If there is one phrase I'm hearing over and over these days it is, "I never expected". When I first heard of the possibility the coronavirus would come to the States, medical professionals were saying to be ready to stay home for two weeks. That seems so long ago!
I stay home a lot, especially in Winter during the height of flu season, and even I am experiencing cabin fever. Once it actually warms up enough to sit on the deck, that will help a lot. It actually snowed a little Thursday evening and our forecast is for cold weather next week. I'm a couple hours outside of Chicago and Spring arrives slowly most years but it is particularly taking its time this year.
Only now are news stories breaking through of the possible long term affects to our food supply caused by the shutdowns. You may have seen the photos of vegetables rotting on the ground in Florida and reports of dairy farmers facing bankruptcy because milk is being poured out. Some big egg farmers are experiencing the same thing.
Why? Because of the laws regulating our food supply. It seems that food contracted to go to restaurants and schools is not suppose to go elsewhere according to some contracts.
So while some people are going hungry, food is being thrown out. I think there are a lot of lessons we will take away from this pandemic and perhaps government bureaucracy will be one of them. We can only hope. We already are seeing the results of bureaucracy being set aside to get medical supplies where they are needed.
Another reason we will likely be seeing at least temporary food shortages in this country (and I suspect in many countries) is that processing plants are being shut down to prevent the further spread of the virus. We are long past the years when a whole butchered cow, pig, etc. was purchased and cut up by the butcher. Now the meat comes to the grocery store already processed. Not to mention... who will make the bacon?
So while we are allowed to get out to go to the grocery store, we are topping off our pantry as much as possible. I don't have a deep pantry as I once did so it is even more important to keep food coming in while we can. There soon may come short period of time when we can't.
I thought at first that each of us could go to one grocery store each week but the continued shortages have made it necessary to go to two stores a week... mask worn and hand sanitizer handy. We haven't had a huge amount of cases of the virus in our immediate surroundings but enough to be cautious.
This past week, it was announced that both Kroger and Aldi are going to allow only so many customers in the store at once. Customers are to line up outside the store and will be let inside by employees. Honestly, in my wildest dystopian imaginations, I didn't think this was possible so quickly outside of a war situation. (Which, I guess, it is.)
We both went out for groceries early last week and I am planning one quick trip next week for items like milk, bread, and cream for coffee. If there is no bread, I can make my own so no problem there but I do like coffee with a little raw sugar and cream. I realized today that the raw sugar is getting low, too. I still have extra regular sugar (which lasts a very long time if stored correctly) purchased when it was on sale during the Holidays.
So that is to explain while we have been going to two grocery stores. Both with a list, both as "in and out" as possible, and each of us with a very good mask and hand sanitizer that we had before the pandemic began.
I am pondering what is possible after this current crisis is over and I'm thinking the possible scenarios all include the need for a deeper pantry. I pray all of you are well!
Image: I've had this in my photo files for ages so I don't know who to credit but it a very cheerful image for today.