Covid-19, Day 79
San Francisco went into "shelter in place" rules yesterday. Walking the dogs, I've seen
the streets eerily quiet. Restaurants are open for take out only. The bars are all
shuttered. Many businesses are closed or reduced hours. Hardly anyone is walking or
driving anywhere. To judge by this Reuters photo collection, it's not just San Francisco but world wide.
Yesterday there were anouncements that taxes will be postponed and there's talk of a $1000 check for every taxpayer in the US. Details are still thin, but:
March 18 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index tumbled 7% on Wednesday, triggering a 15-minute trading halt of Wall Street’s main indexes for the second time this week, on fears that stimulus measures may not be enough to avert a coronavirus-driven recession.
(From Reuters today
Here's the "trading curbs" (aka "circuit breakers") that have happened recently:
|March 9, 2020||Dow fell 7.8%|
|March 12, 2020||Dow fell 10%|
|March 16, 2020||Dow fell 12.9%|
|March 18, 2020||Dow down 8.3% so far today|
That's 34% down from the high of 29,551 on February 12th.
It was days ago that I went shopping, but it was crazy then. In these fast
moving times, what's true one day might not be true the next. Still, last Saturday I
went to seven stores of various types. Normally I shop on Sunday, but I
wanted to get it over with sooner. In order:
1 Pet Food Express: no crowds, no noticible shortages (even in the
cleaning supplies). I got pet food.
2 Discount Builder's Supply: they are rationing masks, and short on some
cleaning supplies. I got some wood (for baseboard) and weatherstipping.
I looked at doormats but did not get one.
3 Bed Bath and Beyond: Terrible, terrible line. I went in wanting a
new doormat, I left without even looking at their stock. I did not see
much of the shelves. This is a store that manages to make four customers
waiting for three registers seem to take forever. When the line snakes
to the back of the store, yikes.
4 Trader Joe's: Crowded and empty, empty shelves. Basically no meat,
frozen food, canned food, or jarred food. I wanted hot dogs, tomato
sauce, and nuts from there. I got nuts. Line was short. They had someone going
around and sani-wiping the counters by the cash registers after every customer.
I was far from the only person snapping pictures of empty shelves here. As
I took this, a worker said it had been full on Monday.
5 Rainbow Coop: This is were I usually do the bulk of my grocery shopping.
It is a vegetarian store, so I need to go elsewhere for meats. Otherwise
it usually has a good selection of the stuff I need. I couldn't get some
stuff because the bulk foods were closed.
And then the non-bulk versions had sold out. Mostly not empty shelves,
the canned beans were mostly gone, and (eg) no basmati rice (normally I
buy from bulk); there was specialty stuff like paella rice. The bread
section however was a blank slate.
My guess is they were not getting bread deliveries. The lines were
insanely bad. I've never, even in Thanksgiving peak, seen lines longer than
about three or four people there.
All of the staff, and many of the customers, at Rainbow were wearing
disposable gloves. One staff member and a few of the customers had face
6 Smart Food Service: I usually hit this up about once every 4 to 6 weeks.
It's open to the public but aimed at supplying restaurants. It's my
Costco substitute these days. They had hot dogs, but not a brand I knew
and only in 48(?) packs. I got a pineapple and a big can of peaches in syrup. A
3kg can, I'd have gotten jarred ones from TJ's or Rainbow if they were available
there. I used to buy them from Costco, where they came as a four pack of
jars probably totalling 3kg, but I've let my membership lapse. Very
few empty shelves, but the parking lot was full, something I'd never
seen before. On the other hand, the line was shorter than usual.
7 Molly Stone's: this is my normal walk-to grocery, but it's expensive, so
I don't get much stuff there. The soup section was pretty thin, and some
veggies and cleaing supplies were out. No bakery bread there either, but they
had some plastic bagged bread. I also got hot dogs (two $9 packs, Niman
Ranch) and a whole chicken (organic free range, $24). I ended up
spending about $98 there, possibly a record for a day I'm not buying
booze. They do have a nice liquor aisle. I have seen people rack up
over $1000 purchases in that store, with most of that spend alcoholic.
I didn't take pictures of the stores that were normal or near normal.
Now I'm regretting that.