9 APRIL, 2020 - A SECOND WORLD AMERICA (double click to open)

When I wake up aboard So...fea and smell the sea, and hear those gulls going nuts, I sometimes sit and stare at the boats bobbing in the harbor here, while it softly rains with the sun out and a rainbow arcing overhead, it is mesmerizing.

I admit it, whenever I daydream, or drift off to another place listening to tedious conversation or stuck in a room of TV or table games, or simply tire of researching/reporting on "things", I am always in the Caribbean.  

At least once a week my global container/tanker ship contacts talk about oil and fuels, or, like yesterday, my inbox news comes in from Columbia & Venezuela or somewhere in the Caribbean, and I am forced to recall or visualize "where" an island place is... recall a city name or an event's location, and always, as I mentally exercise, I am taken back to  the Caribbean, mostly within a 250 or so mile circle around Paraguana, Aruba, Curacao, and Maracaibo again (back to where, for me, a lot began.)

What does any of this have to do with today, here in Oregon ?

America is right now getting a good dose of 2nd world living, for the many who are roaming military types, or world cruisers, even missionary and medical-without-borders (Peace Corps types), merchant seamen and long distance commercial fisherman this is a no brainer, but for the elitist privileged, wealthy, politician and the American tourist, soccer Mom, or Wall St. attorney this is all new.

For some unreal high percentage number of the American population (85+ % ?), this is going to be a "trial", and one that they will not handle well, it is an extended excursion (not a three week resort vacation) into 2nd world lifestyle, society, problems, acceptance and solutions (or at least work-arounds).

Empty store shelves, items not in stock, or tagged "unavailable' are commonplace in the 2nd world, many things simply have never been heard of or experienced by the elitist crowd, and they cannot believe many things do not exist once you leave America, into a place where the very thought of a "supermarket" is ludicrous.

Here in America for a few weeks now, the Government told everyone to “calm down” and “just shop for the week and quit hoarding,” they promised that if we did, everything would be back in stock in no time and all would return to normal.

They failed to tell you the container ports in California and Seattle were empty of shipping containers "from" China where most of our essential goods are produced, there was no inventory coming to replenish the inventory with... and there may never be.

It’s now been more than a month since that first run on the supermarkets, and unfortunately, many supplies are still limited in most parts of the country, toilet paper can’t be found, nor can you get disinfectant cleaning supplies, wipes, paper towels, big bags of rice, bottles of bleach or vinegar. there are limited quantities of meat, eggs, butter, dried goods like pasta and rice, and even canned/frozen goods are being posted as "unavailable", with many prices increasing drastically.

Don’t expect this inventory to come back, our food choices will change, and many independent businesses will never reopen after this debacle is over, in a second world country all of the above is everyday stuff... but here, not so much. 

What comes next in social unrest, and how the street becomes changed, is another missing experience here in America... and I fear that the elitist 85+ % I spoke of, has no idea it is even coming.  Or, what to do once it is here.

For the next few days, on here I will do some personal insight posts on this topic of "what's next", as we review our own past exposures to 2nd world living, what it looked like, and how we acclimated to the experience.

And, a revisit to the 1950's Army films...