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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Regarding prepping: Fun fact, the first thing you run out of is bread. So I brave the supermarket just now, there is almost no one at this hour. There is no bread. Not even frozen. I have to settle for crispbread. No yeast either, but that always gets horded first.

    Also no potatoes, no eggs, maybe 50 liters of milk left, all reduced-fat. Surprisingly, there is still toilet paper.

    So yeah… Denmark is in full panic mode.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    If only you had the secret of baking toilet paper into bread, you would live like a king.

    Alternatively, take advantage of arbitrage opportunities and sell into a toilet-paper scarce market, then use your profits to buy bread at the inflated prices.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Miklus View Post
    Regarding prepping: Fun fact, the first thing you run out of is bread. So I brave the supermarket just now, there is almost no one at this hour. There is no bread. Not even frozen. I have to settle for crispbread. No yeast either, but that always gets horded first.
    I did my regular weekly shop yesterday evening and the supermarket still had *some* bread and eggs left, although not much. Almost all the pasta was gone, although, weirdly, there was still plenty of rice--you'd expect that to go at the same time!

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Resileaf View Post
    It's really eerie how... Everything is shutting down. Sports, cultural events, everywhere people can gather. I'm glad we're taking the necessary measures to prevent the worst from happening, but boy, it's super unsettling.
    I kind of like it, in the sense that it's a bit of an adventure, like something from a book (not from a movie, not enough explosions). I mean, I know people are going to die, but it's still a cool little stress test, might be the most disturbing event to our daily lives since at least the 70's oil crisis, and I'm still young enough that that one is just a thing from history class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    If only you had the secret of baking toilet paper into bread, you would live like a king.
    If you could get any.

    Seriously, why is that the item people are stocking up on?

    I have an unspecified friend who works some unspecified function at an anonymized supermarket chain in a country near my position, he told me yesterday he saw a security video of several pensioners literally tugging on the last pack of toilet paper hard enough for it to rip apart, and as soon as that happened the crowd dove in on it to get hold of a roll. Yes, like in a comedy film or something. It's like a sale at a fancy clothing store, madness.

    (For those worried, he also said the supermarket chains have stock for roughly over a month, they just couldn't get it to the supermarkets in time for people panicking because the government announcement of new preventive measures that sparked it was made late in the afternoon. Today everything should be pretty much back to normal.)
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  5. - Top - End - #95
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    f you could get any.
    Apologies for the confusion, that was directed at Miklus, who still has it in stock where he is.

    (Also, maybe PM if you're hard up. I'm sure he'd be happy to hook you up with only a slight markup for shipping and handling.)

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post

    Seriously, why is that [toilet paper] the item people are stocking up on?
    2 complementary theories, one stolen, one more original.

    a) Toilet paper is big for it's price and complexity. Put two in the trolley and it's instantly a trolley full of reassuring stockpile, next item.
    Selecting 100 tins, where do you begin, and after tin 20 you've probably decided that's enough but your trolley is still worryingly empty.

    b) For the same reasons, once it starts being taken the shelf looks very empty quickly leading to a grab the 'scarce' resource.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Those are good points actually, I'm accepting that as headcanon.

    I'm also adjusting my plan for the dinosaur apocalypse (because why prepare for zombies when dinosaurs are a thing?). In addition to salt, sugar, spices, booze, rope, knives, ammunition and the center pages of a certain gentlemen's publication I'll be bringing toilet paper as a bartering good as well. With so many people stocking up on mountains of the stuff there must be survivors who were too late to grab any.
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    If only you had the secret of baking toilet paper into bread, you would live like a king.

    Alternatively, take advantage of arbitrage opportunities and sell into a toilet-paper scarce market, then use your profits to buy bread at the inflated prices.
    Ewwww… Actually, one guy was stopped at the border with a whole trailer full of toilet paper, so that is already a thing.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    From what I've seen, people seem to just be buying everything they can find on the shelves at this point. When I went to the store yesterday, they were out of nearly everything. I think the only thing I saw that was still somewhat plentiful was frozen fish (but not fresh fish ).

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Miklus View Post
    Ewwww… Actually, one guy was stopped at the border with a whole trailer full of toilet paper, so that is already a thing.
    I don't really get the toilet paper thing. What's that about?

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    I don't really get the toilet paper thing. What's that about?
    Quote Originally Posted by jayem View Post
    2 complementary theories, one stolen, one more original.

    a) Toilet paper is big for it's price and complexity. Put two in the trolley and it's instantly a trolley full of reassuring stockpile, next item.
    Selecting 100 tins, where do you begin, and after tin 20 you've probably decided that's enough but your trolley is still worryingly empty.

    b) For the same reasons, once it starts being taken the shelf looks very empty quickly leading to a grab the 'scarce' resource.
    These seems like a pretty good answer.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    My dad and I watched this virus spreading from Wuhan and it was like a slow moving train wreck that we knew was coming. My mom has MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and we agreed instantly we can't afford for her to catch it. When the first case hit the states in Northern California, we went out to the stores, originally for 2 weeks of supplies, but then we visited the store like 3 more times over 3 days and then got about a month of food and other essentials (When the stores were still full, so we could, as we said, "Avoid the rush."). Everyone we talked to thought we were nuts, overreacting, and panicking. We tried to tell them for weeks how this was going to shut down air travel and businesses would be affected and everything and they laughed at us. Well, we sold all of our stock in the stock market a week before they took its continuous nosedive and we're seeing reports on the news and elsewhere that all the stores are empty and all these major events are being closed and everything.

    It just feels so surreal, like out of a movie. I see it coming, I tell people it's coming, and they don't believe me until it's here.

    One thing my dad and I have theorized (and it's just an untested theory of course) is that this virus is potentially deadlier then the 1918 Spanish flu. The Spanish flu had a 3% mortality rate, and that was when people didn't really know what viruses were nor did we have the modern medicine today to help treat symptoms. With all the medical technology we have today to treat and take care of people, screenings, and quarantine, wouldn't that offshoot the mortality rate by allowing some people to survive that would have likely died back in 1918?
    Last edited by Silverraptor; 2020-03-14 at 11:44 AM.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    I don't really get the toilet paper thing. What's that about?
    People are buying it, en masse, as emergency supplies. It's the first thing to run out in every store where panicked people run in to stock up. Not canned foods, not bread, not any non-toilet paper sanitary supplies and certainly not the vegetarian meat substitutes, which were the only place in the store that looked normal by the time I got there for my daily meal yesterday. People want toilet paper.

    It's a thing. I wish I had invested in the stuff.

    Also @ Raptor: Yeah, with a condition like MS the whole thing must be much scarier. Good on you for taking your own precautions.

    Although I wouldn't take stock markets plummeting as a sign that things are going to get bad, they do that all the time. Rising through the roof too. Both often for no reason or because of misinformation. At this point I treat stock market news as information about the world's most expansive game, almost completely detached from any real economic effects. But if you had stock that went down, good call.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-03-14 at 11:06 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miklus View Post
    Ewwww… Actually, one guy was stopped at the border with a whole trailer full of toilet paper, so that is already a thing.
    That's pretty amazing. Do you know what legal justification they used to detain him?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    People are buying it, en masse, as emergency supplies. It's the first thing to run out in every store where panicked people run in to stock up. Not canned foods, not bread, not any non-toilet paper sanitary supplies and certainly not the vegetarian meat substitutes, which were the only place in the store that looked normal by the time I got there for my daily meal yesterday. People want toilet paper.
    Toilet paper was one of the few things I ran out of when I was younger. If you broadly define "sanitary supplies," pretty much everything from toothpaste and floss, to razors and other shaving supplies, to paper towels and tissues, would routinely hit such a very deep discount (on the order of 90% off, or "free" after some sort of store credit that you could usefully spend later.) Toilet paper I would end up having to buy at mediocre sales (50% off the minor discount of normal price at a bulk store) so buying that 24 or 48 pack was the most stocking up I did. Plus, it's got that low value per volume density that makes it a bit of a hassle if you don't have space. If I see a sale on toothbrushes or floss that saves me 75% off retail and I buy a few years supply, that could easily be over $100 in savings that I can stick in a shoe box. It's also one of those things you can't stretch out of laziness or necessity--you can use things like razors a little longer than recommended without feeling too many ill effects, and my paper towel use drops precipitously at the point where digging the next pack out of the closet takes marginally more effort than using and washing cloth towels. For toilet paper, a 24 pack might be something like $20-$30, so an amazing sale (which again, as I have observed, happens much more rarely than for a lot of other products) would save you about $20 dollars... but it would require that you clear a few cubic feet of space for however long you're waiting to use it.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    That's pretty amazing. Do you know what legal justification they used to detain him?
    I'd think failing to pay tax on importing goods for commercial purposes. Typically importation for personal use is fine, but it's hard to justify a whole trailer load for personal use.


    On a personal note, one of the personal protective measures I've been taking, seems to have some scientific basis - getting drunk to prevent infection: Smoking, alcohol consumption, and susceptibility to the common cold, Cohen et al.

    On a more serious note, I have a severe house dust mite allergy, thus I typically breathe through my mouth. This means that normally one of the first symptoms I have of catching a cold is a sore throat, so I typically gargle something when my throat starts to get sore. I prefer vodka myself, although a more responsible adult would use very salty water.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    On a more serious note, I have a severe house dust mite allergy, thus I typically breathe through my mouth. This means that normally one of the first symptoms I have of catching a cold is a sore throat, so I typically gargle something when my throat starts to get sore. I prefer vodka myself, although a more responsible adult would use very salty water.
    On a less serious note, this works when you breathe through your nose as well. You just need to have someone tell you a really funny joke while gargling.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-03-15 at 09:32 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    On a less serious note, this works when you breathe through your nose as well. You just need to have someone tell you a really funny joke while gargling.
    I feel like forcing a bunch of vodka through your nose would A: be decidedly uncomfortable, and B: leave just the worst possible lingering stench?
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    On a personal note, one of the personal protective measures I've been taking, seems to have some scientific basis - getting drunk to prevent infection: Smoking, alcohol consumption, and susceptibility to the common cold, Cohen et al.
    You're telling me I quit smoking and now have a worse health risk!? What's the point then, other than longer life, more energy, less risk of myriad of other things, etc etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    On a more serious note, I have a severe house dust mite allergy, thus I typically breathe through my mouth. This means that normally one of the first symptoms I have of catching a cold is a sore throat, so I typically gargle something when my throat starts to get sore. I prefer vodka myself, although a more responsible adult would use very salty water.
    To quote the villain from Johnny Dangerously, I gargled very salty water once. ONCE.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2020-03-15 at 10:04 AM.
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  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Okay, it just stopped being funny. The entire country is closing down for at least three weeks, up to and including small bars and all school. Reaction wise this is now probably the biggest crisis (here in the Netherlands) since the second world war.
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  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Okay, it just stopped being funny. The entire country is closing down for at least three weeks, up to and including small bars and all school. Reaction wise this is now probably the biggest crisis (here in the Netherlands) since the second world war.
    It is being taken too seriously.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    It is being taken too seriously.
    The number of people infected in the UK rose by nearly 20% yesterday. And that's with all of the closures. How many people need to be infected before it isn't being taken too seriously?

    I agree that people hoarding toilet paper and the like is more than a little silly, but the shut down of sport events and the like seems to be an appropriate reaction because the numbers of infected keep climbing.
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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Anyway, I'll hopefully learn tomorrow whether I'll be making any money in the next few weeks.

    (I'm not that bad off really, there's stuff like unemployment benefits to fall back on in the worst case scenario, unlike say for bar and restaurant owners, it's just weird that they can just introduce this uncertainty as per tomorrow morning. It's a bit unsettling.)
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  23. - Top - End - #113
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    It's starting to... get to me. All of my out-of-apartment activities are shutting down, the noise is unavoidable, and the usually busy part of the county I do my errands in is simply empty. I just ordered my mother's birthday cake and bakery had their cafe shut down. My credit union just sent an email saying they're wiping down the ATMs with Lysol. There are notices and CDC recommendations taped to every door.

    I don't think I'm getting towards the end of my rope, but I can see it fraying.
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  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    You're telling me I quit smoking and now have a worse health risk!? What's the point then, other than longer life, more energy, less risk of myriad of other things, etc etc?
    The study indicates that drinking a moderate amount more (3-4 drinks extra a day) correlated with a reduced risk of catching a respiratory viral infection administered under laboratory conditions, compared to a control group of volunteers dosed with just saline.

    This benefit disappeared if a volunteer was also a smoker, so by quitting smoking (and a reasonable amount of time for your lungs to recover), you too can benefit from drinking more.

    I checked - this paper was originally published in the American Journal of Public Health, so no British cultural bias here.

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    I have to give up my regular weekend routine to stay at home because of the coronavirus crisis.

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    The study indicates that drinking a moderate amount more (3-4 drinks extra a day) correlated with a reduced risk of catching a respiratory viral infection administered under laboratory conditions, compared to a control group of volunteers dosed with just saline.

    This benefit disappeared if a volunteer was also a smoker, so by quitting smoking (and a reasonable amount of time for your lungs to recover), you too can benefit from drinking more.

    I checked - this paper was originally published in the American Journal of Public Health, so no British cultural bias here.
    Well, I currently drink none at all, so it should be easy to raise that by infinite perfect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    I have to give up my regular weekend routine to stay at home because of the coronavirus crisis.
    Staying at home already is my weekend routine, so everything's coming up Peelee!

    Jeez do I ever need to move somewhere more exciting...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    The number of people infected in the UK rose by nearly 20% yesterday. And that's with all of the closures. How many people need to be infected before it isn't being taken too seriously?
    Infection isn't the issue, really: it's mortality rate. An infection that infects 7 billion people but kills none of them is a bit annoying, but not worth panicking over.

    There's also the second part of the equation: what one considers to be "too seriously".

    Whether the COVID-19 mortality rate - which is difficult to assess but appears to be around the 1-2% mark, and that distorted by disproportionately high levels of mortality among the elderly - is worth panicking over is largely subjective. Personally I don't think it is.

    Some of the measures being taken in response to this virus fill me with unease for reasons I can't discuss on this forum. But what I can say is that by buying wholesale into a dramatic response to a disease that for the majority of people is not particularly dangerous, we are accepting potentially radical amendments to our way and quality of life which may or may not be permanent, without thinking it through or having any kind of reasoned discussion on the subject.
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  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Infection isn't the issue, really: it's mortality rate. An infection that infects 7 billion people but kills none of them is a bit annoying, but not worth panicking over.
    This is faulty logic.

    Imagine if 100% of the planet had the flu, but none of them died.

    Society grinds to a halt. All businesses close because there's nobody there to man them, and no customers in any case. Nobody makes any money, so the government gets no taxes. Which would result in essential functions being shut down, but that's okay because all of them are already non-operational because everybody has the flu.

    The long term effects are pretty catastrophic economically and socially even with zero fatalities.

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Infection isn't the issue, really: it's mortality rate. An infection that infects 7 billion people but kills none of them is a bit annoying, but not worth panicking over.

    There's also the second part of the equation: what one considers to be "too seriously".

    Whether the COVID-19 mortality rate - which is difficult to assess but appears to be around the 1-2% mark, and that distorted by disproportionately high levels of mortality among the elderly - is worth panicking over is largely subjective. Personally I don't think it is.
    Mortality rate isn't a flat percentage - it's tied directly to the number of infections since there is a limit to the capacity of hospitals. It is extremely likely that a mortality rate that is low while everyone in critical condition is well cared for instantly becomes much higher once hospitals reach capacity and become overwhelmed. There are doctors in hospitals right now that have to make the choice who gets to live and who doesn't because they don't have the capacity to help both.

    Put it this way - a mortality rate of 1-2% could be 1% if we stay within the capacity of the health care system and 2% if we do not. Sure, it's just one percent of elderly people and people with preconditions. But at the end of the day, if you look at that one percent globally, that's the equivalent of 70 million grandparents who die in one case and not in the other. I think that warrants some restrictions on personal life choice for a few months.

    If you find the steps that have been taken in the UK to be too drastic or "panicky", I recommend that you spend an hour take a good look at the situation in Italy. That's the situation the rest of Europe an the US will be in in a week. Note: I did not say "will be in unless we take measures", but rather the situation we will be in no matter what. All the people that are going to be sick and show up in the statistics next week are already infected. None of those measures are intended to stop us from getting to where Italy is right now. They are intended to stop us from ever getting to where Italy will be in a week from now.

    That being said, I agree that panic is pointless. It's still a small percentage of the total population that is infected and its unlikely that any given individual is infected. But being mindful and careful to make sure it stays that way and does not spread more than can be avoided is decidedly not pointless.
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  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Razade View Post
    These seems like a pretty good answer.
    In the US, at least, there was apparently a belief that either the toilet paper or the plastic used to package it was a Chinese import, and the supply would thus be cut off.

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