Buckle up. It’s Going to Get Bumpy.

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At the store yesterday, I mentioned to an employee who was stocking the meat cases (such as they are) that the meat seems to be getting sparse.

He said “yep.”

This isn’t a matter of people hording. They’ve already got “limit two” notices for meats.  This is because new stocks are just not coming in.

As the Chairman of Tyson Foods has warned, the food supply chain is breaking.  Processing plants are shutting down due to Coronavirus fears.  Dropping production capacity means that those raising livestock have nowhere to sell their stock and they can’t afford to keep feeding them, so livestock is being slaughtered and just dumped (Example here).

And folk smuggly saying that we eat too much (any) meat anyway, well, vegetable and grain production is similarly being hit and hit hard. (And that’s leaving aside that a vegetarian, let alone vegan, diet would be death to a person like me who needs to be aggressively low carb to remain healthy.)

One would think that anything related to food production and distribution would count as an “essential industry” if anything was but so far as the government shutdowns are concerned.  While I can understand the concern about spreading disease consider the workers at a Kentucky meat processing plant:

MEAT-PROCESSING-PLANT2

The existing protocols to prevent contamination of the meat means that workers are dressed from head to toe in protective gear.  They are gloved and masked as a matter of course.  While this particular image does not show it, in others that I have seen at least in some places they wear face shields.  You couldn’t ask for better precautions to prevent the spread of disease within the plant itself.  I’ve seen hospital medical workers less protected.

To be blunt, even in the worst of pandemics our food production and distribution is not just as important as medical care.  It’s more important.  People need to eat far more often than they need to go to the doctor.  Those people in that picture are every bit as essential as the doctors and nurses at your local hospital.  Without them, and myriad others like them, it soon won’t matter what the doctors and nurses do.

Unless immediate steps are taken to restore food production and distribution, then we are going to have serious shortages in the coming months and into next year at least.  It may already be too late to avoid that.  And that’s here in the US.  The US is the largest exporter of food in the world.  If the US has shortages, immense political pressure will be made to curtail those exports in favor of feeding our own people at home.  Expect the same in other major food exporting nations such as Germany and the UK.

Food shortages here will turn into famine worldwide one, as the UN puts it, of ‘biblical proportions‘. (Never thought Ghostbusters would be prophetic)

So buckle up.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

7 thoughts on “Buckle up. It’s Going to Get Bumpy.”

  1. I still don’t think most people have realized how uncomfortable it’s going to get. Even if we opened everything today, damage has been done that will take months, even a couple of years, to smooth out. But, this is what a bunch of them wanted so they could “stay safe” and/or get Trump out of office.

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  2. My personal tin foil hat theory is that the Chinese government is paying the media & Democrats to extend this thing as long as possible. Mainly to keep the West from moving manufacturing away from China, but hurting us is a side benefit.

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  3. That pic of the workers lacks detail to be certain, but I’d remind you of the incident a year or so ago, when Tyson Chicken had a processing plant in Arkansas raided by the Migra. Those workers had been living 6 or 8 to a small one bedroom apartment. The same still applies.

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    1. And? Do you think that “at least they weren’t living 6 to 8 in a small one bedroom apartment” will put food on the shelves? Disruption of the food supply is just one of the ways that this overreaction to something that’s basically only marginally worse than the flu (don’t look just at the inflated COVID19 deaths, look at the entire picture and figure the additional deaths we have from COVID, as just one example flu deaths are down compared to eight of the last ten years) is going to cost lives–a lot of lives.

      And not just here. The US is the number one food exporter. When the food starts drying up and bellies start pinching here, expect people to insist we feed our own people before exporting food to others.

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      1. I did a facebook bost the other day where I crunched a few numbers – figured out that this “pandemic,” for instance, was affecting a whopping ONE-TWENTIETH OF ONE PERCENT of the global population. Found a corrected fatality rate that I could come up with a verified posting for of about 1.4%, but I recall reading of testing numbers in NYC showing something like half of the people who get SARS-CoV-2 don’t get COVID – they remain asymptomatic and get over it – and the death rate, per THEIR numbers, was down around 0.45-0.5%.

        The closest I can come to justifying calling this a “pandemic” is that it’s a virus with a high R-naught (revised estimates I read put it at about 5.7, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – I’ll get to that in a minute) in a highly mobile global society. Couple that with China not bloody telling anyone for two months or so, and you can see the source of the problem, no?

        How is a HIGHER R-naught than originally estimated (two to four) a good thing? Chew on it for a moment – especially in consideration of the fact that so many who get it remain asymptomatic, that being aged doesn’t mean a death sentence (I read of a 104-year-old who recovered handily,) and our (normally) highly mobile global society. Were we still moving about as before, the virus would move through people like wildfire, to be sure. People would catch it and get over it THAT MUCH FASTER, and the “pandemic” would BURN ITSELF OUT THAT MUCH FASTER. A high R-naught can be worse for an infectious agent than a low one (provided, of course, it’s not lower than one – an R-naught lower than one means it will burn itself out quickly, without intervention.) With an R-naught of 2-4, it would have been dangerous if it weren’t for so many people getting it and remaining asymptomatic. With an R-naught near six? Resume normal activity, it won’t be a problem within a couple of months.

        Granted, that’s taking into account that they’ve found a mutated strain of SARS-CoV-2 which is more virulent – which may be the reason for the upward revision of its infectiousness. But, the same principle applies – and somehow, I think that the new strain (SARS-CoV-2a?) may be more virulent, but otherwise would follow the same pattern for “illness.”

        I concluded with a statement to the effect of, “While I wouldn’t consider this ‘nothing to worry about,’ we’re definitely overreacting.”

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  4. And while those in the know of various things will not be (too) surprised, things will be odd for those not fully aware of various things – and nobody knows everything. The TP shortage is pretty much over – though the ratios of brands and such will take longer to settles out again. Rice is getting back toward normal – though is nowhere near it. The last time I was at the store there was almost no chicken – and the shipment that had just arrived, the department manager told me in exasperation, also lacked any chicken.. and that was at least the third time that had happened. I was also informed that the central grocery delivery (canned good, cereal, etc.) for that night would be only 2/3 to 1/2 what it would be normally. I see some stuff that likely wasn’t originally intended for grocery store sales on the shelves, but it’s supply and an outlet, as well a few items one would only normally expect to see in an ‘ethnic’ store (labels in Spanish).

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