Monday, March 16, 2020

Life And Shopping In A Time Of Crisis

Last fall I took time out from everything and stayed at home most of the time. I wrote about this in an earlier post. Now that I'm so ready and eager to get out and begin life anew, the corona virus arrives. 

And plans have to change.

I'm approaching 80, I have type 1 diabetes, and compromised lung function (though I have not been diagnosed with COPD), so all of a sudden I find myself in a vulnerable group of people. 

I have never in my life felt vulnerable. 

Saturday, I received a text from Joyce, my neighbor and friend. It said something to this effect: I'm going shopping, do you need anything? I suggest you stay home from now on, unless you have to go to the doctor.

I was deeply touched by her kindness and thoughtfulness.  

I had come to the same staying at home conclusion, but when I got the text I was getting ready to go and do some shopping of my own. Earlier in the week, I had been to Walmart and bought everything I needed, except fruit and veggies. 

As my Saturday progressed, my trip to Walmart turned out to be a good thing.

I first went to Albertsons because my pharmacy is in the store and I had some medicine to pick up. Then I did some shopping for non-perishable food, something I had read that other people, more into cooking than I, had focused on. This seemed like a good idea and I bought some.

Of course, it was Saturday and and crowded as most people who work had the day off. Then, in addition to the virus, we are also supposed to get a snowstorm, and that alone makes for a crowd at the grocery stores. But I was a little surprised by the number of shoppers and the empty shelves. So I was happy I had most things I needed from my trip to Walmart. 

My next stop was at Save Mart, a store local to the area, where I prefer to get my fruits, veggies, berries and greens for my smoothies. They also had gallon bottles of water, so I bought some more. But there were empty shelves there too -- no toilet paper and only one box of tissues, which I got, because I figured one more wouldn't hurt. Not sure if that kind of reasoning qualifies as panic buying. 

Looking back on my shopping, I definitely bought more stuff than I needed. I can probably stay home for a more than a month, just supplementing as needed and hoping my old refrigerator doesn't conk out.

That's my latest worry. My old fridge.

Another interesting thing -- to me, maybe not to anyone else, but here it is:

With the half-empty shelves, I discovered new things, things that I had never seen, bought or eaten before. And I picked them up, justifying this to myself with: I have to have some fun sitting there alone in my house. Not only did I buy cookies and chocolates in excess. Things that I with my diabetes should not eat and in normal times don't. I also bought tuna with jalapenos and peppered salmon in those little bags, a hazelnut spread, similar to Nutella, a guacamole dip, different nuts that I had never tried before, nuts that promised to be salty, another thing I'm not supposed to eat too much of. And you know how it goes with nuts, you have one and then so many are eaten before you are able to contain yourself.

All these things, which really were not necessary for my sustenance, ended up costing a pretty penny.

Now, I wonder why I did it. I never shop impulsively, and certainly not for food. 

Other than shopping:

I still have to go to the lab twice, to three different doctors between now and the first week in April. Samson needs the groomer and also a rabies shot later in April. Faith needs the snake vaccine and both need the kennel cough vaccine.

I will see how it goes with this virus in the coming weeks before I decide which appointments to keep. There are still no  confirmed cases in Kern county where I live, but according to the latest I saw on TV, 10 people are being monitored for the virus. Whatever that means. With all the people that may have the virus, the people we don't know about for lack of tests, I still didn't feel all that safe in the stores. 

I believe they will be able to test soon. Very late in coming, these tests, but that's another story.

I'm glad I have insulin to last for a while. I think it's made in the U.S. My insulin pump supplies are made in Denmark and I can reorder them soon, so I should be OK for now. For later, who knows. It's a bit scary when your life depends on outside things, but I'm not at the point of being scared just yet.

I'm sure all of you have had the same experiences going to the grocery store, finding empty shelves and no toilet paper, worrying about family members, loved ones, about medications, and all the rest. I hope I didn't bore you with my trips. 

I find my own, as well as other people's reactions to be both confusing and making a lot of sense. Paradoxical -- is that the correct word?

In a time of crisis.

Take care and stay well my friends.


  1. WE are just getting into lockdown mode here. I hope that you stay safe and away from crowds! Although that is not always possible.

  2. Inger, I am glad that you have friends looking out for you. I am sure you will be careful when out and about. Here in Kentucky schools are closed for me until April 13th. Cyber instruction, as we call it, is in full swing.

  3. So far, you've done the right things.
    May God protect us!

  4. So glad your friend is looking out for you. Take advantage. It will save you exposure and make her feel good. Win/win. My little town is out of toilet paper but that is all. Kind of wish I had bought some toilet paper stock now. I am staying close to home as I am high risk plus, I am pretty good at entertaining myself.
    Stay safe and healthy my friend.

  5. Have ample meds and insulin necessities on hand, in case there are delays with shipping and importing. We have stocked up also on food we don't normally have, tinned fish, frozen fish, toilet paper in heaps of rolls, tissues, hand was and hand cream lotion. Our country is making sure anyone entering after 1 a.m. yesterday has to go into a self isolation for 14 days. Yet at Auckland airport there were people from Europe and the UK who blatantly said they would not. A am not sorry to tell them that if a spot check is done, and they will be, you will be deported!!! I heard Canada has closed its borders , only goods and supplies will come in. Tough measures but we need to be in a self preservation mode right now. Stay well Inger, 80, my friend of 66 years has her 80th in April, and has cancelled all celebrations, mine is in July, and ditto, no party, no family travelling down or flying up. We can all rejoice online to have reached that wonderful age, even if we are in the compromised group. What a great neighbour, we have them here too. XXXX

  6. I am so glad you are well. Bring high risk, plus alone must be so scary. I saw on T.V. where they are telling all high risk people to just stay inside. I have cancelled all my doctor appointments, as they have said to do unless they are really essential. Seems like you may stress eat, just like me!

    1. No need to worry about me being scared and alone. I'm lucky to love to be alone, which I am not since I have my two dogs. They keep me going, they love me, they watch out for me. Without them, things would be a bit more difficult. I feel so bad for seniors who have no one in their lives.

  7. Paradoxical is a great word and exactly what you wanted. We went to Costco this morning. I already had bleach, toilet paper, and all the usual cleaning supplies. I was able to get all the food items I wanted, except that I was limited to two gallons of milk (I usually buy several and freeze some but the limit was no problem). Other shoppers were making a beeline for the toilet paper, paper towels, and bottled water. I know what you mean about staying home and then wanting to go out. That's how I've felt and now I'm staying at home other than going to Costco.


  8. Well written. Shelves are nearly empty. Now we are sitting and watching some very odd shows my husband likes. Don't do battle out there.

  9. I think that many people are surprising themselves with their reactions. There's so much uncertainty that people don't know what they really need. In any case, I am glad that Joyce is watching out for you. Take good care of yourself.

  10. Dear Inger, I think you really captured the mood and t he actions of so many of us who do not want to hoard or cause others to have less and yet we do impulse buying because there is a little "fight or flight" within each of us. This morning, my sister-in-law went to the Walgreens pharmacy to get two prescriptions for my brother. She called and asked if I needed any groceries. I was so relieved and so grateful. She picked up for me various food items that I can use to make soups and casseroles. I love to cook, and yet I do so little of that because of living alone. And so I'm going to spend more time in the kitchen making food that I can freeze in individual serving containers. As I read blogs, I think that I'm seeing the very best in all of us come to the fore as we reach out to help others OR stay home so that we do not become a drain on our health care system. Please do take care of yourself and Samson and Faith. I took Ellie to the vet last week to check for kidney failure. Fortunately, she is fine! Such good news. Just a bladder infection. So we are well here. Peace, pressed down and overflowing to you and to our world.

  11. oh my! that last picture is absolutely GLORIOUS.
    I had to laugh at what you bought when you went out! LOL. I think it's delightful.
    and if you crave salt try to eat ONLY ONE. yes. it can be done. I'm one of those salt-aholics who know!
    but it's better than craving just a taste of salt and nothing in the house that's salty!
    and my go to treat right now are dark chocolate covered blue berries and acacia berries. they're in the fridge.
    and I only eat one or two a day. they are a true treat. not to be eaten by the handful! YUM.
    our town has shut everything down except for drive through or carry out. and the university and schools are closed of course. I'm a happy hermit. so it's kind of business as usual for me. I have COPD and congestive heart failure (which comes with a little dry cough and therefore I always look suspicious!) so I'll be staying home.
    thank you always for posting dear friend. it's always a highlight in my day and I appreciate you! BE WELL! XOXO

  12. Hi Inger - your thoughts here were great to read - as they were positive and upbeat ... acting practically at this time is the best - thank goodness for Joyce - she'll be a boon. We need to be logical and work out what's essential ... I'm going to venture to town to see what's happening down there - the walk will do me good - I'd like to do a couple of things - not essential ... so I'll see. Thank goodness Spring is almost here and in 10 days the evenings get lighter ... take care and with thoughts from over here - cheers Hilary

  13. I enjoyed reading what you got and I almost think it's a natural reaction to buy "comfort" stuff when faced with something fearful. I also bought some stuff that I really probably shouldn't eat but ...if I'm to stay inside mostly it just sounded soothing in a way. I don't have anything scheduled that I have to do. Mike needed to get his licensed renewed but he got an email stating that if you are 70 or over you get 60 days leeway at this time without having to renew Anyway hope there is no problem getting your insulin.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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