I felt up to keeping my chiropractor appointment, so I did. That allowed me to see a few things.
Chiropractor’s office was almost empty. One of the young ladies who works there commented that they were having a lot of people canceling appointments. The Wuflu is running around again, and she was sure that was part of the reason.
Gas is now in the $4.40-4.50/gallon range. Diesel is $5.40-5.75. Oddly enough, stations with less expensive gas have more expensive diesel and vice-versa. Business at all stations was sparse, also odd for a Friday at lunch. There is noticeably less traffic on the roads. Not a huge amount, but enough you can tell the Friday lunch rush was more of a Friday lunch mosey.
As you’d expect by the traffic, the Friday lunch crowd wasn’t much of a crowd. From the restaurant where we ate I could see 4 other restaurants. All of them had plenty of parking available. A sit-down lunch cost us $10 each plus the tip. Food was good quality and the wait staff was friendly. Plenty of seating available.
Walmart was pretty well-stocked in the grocery aisles. Pet food, health and beauty and motor oil, not so much. Grocery prices were up substantially since my last visit about 3 weeks ago. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, 30 oz size, was $6.87 and is now $7.78. Sugar is over 50¢/lb, although I did see 25 pound bags for the first time since the Age of Wuflu began. 91% isopropyl alcohol is up to $3.84/qt. The last time I bought any was during the beginning of the Wuflu festivities, and it was less than $2/qt. The number of shoppers was on the low side.
We passed 2 auto dealerships. New cars were very scarce. Used cars were in better supply than they have been the last few months. No obvious buyers were seen.
Car washes and an oil change place were mostly empty.
Harbor Freight, usually a busy place, had an empty parking lot. It was the same 3 weeks ago. Supply issues at the home of cheap Chinese tools?
We saw several RVs on the road, making their way to somewhere. Not as many as there should have been, though.
I saw an RV and two boats in front yards with for sale signs on them. Haven’t seen that in quite a while.
From all appearances, folks are starting to hold back on their spending. It’s hard to blame them. We’re down to a very few large things left to buy, most of them grandkid related. I want to go see Top Gun: Maverick at the Imax in a local smaller big city. I’ll make Field Day on June 25. This year’s fishing trip will probably be canceled, unless Son is adamant about going. We might make 2-3 trips with our RVing crowd, as long as they’re nearby. I’ll be at the Southeast Old Threshers Reunion, mostly because I’ve already told them I’d be there to run my usual boiler. I still hope to make the Shelby Hamfest over Labor Day weekend, but that may have to change, either due to the birth of grandkids or a dearth of funding.
We’re all going to be facing some choices that we’d rather not. Welcome to the New New Normal.