See that picture above, taken by ANP reader Sheep Herder, sent to us along with more than a dozen others?
Get used to that sight because in the midst of a nation panic shopping and emptying shelves faster than many can restock them, we see that truckers, the lifeblood of America, the men and women that keep the supply chain moving and our families fed, are now facing a number of 'hurdles' because of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic spreading across the globe.
Before detailing those hurdles, a couple points:
1)Don't panic. Not only does it cause people to make very bad choices, but it literally has already killed a man.
Here is the headline from Africa.Press: "Man killed in Kwale after ‘showing’ coronavirus symptoms." The "symptoms they are talking about is the poor man sneezed. That is it. He sneezed...... and a mob attacked him and beat him to death.
George Kotini Hezron, 35, a resident of Kibundani area was on Tuesday night accosted by a group of youth while heading home.The man who was sneezing passed a group of youths seated by the roadside. His sneezing attracted their attention and it was then they wrestled him to the ground.
They questioned his sneezing, likening it to that of a coronavirus patient.The man tried to fight back but was overpowered. They mob reigned terror on him, telling him that he should be isolated to avoid spreading the virus.Police said preliminary investigations indicate that the deceased was drunk and had no signs of the disease.
So, prepare for long term shortages, because if you are prepared there is no need to panic. Start learning how to make "perpetual soups," and baking your own goods, making each meal stretch as far as it can go, and read up on surviving any type of catastrophic event.
Better to be prepared and have nothing happen than to have disaster strike and be unprepared.
2) Killing a man because of panic is one end of the "extreme" spectrum, and then we have the other end of it, and those are the people living in denial.
Newsflash for those folks: Denial kills as well.
I am noting a number of usually level-headed people in complete denial that this COVID-19 is a pandemic, and is dangerous and deadly.
One of the most common defense for that denial is "but the flu kills more people each year."
Exactly how do they know that? They don't, but since the media first spent their time downplaying COVID-19, then freaking out over it in a complete 180, and citing only the official numbers without explaining why those numbers are basically worthless, it is understandable that they wouldn't see how severe the situation is.
One of our nurses here, a regular who has been reading and commenting at ANP for years, informed us that people dying from this new coronavirus, but have not been officially tested for it, are having the cause of death listed as "acute respiratory failure." Those people are not even being listed as part of the official death count.
As I said above, the official numbers are worthless.
What we do know is that it is very contagious, and yes, it does kill quickly, as we see a new report about a New Jersey family that has just lost three members to COVID-19 , and 19 others are being quarantined, because they attended the same family get-together.
So, yes, we know it is highly contagious and deadly.
What else do we know? Only what officials are telling us, but by watching the reactions of hospitals, hearing firsthand accounts from nurses, and seeing the level of "freak out" by multiple governments, we can safely make a couple of assumptions with a high degree of confidence. We also have a doctor, a surgeon, stating outright "The sky is falling," while she prays that she is wrong about the severity.
We are living in a global public health crisis moving at a speed and scale never witnessed by living generations. The cracks in our medical and financial systems are being splayed open like a gashing wound. No matter how this plays out, life will forever look a little different for all of us.
On the front lines, patients are lining up outside of our emergency rooms and clinics looking to us for answers — but we have few. Only on Friday did coronavirus testing become more readily available in New York, and the tests are still extremely limited. Right next to my office in the hospital, a lab is being repurposed with hopes of a capability to run 1,000 tests a day. But today, and likely tomorrow, even M.D.s do not have straightforward access to testing across the country. Furthermore, the guidelines and criteria for testing are changing almost daily. Our health care system is mired in situational uncertainty. The leadership of our hospital is working tirelessly — but doctors on the ground are pessimistic about our surge capacity.
It is worse than what we are being told, but taking the appropriate measures on our own, such as self-quarantining in order to stay healthy and away from groups of people, and doing it on our own, because no one wants the government mandating it. Once you lose a right, there is a good chance you will never get it back.
If the pandemic itself is not bad enough, we now have the one industry that delivers our foods and other products to the stores so consumers can obtain them, facing hurdle after hurdle, just to do their job.
From travel restrictions to truck stop diners closing their dining rooms, to states closing rest areas to providing less space for parking along logistic corridors, all of which will effect multiple industries, including grocery stores that are already seeing a run on their products.
Truck-stop restaurants in some states have shut dining rooms and switched to takeout service to comply with health orders aimed at controlling the spread of the virus. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania closed its state-run rest stops, cutting back significant parking space along key logistics corridors.
Some customers are asking drivers to stay in their trucks or switch from paper to electronic methods to document pickups and deliveries, trucking companies and freight brokers said. Additionally, some trucking companies said their drivers are facing new restrictions at receiving docks if they have been in states considered coronavirus hot zones. “Some of the shippers and receivers are asking drivers to sign affidavits that they are not sick,” said Linda Allen, owner of Hardcore Trucking, a trucking company based in Spring Hill, Fla., that hauls refrigerated loads.
“They are not allowed to use the restroom, not allowed to use the building,” Ms. Allen said. “They don’t want drivers in the facilities.”
Nice way to treat the people we depend on to survive, eh? The trucking industry is requesting some exemptions and for rest areas to remain open, facilitating their ability to do their jobs.
An older infographic titled "If Trucks STOPPED," shown below, gives a great visual representation of how much we truly depend on truckers and the trucking industry.
The increasing frequency of stories, with visual proof by way of pictures, of store shelves stripped bare, while others aren't even bothering to restock, they are simply wheeling the full pallets out and letting people take their products right off of it, and that is if they have what they need to restock at all, is indicative of a broken supply chain.
With all that said, let me reiterate the points above, don't panic and don't live in denial, it won't do you any good and is detrimental to good decision making. Find a middle ground and act accordingly.
Prepare. Get what you can in moderation, where you can, and when you can. Do not try to get everything all at once, you never know who is watching how much supplies you are buying and by dividing up your purchases you are leaving something for the next person.
Thanks again to everyone that has been updating us all about what is happening in your area and those that are sending pictures.
Be smart and be safe.
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