4 APRIL, 2020 - INVENTORY CONTROL (double click to open)
Having said that, this website is intended to be about life as a live-aboard family (pets included), and... the environment in which our boat survives (the city, harbor, water, weather, politics, people, ocean, and the quality of all that). COVID19 impacts all of that. There are some peculiar differences in how this plague affects us, and how it affects you landlubbers, hence, some of our observations are "different" aboard, than what people ashore endure.
Truly, we always feel like "visitors or tourists" when we do go ashore, for shopping (which is the only time we leave the boat), everyone (mostly) speaks English, but, there is this same feeling as being in a foreign country... almost uncomfortable, as if you do not fully know the customs or the tempo, we people watch a lot, almost wary of being too familiar... there simply is very little here in common.
Partly that overall feeling like a "foreigner" has to do with being in Oregon, which is not a native land for either of us, and offers up some serious cultural/educational/travel disparities, but, the boat vs. land lifestyle is the really big and obvious separation. So, as you follow these pages (or not), please keep in mind that my opinions and postings are not shore-based mainstream, they are about the end-result of harbor life, and the personal experiences that got us here (and allows us to thrive).
We back and forth reminisced about the inter-islands and Mexico/Central America here is the result, (we had both been through the 1960's oil and fishing booms of Venezuela and Panama, Brazils 68-73 blowout, the 1973 oil embargo and the 1982 and 1984 world Bank financial collapse, the big 2008-9 recessions and many of the hard-hitting natural disasters and military coups in between... we lived, traveled and worked through situations Mainland America never saw or even knew about.
Scarily, in P.R. and the Virgins many of the same early warning signs we see beginning there, are beginning to also form up here in America, and "may" be a sign of the times to come are finally roosting here on the mainland.
Being docked in a greater town population of 10,000 means we have three grocery stores, two Variety stores, two lumber yards, and one hardware, after big holiday rushes (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, Rhody days) we have shortages everywhere from high tourist/visitor loads, the shortage lasts a week, and goes back to normal when the delivery trucks make their next round.
Around the 1st of March (30+ days ago without ab holiday involved... the shelves went empty (rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, aloe, toilet paper, paper towels, all Lysol and Clorox products, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, disposable or dishwashing gloves, breathing masks, baby wipes, condensed, evaporated, irradiated and powdered milk, bottled water, vinegar, chocolate bars, coffee, all-beef meats (fresh, ground or canned), tuna fish, chicken, hams and spam, and many more odd things), we went out on the 3rd of March and that was what we found.
On the 20th it was still the same, so, we went to Amazon and Wal Mart online... same missing product ! the messages were not saying "out of stock" they were saying "Unavailable".
Now it is the 3rd of April and nothing has changed ! In our local stores, nothing was replenished, online nothing is "Available"... back to our Central/South America/Caribe years, this typically was how things began, you learned to feel what was coming. Out in the islands, everything is imported, there is no room for mass-scale animal farming, so, the lead-time inventories 6-8 days before restaurants/hotels/markets go empty (completely...empty).
The resultant financial dilemma is varied, but always devastating and super-swift acting, there is no many weeks buffer zone like here in the U.S. Mainland., so, no time to adjust., in very short order the entire system collapses like a house of cards, tempers flare, as the supplies of milk, meat, rice, gasoline, and flour dry up, the work dries up, then the income dries up, then hunger and looting and revolt are very close...
Watching the global reliance on China, and their current stoppage of production and shipping, looking at the word cargo that is not moving, and even thinking about all of the businesses closed, the lost income, crashed dreams, and savings lost, then adding in "Unavailable"... ? after 30 more days of this, by the first of May, will we "become" Venezuela ? Can Americans cope ? Tomorrow I go to pick up my monthly food order (that has already been heavily modified due to "Availability"), check back for results .