So. Coronavirus Global Quarantine. The government locked us down Monday evening. Fortunately we had anticipated that that might happen so we hit the grocery earlier that day. It was the sweet spot – the week before and through the weekend people were panic buying so the grocery was packed with people, many of whom weren’t wearing masks and no one was observing any kind of social distancing. The lines were mega long and the wait to check out was two to three hours. When we shopped, the grocery had implemented procedures for people to follow. The shoppers being let in were limited and you had to wait your turn so that the grocery wouldn’t be packed. Some things were unavailable (70% alcohol, various canned goods like sardines, tuna and Spam) but we got most of the stuff we wanted.
That evening the lockdown was announced. All public transport was shut down, all non-critical government offices were closed and travel between cities was restricted. Basic services remained open, including supermarkets, drug store and water stations, but it was some small comfort that we had provisions for at least a couple of weeks. We didn’t need to go out and would burn though our supplies as needed.
It was Thursday when the first critical item ran out – bottled water. Fortunately the place that provisioned us was right next door and was operating, so we blew a bit of cash and doubled our standby stock. Where we’d normally need a resupply in under a week, we could now hold out for ten days or so. We’d been cooking daily, using the fresh meats and vegetables from our supply run, and saving the less perishable stuff for later. It’s now Saturday. We’ve survived through the lockdown as well as we might have expected. The only lingering questions are all economic, but that’s what’s on everyone’s mind anyway.
The virus continues to spread through our county, and throughout the rest of the world, even if the Chinese and Koreans claim that they’ve gotten it under control. Until the test for the virus becomes unlimited, free and easily accessible, there’s no way to tell how many asymptomatic infected there are still walking around and spreading the contagion. Any vaccine is at least a year away, probably more.
There is going to be a new normal soon. What that looks like, and how life will be under that normal, remains to be seen.