Saturday, May 2, 2020

From The Home Front: Corona News May 2020

So how have we all been doing? I'm glad to tell you that the situation is slowly getting better. Though they are now performing 4 times as many tests as a couple of weeks before, the infection rates appear to be slowing down.  There are fewer people dying and fewer in IC. Supermarkets are full once again, and even flour and paracetamol are back on the shelves.

Dentists and IKEA got open this week, and both have it very busy:) Primary school children will go back to school again 11 May, though not for the full week, and kids under 12 are allowed to practice team sports, while children aged 12-18 are allowed to practice sports where social distancing is possible. They will review the rules again 20 May and I hope that the shooting range will finally get open so that my husband can practice again.

All the restaurants, pubs etc are still closed and will probably stay so till the end of summer, however many now serve takeaway. Campings are getting open, too. All the nail polish studios and hairdressers are still closed, I'm getting quite good at cutting hubby's hair, lol! You're still supposed to practice social distancing, not have too many visitors at the same time etc etc, but everyone is slowly getting more relaxed.

I think the current crisis highlighted some problems with modern economy. Manufacturing and agrarian sector, supermarkets, stores which sell essential goods are all doing fine, and the hardest hit of all are superficial branches such as entertainment (professional football, theater etc),  vacations, restaurants and so on and so forth. If a country's economy is for a big part service economy which is dependent on tourism and endless consumption of luxury goods/unnecessary services such as exotic vacations and endless eating out, there will be trouble.

Same is true when the economy is dependent on import too much. Luckily, we still have a lot of own production and are to a great degree food secure, with the exception of wheat which we partly buy from Germany and France. I don't know about the latter, but Germany will keep on trading with us so here we are safe, though I hope we'll increase wheat growing in the near future.

I'm quite impressed by the way our Prime Minister has handled it so far.  Though we were largely unprepared in the beginning, the government quickly took all the necessary measures, improved IC capacity and did everything possible to restrict economic damage. We aren't out of it yet, but there is light in the end of the tunnel.

How is it going in your neck of woods? Feel free to share!


  1. Post Alley CrackpotMay 2, 2020 at 7:10 PM

    "How is it going in your neck of woods?"

    In America, it tends to depend on the state.

    Florida: not so bad, even with the state police having checkpoints on the major motorways into and out of Florida. There have been state police checkpoints on the I-10, I-75, and I-95 motorways into Florida as well as on some US highways (mostly M and A-road equivalents).

    Several cities and towns in Florida opened their beaches this past week.

    Michigan: not so good, possibly on the brink of armed insurrection.

    South Dakota: the state governor refused to implement a lockdown, and in response to being light-handed and relying on individuals to be responsible, they threw an impromptu parade for the governor this past week.

    Despite very few deviations from business as usual, South Dakota has had very few cases relative to their population, because of course to live in South Dakota means you're already socially distancing. :-)

    Across the US, material goods supply chains are so messed up that Trump had to invoke a 1950s defence law meant to keep factories open during wartime.

    Scratch under the surface of who owns the particular factories in question and it's a very interesting story, yet hardly anybody can be bothered to cover it in the mainstream America media.

    Most people in America are either developing a Soviet-style sense of not trusting what's in the mainstream media or they were already there more or less before this began.

    I haven't seen bog roll in the shops for weeks now, but paper towels are coming back into stock.

    Meat is increasingly a tricky thing to acquire, although if you move up the price chain there's usually enough to purchase.

    US beef prices were already absurdly high. Middle grade steaks slabbed for longer refrigeration preservation times would run about 8 to 11 GBP/kg in the UK, whereas the US equivalents would run at least 18 GBP/kg.

    What's still available at the shops runs for at least 23 GBP/kg, which is ecologically raised beef in slightly better cuts. Everything from 18 GBP/kg and lower tends to be bought out by the time I make it to the shops.

    There are people talking about their new gardens, and I have extra ammo now for my small game rifle which I brought with me from the UK.

    This was only possible because it's chambered in a calibre that isn't in high demand -- everything in a common calibre, such as .22 long rifle, 5.56x45mm, 7.62x51mm, and pretty much everything in a pistol calibre has been for the most part bought up.

    Within America, this is now being called "the ammo drought" ...

  2. Sorry to hear about your problems! My, I thought beef here was expensive, our organic beef costs on average 14-15 euro per kg, but there are sales and price reductions. Mince and hamburgers are cheaper. Luckily, our prices haven't gone up significantly, but we spend more on average because you can't eat out so people buy more expensive stuff for home. I know I do:)

    The less densely populated an area is, the less cases. Here the worst is Brabant/North Limburg where they celebrated carnival (that's how it all started) and the coastal areas, and the least cases are in the sparsely populated North. I think in one village there are still none. Of course, I have a pet personal theory that it also depends on the dairy consumption and they eat more dairy in the North than in the South.

    My husband wanted to buy a Beretta and he needs some ammo, too, but the store he used to go is rather far away so he decided to wait till the crisis is over...

    And yes, we did a lot in our garden this spring:)

  3. we're doing well as a family. We live in a state (FL) which is heavily dependent on tourism and hospitality dollars and where a lot of people (several we know personally) are out of work. It's tough to contemplate.

    we're healthy, and we don't know anyone who has had the virus much less succumbed to it. Contrary to media hyperbole, Florida, despite being about equal to NY in terms of population density, has fared far, far better. Maybe it's the weather difference? I don't know.

    I suspect the economic winds are going to blow even colder in the U.S. as the months go on, and so I am praying for God's mercy upon His children and the nation as a whole.

  4. Elspeth, glad to hear you are fine! And so sorry about your friends who lost their jobs...

    I heard a theory that the situation in NY was due to public transport, especially the metro. Also, that there were some communities which refused to socially distance. I think there are so many factors to take into consideration, average age, general health etc. It could also have started earlier. Who knows...

  5. BTW, I know someone personally who got sick, unfortunately, it was my husband's colleague and friend, but fortunately, he's doing better and is back to work, though he was older and a smoker. My help and my sister-in-law both know people who died from it but they were elderly. But a cousin of mine is a doctor in the USA treating corona patients right now and he tells his mum some of hem are quite young...