hippopotamuses. Be sure to check to see if any are walking down your street, YOU COULD BE NEXT!

~2 people died yesterday from Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation!
I look forward to Anderson Cooper's Special Report.

~2 people died yesterday from falling out of their bed. Bring back the Adult Crib.

The think that would cure most of our virus ills is to find another show like "24" and have Dave sit on his couch, a legal distance from the people and dog that he loves, and lead us (assisted by the Amazing Steve), as he once did in a weekly snark-a-thon. It would really reduce our temptation toward covidiocy and move the world in the right direction. More or less.

Klezmerphan, my store is completely out of butter, but the Jello shelves are stocked to the gills. No one buys Jello in a crisis?


https://decider.com/2020/03/23/jane-austen-social-distancing/

I will do my best to tell this story non-politically. A person of my acquaintance who remains skeptical of the seriousness of this situation said that he'd heard 100 million Americans would get exposed, but that the death rate wouldn't be near 3%, it's be more around 1%. I pointed out that would still be 1 million American deaths, kind of like nuking Philadelphia. He accused me of distorting his numbers.

We weren't really low on TP, but I've been keeping an eye out, and the local grocery store and Walmart were out. I happened to stop at a local farmer's market that sells meats, breads, baked goods, etc., and there on the counter was a nice pyramid of individual TP rolls for $1.75 each. I bought 2, and a pecan pie.

Today marked my first day of "telecommuting". I survived, but the bag of potato chips was not as lucky....

If the network goes down, however, I'm going to be forced to jump out the window.

For those looking for TP: Try ethnic supermarkets. They had half an isle worth at my local store, and it was business as usual. Meanwhile, I tried (and failed) to get into CostCo. The line wrapped around the building, and they only are allowing 150 customers in at a time. Then, when that group has checked out, they let the next group in. It's pure madness. I asked the store manager what time the line for "loo paper" begins in the morning. His answer was "4 am, and the first 100 people in line take the entire day's supply."

Oh, another irony. I was in a big supermarket and decided to get some Emergen-C drink powder. Totally sold out. So I went out to the produce section and got a dozen perfect fresh oranges out of the full bin.

There are shortages everywhere.

I went to my coffee shop and ordered coffee without cream.

The server said, "I'm sorry sir but we are all out of cream. You'll have to have your coffee without milk."

This shelter-in-place has some advantages. I'm finding out lots of stuff about my family that I never knew before. For example, apparently I have TWO children... Who knew?!

A friend of ours here in the Great White North (aka Ontario), offered his son and four of his buddies the use of the family’s weekend cottage north of Toronto for-to hunker down in during their period of self isolation, as they were returning from their US university where they all play A LOT of hockey. Last Thursday, aforementioned friend Murray drove up to said cottage to un-winterize the place, shoo out any and all critters, load the cupboards with basics and beer, and make the place reasonably habitable. Oh, and he left a credit card on the counter. Must mention this cottage is exactly that, and not something certain realtors describe as such then proceed to show pics of a ten bedroom $15m. res. on it’s own lake with every bell and whistle known to man. This is a cottage cottage with a bunkie, and a well. Has indoor plumbing but also a thunderbox in the woods for when things get plugged.
Well, said son and his four pals safely crossed the border at Buffalo Friday afternoon and arrived at the cottage a few hours later. With an additional TEN buddies who’d been invited to ride it out. Their gonna need SIGNIFICANTLY MORE BEER.
P.S. GO LEAFS!!!!!

The local TV news is interesting in this time of social distancing. One of our local stations has one anchor in the studio and the other one broadcasting live from their living room at home. The weather person is no longer standing in front of a green screen or surrounded by big radar displays but seems to be located in a darkened conference room somewhere with a large computer monitor behind him so it makes it appears he’s still on top of things. The sports guy (segment now approximately 20 seconds in length) appears from his backyard with a rotted wood fence appearing behind him. It’s surreal, and somewhat funny. I keep watching to see if any of these home broadcasters get interrupted by pets, home deliveries or dive bombing mockingbirds.

What to do when you run out of toilet tissue? No good solutions but a few ideas. Don't fill out the census form. They'll keep sending it to you. It's paper. Socks. No not Bill Clinton's cat. The things you put on your feet between skin and shoes. You only need one pair to be admitted to a restaurant when this thing ends. The others can be put to more practical use. Cabbage Patch dolls. Did you overreact and buy a few thousands taking up space in your home? Bust them open and use the stuffing. Try to console yourself with the thought that toilet tissue was way down on the list of things to worry about for George Washington and his troops at Valley Forge. PS. I won't mention Dave's books because he might know where I live and have a fleet of attack drones.

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