No No No No!

Ran across this article yesterday.

Shutting down businesses and paying people for lost wages for four to six weeks could help keep the coronavirus pandemic in check and get the economy on track until a vaccine is approved and distributed, said Dr. Michael Osterholm, a coronavirus advisor to President-elect Joe Biden.

…….

“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers for losses to small companies to medium-sized companies or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that,” he said. “If we did that, then we could lockdown for four-to-six weeks.”

…….

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/11/biden-covid-advisor-says-us-lockdown-of-4-to-6-weeks-could-control-pandemic-and-revive-economy.html

Ok, first of all, where the hell do you plan to GET that much money?? Oh I know, you’ll borrow it. Nice, that’ll TOTALLY solve the economy problem…..And what about those of us who work for big sized companies? I mean, sure, my job is actually pretty secure, but not ALL big sized companies are. And if THEY start failing……that’s a hell of a trigger point there.

Then there’s the little fact that the economy is about more than just money. Money is only good for buying things. If you shut everything down again there won’t be anything to buy you moron! All the stimulus paychecks in the world won’t solve THAT.

You DO recall what happened in March when things shut down right? Despite frantic attempts to keep SOMETHING on the store shelves just about every store that was able to remain open ended up with empty shelves. Canned foods? Nope. Milk? Nope. Paper goods? Nope. Peanut butter? Nope. Disinfecting cleaning supplies? Nope. And while some of that was the result of people panicking and buying whatever they could get their hands on, not all of it was. Manufacturers are currently HOPING they’ll be able to be back to normal schedules at some point in 2021. HOPING! They are NOT caught up. Not even Kinda. Another 6 week shutdown, before they’re caught up? No, no, no, no…..

Oh, but the grocery shelves are back to normal! Right? No, no they aren’t. And neither are the cleaning supplies. Or, or, or…..the stores have just become really creative at how they stock the shelves. But if you know what you’re looking for? Yah, its really really obvious. Look, I’ve mentioned before that I have a wholesale foods account. The pricelist from the wholesaler back in March was 30 pages long, single column. Their current price list? 2 pages, double column. There’s SO MUCH stuff they can’t get right now. And what they can get, quantities still aren’t back to normal. And cleaning supplies? Look, I personally sell those at my work. There are entire brand lines of products that I haven’t seen even a single case of since this started.

And don’t get me started on Christmas. I hate to advocate buying your Christmas decor early. But this year? Buy it now. Or it won’t be there when you do go to the store. The ONLY thing we have plenty of stock of is pre-lit trees. We have NO backstock of ornaments. Barely any backstock of yard decor and blowups. No where NEAR enough backstock of lights. And the stock we do have? The selection isn’t near as wide as usual.

And then there’s the fact that the shutdown literally killed people. An awful lot of those “non-essential” medical treatments are only non-essential because the thing they treat was caught early enough to keep it from being an emergency. Or because they’re preventative, to keep things from becoming an emergency. Take away the availability of those treatments and suddenly there’s a lot more things that end up being emergencies, or that aren’t caught at all until it’s to late. And the lack of contact for seniors and the disabled stuck in assisted living and nursing homes? Yah, that killed some of them too, and set others back drastically.

Not to mention that all that assumes that we’ll HAVE a functional, GOOD, vaccine by the end of that 6 weeks. And yes, I know, it looks like we might. But might is not 100%. And no, I won’t be taking a vaccine that was rushed through trials that way. I WILL claim religious exemption if I need to. I’m not anti vaccine, they’re good things. But one that was rushed through like this? That we have NO CLUE what the long term outlook of it is? Fuck no. And I’m not the only one feeling twitchy at the way they’re rushing this vaccine through.

Look I get it. Nasty scary virus we don’t understand completely. But if the “cure” is doing more damage than the bug there’s a hell of a problem in how you’re doing it.


Election

Look, I’m not a Trump fan. He didn’t do as badly in his first 4 years as I’d been afraid, but still, not a fan. But there was no way in hell I was going to help vote in a geriatric dementia case with a California VP. Not that it matters since I live in upstate NY, and New York City dictates how the state’s votes go in national votes. My entire extended inlaw family could write in for the dog and it wouldn’t affect how the state’s results went.

I’m not any more worried by a Biden (or Harris) presidency than I was a Trump presidency. President not dictator or king. Not thrilled, but we’ll get through it just like we got through Trump’s presidency. Well, we’ll get through it if they can not sink the economy further by shutting everything down again cause COVID!!!

The general public’s response to the election has been my concern. I have friends on about every side of the political divide that you can imagine. And the divide between the news sources and media stories that each side sees, reads, and shares is drastic. To the point where its hard to tell that they’re talking about the same specific incident or happening.

And now the media has declared for Biden. But the legal side of it isn’t complete. What happens if the legal side of it changes that result? My entire FB and Twitter feed is nothing but cheering. The riots and hate if things don’t go their way is going to be even worse. And yah, outside of the idiots on each side (cause there are always idiots on every side) the majority of hate is coming from one side in particular. And its the side that seems to delight in eating their own too.

Look, I don’t care how you voted, or your political views of this mess. Take a deep breath. Make sure your home and family is secure. That you can withstand another 3 month shutdown, food, home, money wise. Cause while Biden/Harris don’t especially worry me, the rest of the political backlash has very major potential to go very bad.


Tell me again

Tell me again, how lockdowns were the only option for handling this virus.

Tell me again, how lockdowns were the only way to keep the public safe.

Tell me again, how forcing those already confined into total solitude was the only way to save their lives.

Tell me again, how its all for the children.

There were and are absolutely intermediate steps that can and should be done to protect the vulnerable. The expansion of shopping services, and other hands off services. The expansion of sick days and the ability to work from home from businesses. The recognition that some people have fucked immune systems and need additional protection. I’d certainly like to see these things continued and expanded.

But the assumption that we, as a national and international community, needed to shut down everything in order to save lives?

No.

The long term health damage from these shutdowns is going to be astronomical, just in the first world countries involved. Physical health, mental health, and emotional health. And not just to the adults. Children NEED the social interactions we just forced them to miss, they NEED it in order to learn to be better adults. We just fucked the hell out of the next generation, and that sort of thing has the ability to snowball into additional generations as those kids grow up and have kids of their own.

The long term health damage done to non-first world countries due to the shutdown? Programs to alleviate starvation had to shut down. Programs to alleviate various major diseases had to shut down. Shutdowns that mean that their efforts could be set back years due to having to start over in some areas. Shutdowns that mean that they now have to start over at gaining local trust.

And the economic, world wide, damage done by the shut down and the following various health issues? Yah.

So tell me again…..


General update on the state of things

What I’m seeing here in Upstate NY.

Meat prices leveled off, and now appear to have dropped back down to something close to where they were before the shutdown.  However there are still supply shortages.  I can get eye of round via my wholesaler again, and the price is back down to normal, BUT, they’re only able to get about half of what they normally get for stock of it, and they’ve had to cut their overall available products list by more than half.  Products just aren’t available.   ON the other hand the sales person I talked to says they’re still running flat out selling what they can get.  People are still stocking up.

Paper goods, toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, and the like, are still not back to normal.  They’re doing way better, but they’re not where they were before the shut down.  People are still panic buying, if not quite at the same level.

Cleaning supplies are still fucked.  If the shelves appear to be full its because the store has “spread to fill” what they have for product.  Home Depot actually issued “spread to fill” orders, take what you have, whatever the product IS, and make the shelves look full, because we don’t know when we’re going to be able to get the normal products, and maybe if we make the shelves look full people will stop panic buying.  Its kinda helping, but the people who’re looking for specific cleaners are still walking away frustrated.  In addition HD has brought in all sorts of cleaners that they don’t normally carry in an attempt to provide SOMETHING to the customers who’re looking for products.  Not just disinfectants, but whatever they can get.

Garden hoses and sprinklers are still in short supply, though that aisle looks better than it did.

Pressure treated lumber might have managed to recover, mostly anyway, but whats in the stores is still wet and green tinted as hell, its that fresh from the factory.

Appliances are still fucked, and they’ve no clue when they’ll be able to get caught back up.  If you’re in a position where you NEED an appliance, be aware that its most likely going to take months to get the models you want.

Cabinets are just as behind as appliances.  Hope you weren’t planning on redoing your kitchen any time soon.

Power tools are running short, shelving is running short, doors and windows are running short (though only in some lines).  Paint is behind or ahead depending on what exactly you’re looking for.  Pesticides are short, weed killers are short.  Generators are short.  We’re already sold out of a fair bit of the Halloween stuff and it was only put on the floor less than 2 weeks ago.

I’d previously thought that the slowdown in buying was because people were running out of money and going back to work as things opened up.  And certainly some of it was from that.  And some of it was because other stores were opening up and people had other places to spend their money.  But a large portion of it was because we started to run out of things to sell.

I’ve had a chance to talk to several vendor reps at work, as well as a variety of truck delivery drivers.  Everyone says the same thing.  The warehouses are empty, they echo, and there’s NO backstock to be had.  Home Depot, Lowes, and all the other stores that stayed open through the shutdown, sold through a year or more’s worth of backstock of just about everything in the space of 4 months.  Add in the manufacturing, and transportation, shutdowns and slow downs, add in the issues getting ANY supplies from overseas, add in that people bought out products that they’d never have even CONSIDERED buying a year ago, add in that people haven’t stopped buying those things since the shutdown hit.  The manufacturers are running flat out trying to catch back up.  If they have the people, and the supplies, their line is running 24/7, and every single item that comes off the line is going right onto a truck and sent directly to a store.  Where its promptly bought by someone and the process is repeated.  All the vendor reps I’ve talked to stated that their company has reduced their product lines to the minimum base products and converted the other manufacturing lines over to those base products, and they still can’t get caught up on those items.  The vendors who are exclusively outdoor products, hardscapes and gardening supplies and the like, have hope that once snow starts flying they’ll be able to catch up because people will PROBABLY stop buying their products.  The rest of them are just hoping that people will run out of money before the guys running the manufacturing lines drop dead from exhaustion (ok, no one’s specifically said that, and yes, they’re all delighted at the money thats coming in, but good lord people, can you please stop buying long enough for everyone to catch up??!!).

While it’s certainly possible that some manufacturer somewhere has decided to slow things down deliberately to make things look even shorter than they are, I really don’t think its the problem.  Honestly, based on what I’m seeing, most of these products, they could double the retail price of the items, and people would still snatch them off the shelves as fast as possible.   None of them WANTS their normal customers to stop buying the original choice items because they got used to something different.  The supply chain is just that fucked.  And its going to be months before things settle down.  Possibly quite a few months, as in, next year, if people continue to buy at the same rate.  Even longer if the .GOV tries to force another shutdown.  Longer again if any of the international suppliers of parts or chemicals has to shut down again.

 


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Trying a slightly different format for this one. Previously if you clicked on one to make it bigger you then had to hit back to go back to the main list. This time if you click on one you should be able to just scroll through. Please let me know if that works better for you, if people like it better I’ll edit the previous meme posts to match.

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