Sunday, March 22, 2020

Everyday Life in the Time of the Pandemic

Herewith, a few reports about how different countries are dealing with the pandemic. They range from food to sex.

The first concerns panic buying, and the difficulty keeping supermarkets stocked when people are loading up on toilet paper.

As it happens, continental Europe is far better at not hoarding than is Great Britain. Obviously, this entails government restrictions, both on how much you can spend and on the quantities you can buy. 

While British shops are stripped bare by panic buyers, stores on the Continent are full of fresh food, pasta and toilet roll. 

Supermarkets in virus-hit Italy, France, Spain and Germany have been limiting how many people can enter at one time. 

In France, one British expat told how a maximum spend of 100 euros had been introduced and was helping to keep supplies plentiful. 

The shopper said: ‘No panic buying. People are very calm and polite. No shortages of essentials and plenty of loo roll.’ 

In the city of Lyon, journalist Rosie Wright said: ‘Shoppers are one metre apart, it’s calm, no queues and plenty of food. Seems to be a different picture in the UK, who haven’t got the restrictions.’

 In parts of Italy, customers can visit a supermarket only every 48 hours and must stand three metres apart. 

As for how governments have kept supermarkets stocked, this Wall Street Journal story tells how they have kept the stores stocked in China:

Two months into the coronavirus epidemic in China, tens of millions of people are still under quarantine and much of the economy remains in a deep freeze.

Yet China has largely succeeded in keeping its stores filled with food and other essentials—even in hard-hit places like the city of Wuhan—a crucial factor in maintaining public order throughout the crisis.

To do that, China relied on mandates from central authorities against hoarding and profiteering. Private companies, including Inc. JD 1.21% and Walmart Inc., WMT -4.59% rerouted trucks and located supplies that otherwise might not have made it to market.

After Beijing called for an increase in face mask production, manufacturers canceled holidays for workers and jacked up wages to increase production of basic medical supplies. When Beijing issued orders against price gouging, companies looked for sudden price spikes and cut off guilty shopkeepers, or found ways to make more products available.

As a sidelight, you know that environmental activists have long been at war with plastic bags and with plastic drinking straws. They have tugged at our heartstrings with pictures of turtles choking on plastic bags. They have militated for reusable shopping bags and have succeeded in having state and local governments pass laws mandating them.

Of course, we also know, and have reported it on this blog, that reusable shopping bags breed germs. They are cultures for bacteria and viruses. Thus, the governor of New Hampshire has, in order to fight the pandemic, allowed stores to go back to handing out plastic shopping bags.

The Daily Mail has the story:

New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu on Saturday urged shoppers in the state to leave their reusable bags at home, saying he would soon order stores to use only new plastic and paper bags to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Concerns have grown for grocery store employees who face crowded shops and the risk of infection from a highly contagious virus that can linger on surfaces.

Environmentalists have long targeted plastic bags as a scourge that take years to biodegrade and contaminate soil and water. In recent years many U.S. jurisdictions, including New Hampshire, have considered restricting their use.

And New York City, more woke than thou, has now issued new guidelines for how best to have sex in the time of the pandemic. They recommend sex with someone you love, that is, with yourself. If not that, you should limit your sexual activities to people you know. This means, no more Tinder dates. 

For woke New Yorkers, this also means: no more orgies.

Again, the Daily Mail reports:

After reminding readers about how the coronavirus is spread - 'through direct contact with their saliva or mucus' - the agency states that the virus has been found in the stool of people of have caught it, but 'not yet' in either seminal or vaginal fluid. 

Keeping in line with the current social distancing advice and lengthy hand washing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, NYC Health says that when it comes to having sex, 'You are your safest sex partner.'

'Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex,' the memo reads. 

And also:

If going it alone isn't an option, the agency says that the second safest bet is having sex with someone you live with, as 'Having close contact — including sex — with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19.'

The agency urges people with sexual urges to avoid hopping in the sack with anyone outside their household, but that 'if you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible.'

Sex workers or people who habitually meet their sex partners online are urged to consider 'taking a break from in-person dates' and using video dates, sexting or chat rooms as an alternative. 

The agency then reminds readers that kissing is an easy way to catch or pass on coronavirus, due to the act's inherent transmission of saliva into mucus membranes. 

'Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts,' the agency says. 

So, now you are up to date on the important sidelights of life in the time of the pandemic. And, one more point: if nothing changes Australia will run out of beer within weeks. Thus, brewers want the nation to declare their product an essential service.


trigger warning said...


"The [Danish] Rotunden supermarket has a pricing trick aimed at keeping shoppers from hoarding the [hand sanitizer].
One bottle is a reasonable 40 DKK ($4.09), but the price jumps to 1,000 DKK ($95) for two bottles."
--- NY Post


Anonymous said...

Looks like the NY Post can't do simple math. If 40 DKK = $4.09 then 1000 DKK = $102.25 unless the Dutch have some kind of non-linear currency.

Anonymous said...

I think the point was, Poindexter...

UbuMaccabee said...

I'm at my local cigar bar drinking Willett bourbon, smoking a Davidoff Churchill "Late Hour" and both are excellent. Chatting with friends. I went to the gym, squats and heavy bag work. Buying steaks from the local restaurant to keep them afloat. No concerns, no hysteria. No virus would live in my body; a death sentence for the virus. L'Chaim! Working at 100% efficiency. Planning to make a fat profit off the national hysteria.