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Fri Apr 10, 2020, 03:58 PM

I know this isn't the biggest problem we face now.

But exactly what is the problem with stores and online sites keeping things in stock?

Is it the hoarding? Why does everyone suddenly need so much rice, chili powder, oatmeal, you know ... stuff you might have in your pantry? I get that we're using more vinyl gloves. But seriously, coffee? Are we drinking that much more coffee?

I'm just trying to do my normal shopping. I'm not stocking up on anything, which might be stupid but it's the way I roll. (I hate clutter.) But nothing is available. We still can't buy alcohol or aloe vera gel, and we've been trying online and locally for several weeks now. Isn't there some point where people have enough and then the rest of us can get some?

Yes, this is a tiny, tiny thing compared to what the doctors and nurses and infected and grieving people are going through. Still, the stress we're all going through is real. And frustrating. And scary, because we know that even if we can find stuff to buy, just touching it might get us sick ... which is why I go through the extra work of washing absolutely everything that comes into the house with soapy water.

Are we going to get to where we just can't buy anything? Is that why people are hoarding stuff? Am I just too naive?

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Reply I know this isn't the biggest problem we face now. (Original post)
AirmensMom Apr 2020 OP
Ohiogal Apr 2020 #1
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #5
Ohiogal Apr 2020 #15
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #19
Demovictory9 Apr 2020 #21
Arkansas Granny Apr 2020 #2
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #7
Nay Apr 2020 #36
spinbaby Apr 2020 #3
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #10
gibraltar72 Apr 2020 #4
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #12
lapfog_1 Apr 2020 #6
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #9
Silent3 Apr 2020 #28
ProfessorGAC Apr 2020 #37
Flaleftist Apr 2020 #8
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #13
Flaleftist Apr 2020 #16
0rganism Apr 2020 #11
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #14
0rganism Apr 2020 #18
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #20
appalachiablue Apr 2020 #23
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #24
customerserviceguy Apr 2020 #33
0rganism Apr 2020 #35
customerserviceguy Apr 2020 #39
0rganism Apr 2020 #40
customerserviceguy Apr 2020 #42
totodeinhere Apr 2020 #17
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #22
Bmoboy Apr 2020 #25
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #26
Strelnikov_ Apr 2020 #27
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #29
JustABozoOnThisBus Apr 2020 #32
Silent3 Apr 2020 #30
AirmensMom Apr 2020 #31
Phoenix61 Apr 2020 #34
Doreen Apr 2020 #38
qwlauren35 Apr 2020 #41
smirkymonkey Apr 2020 #43

Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:07 PM

1. Maybe it's because we're stuck at home

So weíre using more stuff ... more toilet paper, more home cooking and no eating out means we need more food ingredients ... my son who works in a grocery store says they can barely keep soda pop in stock ...??? ... although Iím sure some of it is due to panic buying and hoarding.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:23 PM

5. I guess since we don't eat out much,

it doesn't occur to me how much others do.

Seems strange to me that soda pop is something people absolutely need to have. But at least I'm not contributing to any shortage in that area.

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Response to AirmensMom (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:37 PM

15. I cook most nights

and we very rarely drink pop either

Son says itís unbelievable the amount of soda pop that flies off the shelves. And even before the pandemic came along. People come in and buy a whole cart full at a time and nothing else.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:42 PM

19. We do too.

We used to get Blue Apron, but they sort of got disappointing with their quality. Still, the recipes are good, so we just buy the stuff for them and cook them. Lots of variety, interesting flavors, etc. It makes cooking at home less drudgery. Every night, we say, "I love this meal!" as if it's our favorite one, which it is that night.

Sugar is addictive. Once you start drinking that stuff, it's hard to stop. Water just doesn't do it anymore. And a big problem is that people start their kids on it at an early age. Before the pandemic, I saw people with carts that had nothing but junk food, including multiple bags of chips, and then they hung 6-packs of soft drinks all around the tops of the carts. So if they're used to getting free refills at their favorite food joint, you can bet they're really stocking up now.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:44 PM

21. PreC19, I stopped for meals on the way to work, work lunch, on the way home. now at home cooking

I had to fill my fridge and pantry with staples to avoid going to the story daily. didn't hoard but needed enough to last a month. I was late to the party so stores were stripped of staples but Sprouts (local mkt) had put their "scoop yourself" staples into plastic bags of about a lb each (flour, beans, sugar, grains) so I was able to stock up.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:12 PM

2. I'm sure some are hoarding, but more people are cooking and eating at home.

I suspect that many are buying larger quantities in order to reduce trips to the store. Rice, beans and pasta are easy to store and keep forever. As far as disinfectants go, people are using more than they ordinarily would.

I know it's an inconvenience now, but eventually supply will catch up with demand.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:25 PM

7. We almost always cook at home.

So for us, not much has changed except that I finally got my husband to wear a mask when he goes to the store. We eat a lot of fresh produce, which is hard to stock up on. So once a week is the schedule.

But I would really like to be able to get some alcohol and aloe vera gel so I can make more hand sanitizer for him.

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Response to AirmensMom (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:48 PM

36. Yeah, that's us, too. We usually cook at home, and I am used to stopping by the grocery

several times a week to get perishables. Not any more. I have to think about what I need for the next 8 10 days, and buy it. If it's not available when I go to the grocery (TP, salad bags, ground beef, ground pork, to name a few), I have to put it on the list for the next time. And maybe it'll be there then. If not, my list gets longer and longer. Not helpful when you are trying to stay out of stores and are trying not to hoard.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:14 PM

3. I'm stocking more than usual

because Iím not going out for two weeks. Plus, Iím cooking at home more than I usually would.

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Response to spinbaby (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:29 PM

10. That seems to be the popular response.

And it makes sense. It's just strange to me because the two stores I normally order from online are out of stock on absolutely everything I normally order. And the prices on Amazon are ridiculous for any food items right now.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:15 PM

4. One of my local stores has cut hours. But they stock at night so they fill shelves

sometimes leave pallets in aisles for really popular stuff. But they don't restock when store is open. Personal contact areas Deli meat counter etc. unmanned. They don't want staff mingling with public any more than necessary. Of course we are in a rural hotspot. My opinion people are still panic buying because they get no real leadership and assume the worst.

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Response to gibraltar72 (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:32 PM

12. I haven't been in a store in months.

My husband goes once a week. He goes in the early "for vulnerable people" hours because we're both over 60. Our normal fare isn't typically the popular stuff ... we don't eat deli meat, but we eat fresh produce and organic whatever. So he has to go through the aisles. He said one week that the only eggs and canned tomatoes available were organic, but he only bought what we needed.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:23 PM

6. Interesting thing about TP reported on Chris Hayes

turns out that the plants that make commercial TP do not make home TP... completely different setup and packaging, etc. So when we all decided to stay home and only use home TP, the plants can't keep up. In addition, TP is a bulky item that uses a lot of storage space and shelf space but doesn't generate a lot of margin... so the entire supply chain is geared to "just in time" replacement based on average consumption.

So yes, people went out and started hording it at the beginning of the lock down, but because of the lock down and people NOT using offices or stores or public facilities and ONLY using home facilities.. there will be an ongoing shortage of TP in the stores because of these supply chain issues.

Of course one would hope that they figure out how to retail the commercial product because I, for one, don't care if it's Charmin or near sand paper.

There are many other similar products like this as well.

As for coffee, we should all start getting used to the idea of no coffee (unless we can make it synthetically) because global warming is forcing the coffee fields higher and higher into the mountains... and, of course, as you go higher there is much less land to grow stuff.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:28 PM

9. Yeah, I saw that!

We usually get our TP online from whogivesacrap.org and I have plenty for now. But we also have a bidet attachment on every toilet, which helps a lot.

I don't drink regular coffee, just decaf and just once cup/week. So it lasts a long time. But it's time to buy. My hot drink of choice now is ginger tea: a few slices of fresh ginger in hot water. At least for now, ginger doesn't appear to be a hot seller.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:09 PM

28. I'd hope at least a bunch of the normal-sized roles can be shifted into the consumer supply...

...but it would hard for at-home consumers to take advantage of those giant 12-inch-plus diameter commercial rolls.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 07:07 PM

37. That Thing On Hayes Was A Red Herring

It would take one logistics manager & their 2 best people 12 hours to adjust production scheduling & transportation rerouting of incoming pulp, packaging and outgoing product.
The equipment is all the same, and in fact, the majority of these plants go back & forth between consumer and I&I products.
There are other, more accurate reasons why everything except hand sanitizer is taking so long to backfill the supply chain.
That story, and the one written on CNET is cover for poor planning.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:27 PM

8. I think part of it is everyone is eating at home

The food restaurants get it mostly packaged differently than what you find at the store. There may be an issue not only with stores keeping up with demand with their warehouse space and trucking capacity, but also getting the food that normally goes to restaurants packaged for retail sale to meet increased demand.

It may be similar to the toilet paper problem. The toilet paper offices, hotels, restaurants, etc use is not the same as you find at your local store. There is increased demand since nobody is using that toilet paper right now.

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Response to Flaleftist (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:34 PM

13. I had read that about the TP.

But it makes sense that it could apply to the other stuff.

I have to LOL at eating at home as a "new" thing ... not at you, but our society. What a concept, eh?

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Response to AirmensMom (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:39 PM

16. Yes, I read in a article a couple weeks back that since 2015 Americans have been spending

more money at restaurants than at grocery stores. Maybe some people will realize how much money they are actually saving now by eating at home and adjust their habits.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:32 PM

11. supply chains have been shattered

all the stuff in the stores is the result of enormous chains of manufacture, packaging and distribution which are becoming unlinked as the pandemic continues

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:35 PM

14. So do you think it will get worse?

That's a scary thought. It won't matter if we have money to spend, if we can't find food to spend it on.

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Response to AirmensMom (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:42 PM

18. until we have a vaccine, yes

governments will do what they can to patch things up for "essentials" but I wouldn't expect much beyond adequacy from that effort and results will vary widely by state

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:43 PM

20. Yikes!

Wow ... who would've thought that just a few months ago were "the good old days?"

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:49 PM

23. Bingo, plus people's instinctual fears to stock up even if bizarre.

It means fewer trips to shop and possible exposure, plus outlier circumstances like serious supply and trucking interruptions, civil unrest and chaos. SEE Hurricane Katrina for example.

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 05:58 PM

24. True.

We lived in FL for 12 years and the worst we got hit with was Hurricane Wilma (same year as Katrina). No power for several weeks, but it was nothing like this, even though we were flushing our toilet with pool water and taking sponge baths.

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:23 PM

33. Good observation

Supply chains are built around end users, and while some shifting may occur between home and commercial use which the chains can adjust for, the suddenness of this shift and its totality could not be planned for.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #33)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:36 PM

35. and yet we must learn how to plan for it

unless we want every disaster to shut down the world economy in addition to its "natural" damage

it's going to be hard. it's going to take a global effort. it's going to require ongoing leadership and vigilance.

when i was born, humans were visiting the moon.

many years before that, humans figured out how to split the atom.

now global threat modeling and response has become the generational challenge of a lifetime. i only hope our young people are ready to accept it.

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #35)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 07:41 PM

39. There's really been nothing like this in a century

Even wars brewing could generally be seen. All of the economic recessions/depressions that I can recall came along gradually.

Even climate change disruptions will not be as sudden as this. The only thing that may compare is natural disasters, like tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. But, they only affect a small portion of the country when they hit, and the rest of the country is able to send help to the rescue.

But, there are lessons to be learned from this, I expect that there will be many masters theses and doctoral dissertations written about these times in the near future.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #39)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 07:53 PM

40. there are plenty of large scale disasters waiting for us down the road

pandemics? oh yeah, we'll see more of them, especially if something prehistoric and nasty thaws from the former permafrost

volcanoes? usually pretty low key, but there's a big one under Yellowstone that could devastate North America and blanket the world in ash.

we have no way to handle Giant Meteor but now that we can see it coming, we should probably figure something out.

the easy problems have been solved. humanity needs to begin focusing on preventing disasters and extinction-level events.

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #40)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 07:56 PM

42. Yep

But I did figure out something that was extinction level, and that was the nuclear arms race during the Cold War. Clearly, we figured that out, at least for now. Maybe that and then this crisis offer the blueprint for doing something in the future.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:41 PM

17. I think a lot of it just has to do with psychology. In uncertain times like this when we don't know

exactly what the end game is people can assume the worst and prepare accordingly. But at least in the small community where I live the supermarkets seem to have almost caught up with demand. A couple of weeks ago most places were out of bread, milk and toilet paper. Now there seems to be plenty of milk and bread but the toilet paper is limited to two purchases per customer.

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Response to totodeinhere (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 04:45 PM

22. That makes sense.

Some things seem to be keeping up. Aldi in our town is doing an excellent job. The problem is that on a good day, their selection is limited. But when it comes down to it, we'll be able to eat if they can keep up.

Limiting TP isn't a bad idea, considering how fast it flew off the shelves.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:02 PM

25. Farmers plant for commercial sales, not retail

With restaurants closed, a major distribution route has disappeared.

Farmers are plowing under acres of crops which had been destined for customers who have shut down.

Re-mapping the way products move to retail will take time.

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Response to Bmoboy (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:05 PM

26. I was just discussing this

With my husband. Thatís exactly what he said. Sad situation.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:09 PM

27. Chili Powder?!?!? We're running out of Chili Powder????


Aw. . . fuck it man . . . what the fuck . . . fucking tiger man . . . don't get off the fucking boat.

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Response to Strelnikov_ (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:09 PM

29. I know, right?

I thought that would be safe, of all things!

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Response to Strelnikov_ (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:23 PM

32. The other day, the Kroger store near me had no yeast.

Chili powder and yeast. It must be a recipe for self-toasting bread.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:15 PM

30. I was thinking about what would happen if all of our junk food was deemed "non-essential"...

...and I bet we'd find out how essential a lot of it is, not because it's good for us, but again because of the whole supply chain issue: We're just not geared up to produce anywhere near the quantity of the healthier foods we'd need to take the place of the "junk".

First and foremost, people run on calories, no matter how healthy or nutritious those calories are. There's probably nowhere near enough healthy food to supply our basic need for calories at this point in time.

So, oddly, it's probably true that the people making Oreos and cheese puffs are "essential workers".

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #30)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:19 PM

31. I'm sure it would be a problem for many people.

I never buy junk food, unless you count the gingersnaps I get for the horse. (Iíve never eaten one of them.)

So far, fresh produce has remained available here. But it is expensive and a lot of people donít know how to turn it into a meal.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:31 PM

34. All the schools are closed.

Think about how many kids eat breakfast and lunch at school then a big snack at day care. I think thatís one of the reasons dairy farmers are having to dump milk.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 07:13 PM

38. Bath & body works is no longer selling their hand sanatizer.

I looked at their site and not a mention of it. It is almost seems like they have never carried it.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 07:56 PM

41. This is my guess.

EVERYBODY is eating at home now, cooking their own food.

All of the dine-in restaurants are closed.

People are cooking things that are easy and familiar. So those things will be gone.

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Response to AirmensMom (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 07:58 PM

43. I have only been having things delivered and can't seem to find paper towels, tissues or

disinfectants (wipes, spray cleaner, etc.) for delivery anywhere. I have managed to score some TP and napkins, but not the other things. I am also having a hard time getting delivery slots, so I am filling up carts at various stores way ahead of time and checking frequently to see if anything has opened up.

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