Life in the time of Wuflu, Part 4

OK, it’s not that bad….

Yesterday Son and I went to the local big-box home improvement store. As we drove, we passed a local grocery store and the local Walmart. Both of them were packed. Other than that, no signs of anything out of the normal.

On arrival at our destination, it was packed. Son, a chip off the old block, noted that everyone must be like me, stocking up for their Armageddon project list while they stay home. The store was crowded, and it really did appear that people were laying in supplies for home projects. I got the goodies needed to improve my ham shack and we came home.

Son hung around and talked for a bit, but he had company coming and needed to leave. So we’re sitting around, me on my computer and she on hers, working on next week’s lesson plans for school. Her phone rings.

“Good afternoon. This is Dr. I’m-the-school-system-superintendent with the Localburg City Schools. Governor Roy Cooper has just declared a ban on gatherings of over 100 people and ordered all public schools in North Carolina closed until March 30.”

Mrs. Freeholder decided she didn’t need to finish those lesson plans right now. Instead, we talked over what has been done and what is left. Plans were laid for Sunday.

Sunday morning, I got up relatively early. I pulled the Suburban our of the garage and loaded the few empty gas can I had in it. First stop, however, was the grocery store to address to items that she had found lacking in the pantry.

On the drive to the store, I noted that roughly half of the churches were closed. The other half were packed. Neither seems a surprise. The grocery store was crowded for a Sunday morning, but not as bad as it had been yesterday. You could tell from the carts in the parking lot corrals that it had been busy.

Inside, it was “all hands on deck”. Every checkout was open with a short line at each. I had grabbed a buggy in the lot, so I immediately started my cruise. Produce was somewhat picked over, although many items, such as potatoes, were still in good stock. Condiments, spices and such were in good stock. Canned meats were hammered. Fresh meats in good supply. Pasta was very short. Canned vegetables were short. Ditto canned fruit. Rice and dried beans all but wiped out. Soups short.

Boxed meals, like Hamburger Helper, obviously hit but still in decent shape. Stuffing was gone. Soup was in evidence, but not a lot of it. Bread nearly wiped out except for hotdog/hamburger buns. Water gone; soft drinks going fast. Cereals, cold and hot, in good supply. Frozen foods were hit hard. Milk in short supply. Ice cream short. Beer and wine still in good supply, but a lot of shoppers were laying in a good stock, just in case.

No paper products outside of a few small packages of napkins.

Shoppers were somewhat shocked-hard not to hear the “Oh shit” every so often. But people were pleasant if goal-oriented, with “pardon me” and “excuse me” in constant use. We even managed a bit of laughter every so often.

I heard an employee, obviously from another location, who had come in looking for goods for their store. I’m betting I know which one, and I’m betting it’s much closer to wiped out due to their clientele. She was cataloging the things they were short on or out of. She’s have done better just to list the things they still had.

I had to check with Mrs. Freeholder by text on our status on soups. We need some, but none of our needs were to be had. I asked her to go on to another local chain store and try. She found them, but limited to four cans of each variety. She also picked up cheese and a few other items that struck her fancy.

On my way home I stopped to fill up the Suburban and the gas cans. A lady from New York asked directions to Walmart. I gave them to her and silently wished her good luck.

Time to go; we’re vacuum packing hamburger and bagging dry goods this afternoon. Keep safe.

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