1. It does look like hoarders, given the empty shelves, but still, all I can think of is “I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, you’ve got a brand new key. I think that we should get together and try them out to see.”

    But even that doesn’t help me get the joke, if there is even supposed to be a joke here.

  2. This is the moment when they realized what happened. Now they have to decide. Will they each take their partial victory and be dissatisfied? Will they trade some of each? Will they start fighting like the people in the background? Will they plan a dinner together using both ingredients? Neither wants to give up any of their dragon’s hoard, but neither wants to go away without the accompaniment the hoard needs. But we’ll never know what they decided.

  3. So the obvious question is will #Team Covid be making an entry into the contest? They’re starting late, admittedly, but good long stride should enable them to catch up quickly.

    As for the shopping, you have to prioritize. Hot dogs are kind of like meat and can be used as ingredients in other dishes. Buns are bread but not as versatile. If you’re going bakery, get bread. But you have to pick one and head for it first. On Costco trip today, I went straight for the toilet paper. It was all gone, though, as it was in the afternoon. I hope the overbuying clears up before I run out.

  4. I was lucky. I picked up my normal Costco megapack of toilet paper a week or so before the panic buying started.

  5. In addition to all of the above, there’s also the conundrum of “8-pack buns & 10-pack hotdogs”, so you have to buy five packages of buns and four packages of hotdogs to make it come out even.

  6. I was at the grocery store this morning. I don’t know if it was hoarding or if they had some other need, but the family in front of me in the checkout line was buying onions — lots and lots of onions. They had a cart full of those 2-pound red mesh bags of onions. I was able to count at least nine bags, which would amount to 18 pounds of onions. They were buying a few other things as well, but only in ordinary quantities. Why would anyone hoard onions specifically?

  7. I’m not sure whether it helps or just confuses the issue — I got with the latter — but when New Yorker sent this out in their newsletter, they captioned it “Aisle Emergency.”

  8. A week ago Sunday we went for our normal Sunday visit to Costco (why weekly – it is not Walmart so it makes Sunday different and it is a good place to walk around inside for awhile – warm in winter and cool in summer.) Shortly before we got there it was announced on the radio that they had discontinued samples for health reasons. As we were walking in Robert said that he wanted to buy more TP – we had over half a package of same at home – plus rolls and multiple spares in both bathrooms – and in RV – and also he buys a different branch of TP for when he has stomach discomfort – and we have a Walmart sized package of that plus rolls in both bathrooms and spares in both – plus in the RV. None in Costco – most paper goods shelves were empty. He was in a panic (don’t really get it we had over 6 months worth – but it doesn’t spoil and he is a panicker – so if it made him feel better, well, we would eventually use it – so okay). I was more concerned about the fact we have buy food day to day lately and didn’t have much of same in the house and considered that more important (though not to look for/buy at Costco as little there we can deal with in their sizes). We left Costco and went to a similar store – BJs up the road and they had TP so he has a second package. Per the news that night, apparently having lots of spare TP is a major comfort thing.

    On Tuesday last week he brought up the subject I had afraid to – food. I explained that I had made a list and we should go shopping. We managed to buy a lot of food items – at least we could buy stuff for the fridge/freezer unlike most emergencies. What we could not get was hand sanitizer, alcohol & aloe vera gel (to make own sanitizer) and hand soap. No matter how much I tell him that we have plenty of the non-food items, he is in a panic. ( He has me washing my hands so often that the back of both my hands has split from drying out and nothing has reversed this.)

    Now every afternoon we go out and look for those items and food. We have bought 3 small bottles of hand soap (okay, but remember we have most of a package of bar soap also – normally for showers). We have bought TV dinners that we would never eat – and he will find out is too small a meal. Today we went to a different supermarket in a different chain than normal as they had hand sanitizer on their website – none when we got there of course. (This supermarket is doing something special for seniors – opening early at 6:30 am for seniors only to shop – I told him we could do it somehow – as I am not sure that things are not be replaced,but by the time we get there in the afternoon all is gone again.)

    We had our first Wendys take out lunch today – we had still been going there daily through yesterday (Monday). That, above and the post office to check our box and mail items are the excitement of our days now. (I tried to sign up for PO’s program to see what mail has been received to see if we need to go there – but apparently our box is in our business name so not eligible.)


  9. Meryl A, You’re increasing the risk with every trip out. Stay put. If there is a genuine lack of food at home, Costco has a good amount of stuff that will suit a couple. For example, I bought two packages of Spam. Each package contains three normal-size cans. A big bag of rice will do you for a month or more, depending on how much you eat. A package of baked beans is 8 tins, but they are normal-size tins. I buy three-loaf packs of bread. Keep one out, freeze the others. It may not be exactly what you want to be eating, but if you’re finding the cupboard bare, a couple can effectively use many of the grocery items Costco sells.

  10. Some of the stores locally are having special hours for seniors only. Problem is, it’s like 8am. I ain’t getting up early to shop.

  11. @Jajyzy: maybe they’re fans of Louis Sachar’s “Holes”? Onions are supposed to be a panacea.

  12. @ Olivier – There’s an old traditional saying in English: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” A modern rejoinder counters that with “Why waste fruit? An onion a day keeps everyone away!

  13. I just discovered the explanation for the onions on a German news page (which was debunking various pieces of fake news and urban legends). Here’s a translation of the relevant section:

    Claim: Onions pull coronaviruses out of the air like a kind of “magnet”.
    Evaluation: Onions do not have any such healing powers against viruses.

    Facts: Onions are antimicrobial. This means that they restrict the spread of microorganisms by killing them or paralyzing their growth. Since the antimicrobial sulfur compounds contained in onion juice are volatile, microorganisms may also be killed in the air.

    According to Haike Antelmann, professor of microbiology, it is primarily bacteria that are affected. There is currently no scientific evidence that the antimicrobial effect of onions also works on viruses.

  14. I went right to the sexual innuendo of the scene. Buns/Hot Dogs. Reminds me of a saying we used to have in grade school sung to the tune of, “Open up your heart and let my sunshine in…”

  15. If you’re in the delivery zone of a Whole Foods (and you might be even if you don’t think you are), and have Amazon Prime, their delivery service is a great option. Yes, Whole Foods is a little pricy, but there’s no handling or delivery charge.

    It’s as easy to use as Amazon itself.

  16. SingaporeBill – We know that about going out.. Robert is a major panicker – even so had to have his Wendys lunch – last time a pickup at the window before I convinced we should not eat there right now even if we never leave the car. (He has his eye on a commercial now from Burger King where the don’t touch the food bag but hand it out to the driver of the car on a tray for her to take.)

    Problem was that Costco was lacking in food anyway. We both have a variety of medical conditions and the salt of Spam (even if the low salt version) would be a major shock to our systems and beans would be too much carbs for Diabetes. (I joke that the only foods we can eat are mushrooms and green beans.)

    We did manage on one trip out over a week ago to a Walmart Neighbor Market to buy some extra food. I figure we are good until the April at least – but he keeps panicking. We are now eating 1/2- 2/3 of what we normally would eat at meals to make it all last longer.

    Our mail goes to a PO box, as we had trouble with house delivery. We went late night Sunday night to pick up over a week’s mail, figuring there would have been the least number of people in it since close of business the day before. (Used to go daily when life was normal). He insists that I have to let the mail sit in a plastic bag for a week before touching – used a plastic bag over his hand to take mail out and put in bag.)

    That was our only time out in over a week – other than our quick walk up the street and back – and we crossed to the other side of the street when there was a family standing on their driveway and crossed back 2 blocks later – we were only able to cross the street as there is almost no traffic as we live on a 4 lane main road.

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