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I Have Been To The Desert And Drunk From The Empty Sea

March 17, 2020

I visited a wasteland today. It was sad really. I remember when it was a teeming oasis. But, tonight it was sad and empty. Forelorn in the memory of what it once was.

I’ve avoided going shopping for the past week. My lovely wife and I made a trip to a local store last week before the craziness started. A local store holds an annual “case lot” sale. The store stocks huge cases of soups, vegetagles, pasta, just abou tanything you can think of. And they mark it all on sale.

We go to the Macey’s Case Lot sale every year. This year I felt guilty. We only have a few kids left at home. But, still pushing two carts loaded with cases of soup, mushrooms and olives, I felt just a little self conscious. But, the entire store was full of people doing the same.

I haven’t been to a grocery store since then. Until today. Our local WalMart used to be open 24×7. Recently they started closing from 1:00AM to 6:00AM. During the current crisis they have cut back even more. They now close at 11:00PM. At ten tonight my lovely wife asked if I wouldn’t mind going to pick a few things. Not anything crazy.

Almond milk
ramen noodles
fresh fruit and vegetables
Gluten-free flour

The store wasn’t crowded. In fact, the parking lot didn’t look too different from a Tuesday night at 10:00pm. But, once inside the scene changed. Entire shelves were completely bare. The only way to know what had been there was to look at the price tags.

Surprisingly there were plenty of bananas, a favorite of our family. And while the potatoes were mostly gone, there was plenty of other fruits and vegetables. I got some baby carrots and grapes.

My luck took a turn for the worse after that. No rice. No flour. I couldn’t even find the shelf where the ramen noodles used to be. I found a few bags of sugar.

There was plenty of eggs, but not a trace of milk. A couple of bottles of chocolate milk, but that was it. As I was headed for the checkout line, I noticed a pallet of unopened boxes waiting to be stocked. I noticed one was marked “Gluten-free flour.”

They won’t need to open that particular box.

We’ve all been affected by what’s happened. But, those who are worried about food are some of the most affected. The crazy thing is that the current situation shouldn’t be life threatening for most people. 98% of the people that get sick are going to get better.

They are descent odds, if still frightening. Those who are already at risk are the most fragile.

My family happens to have some who are the most fragile. But, don’t worry about us. The trip to the store was mostly for niceties, not necessities. We have fortunately been able to plan for a rainy day.

We have food that we’ve prepared and stored.

We also have plenty of canned goods.

There’s bags of food that we can cook.

Plenty of five gallon buckets full of staples.

And bags of wheat because. . .it’s a requirement. Maybe we’ll eat it when the rest of food is gone.

And of course, the most important storage item of all.

May your family be blessed and have sufficient food and toilet paper during this trying time.

And if you can avoid it, stay away from the wastelands.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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