Panic buying 2020-style

The contents of our freezer after most recent grocery trip: Salmon, a small jar of salmon roe, other Alaskan fish, some bone broth, our ground bison, and other odds and ends.

Yesterday we happened to get to Schnuck’s just as they were putting out packages of toilet paper, so we snagged two big packages.

I’m really bemused by what they are and are not out of. Onions were all gone, except a small number of organic white onions. Ground beef all gone (but we snagged a pound of ground bison, which I figure will be much better anyway, at almost twice the price of beef, of course). All the other stuff we buy routinely was there.

I can’t help but wonder what someone from the 1700s would say if we told them that people were panic-buying in the face of a plague outbreak, and then showed them a grocery store where all you could get was unlimited fruit (including tropical fruit), unlimited veggies (except onions), unlimited amounts of all the premium cuts of meat, and unlimited staples like flour, sugar, rice, beans, etc.

We also got a big carton of beer and a big bottle of whiskey, in case of emergency.

2019-12-18 05:41

Do municipal taxes bring in enough money to maintain our urban and suburban infrastructure? In the densest urban areas, probably yes. Otherwise, generally no.

It might shock most people to learn that in many American cities, the poorest neighborhoods subsidize the wealthiest.

Source: This ‘Ponzi scheme’ surrounding development leaves most cities and towns functionally insolvent

The world is so safe now

I used to make fun of our culture’s weird fixation on dangers from ordinary things, but now that I’ve seen it have its effect on Jackie’s mom (labeled a “fall risk” at the hospital and now confined to a wheelchair), it’s not so funny any more.

My theory is that this phenomenon has its roots in how safe daily life has gotten: Eliminate any particular danger and there’s always the next most dangerous thing.

I have been predicting for years—only partially tongue-in-cheek—that we’re dangerously close to feeling like it’s a “reasonable” precaution that everyone wear a helmet while taking a shower, because bathroom slip-and-fall injuries are probably the greatest non-motor-vehicle risk that ordinary people face.

Hospitals’ fear of elderly people falling is so great that they are preventing them from walking, reports The Washington Post. This is ostensibly for the patients’ own good — yet not getting up for even just a few days is crippling them…

Source: How We Are Treating Kids as Mirrored By How We Treat the Very Old: Crippling Them with Caution

Just as an aside: One thing about this that drives me crazy is that safety advocates have pushed for all sorts of changes to cars to make things safer for drivers and passengers, but I’ve seen almost no push to make cars safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. If you want to make things safer, there’s a place to start.