Country Living Series

Friday, March 13, 2020

Adventures in the city

Yesterday, Older Daughter and I had an adventure: We went into Coeur d'Alene. Holy cow, it was crazy.

We had a few items we wanted to buy (soy sauce, broccoli, steel wool [for the woodcraft business], onion sets for planting. No, toilet paper was not on our list; but I did want to buy some pesto.

Where's the very best place to get pesto? Why, Costco, of course.

It was, to use the drollest understatement, a madhouse. There was not one spot in the entire parking lot that was free, not one. People were illegally parking all over the place. Just as Older Daughter told me to go get the pesto and she would circle the parking lot until I was finished, we saw a vehicle leaving and slipped into that spot.

Inside was, as expected, very busy. Areas such as clothing, books, electronics, etc. were noticeably deserted of shoppers. You can guess where everyone was.

We strode to the section in the back with the pesto, and I plucked up two jars. Then curiosity got the best of us and we walked to the back where bottled water, toilet paper, and dog/cat food are kept.

Not one pack of toilet paper was available. Not one. A Costco employee had been stationed, as far as I can tell, for the sole and exclusive purpose of telling people the store was out of stock for TP.

Feeling the urge to get out of there, Older Daughter and I went to stand in line, me with my two humble jars of pesto.

Next stop, Winco (for a box of wine, some bulk yogurt-covered raisins, and bagels). Things were fine, if crowded. I took a peek at the TP aisle. It looked like a war zone, but they had plenty of TP in stock. There seemed to be a dedicated employee restocking it as fast as he could.

At Winco's checkout line, I noticed this sign:

We went to Cash'n'Carry. It was quiet, peaceful, and fully stocked.

That was yesterday (Thursday). Today (Friday), things seem to be even more panicked, but we're staying home. It's too crazy out there.

And, just for chuckles....

So what's going on in your neck of the woods? Share your war stories.


  1. Here in Illinois, our govenor has closed all public and private schools until the end of the month. Next week is spring break for most of them but the week after will be a problem for some working families. My little valley is very peaceful and quiet - not in a panic at all. I have been hearing from some family members who thought I was totally nuts to be a prepper. They suddenly see that I might have a bit of wisdom that they need right now.

  2. Our little wal mart was all out of both toilet paper and paper towels. I wonder if the sheep have given a single thought as to what the paper towels will do to either their septic system or the sewage treatment plant? Also about 1/2 the caned goods were gone, and this is not even the weekend!

  3. My husband and I went into a local store here in Idaho he wears a mask because he has cancer and is immuocompromise. The girl working there became very hostile thinking he was sick with the virus. Of course after I told her he had cancer she apologized. But it made me think how quickly the situation could have escalated.

  4. My Walmart was out of toilet paper and most of their cleaning supplies (which I was not there to purchase). I took photos, paired them with sign about TP and common sense that Don had posted, and entertained many friends. One who returned a photo of "electric Toilet Paper" said both small towns near him had been hit by the city folks and were plumb out of tp too! Natokadn

  5. I came by to tell you that the WND piece you published yesterday was excellent.

    It's the same here. No TP, no sanitizing wipes, and many staples wiped out. The oddest thing I noticed was while out shopping was the subtle atmosphere of grabbing all one can "just in case." Mob mentality? No one is scoffing prepping now.

  6. I have plenty of TP, but stopped by my local Dollar General after work just to see what the situation was. The first thing I saw was a woman with a basket full of TP, stacked taller than she was. LOL! Curious, I wandered over to the TP aisle and to my surprise there was still some on the shelf, so I grabbed 2 packs of my favorite anyway. I'm not one to ever panic, but it's always good to have a little extra. I'm heading to El Paso this week to see my son, so I asked him if his stock was good. He has 1 pack, so I'll bring some more.

  7. Leigh, we have gone from life as somewhat normal to panic buying here in about two days (a very, very large state in the South/Southwest in an urban area). When I stopped by the store on Tuesday to get some dog food, things were relatively normal (I checked the TP aisle out of curiousity). When I went by on Thursday evening, lots of things were much more stripped: not only TP but canned goods. Yesterday morning, there were lines at 0530 throughout the store of people buying things. By 2000 in the evening a friend went into her local supermarket and everything was stripped.

    The Ravishing Mrs. TB and Nighean Bhean went to CostBox yesterday and their experience was similar to yours: crowded parking lot, crowds, employees directing traffic ("One TP package per customer, please"). My favorite picture from her trip is the cart with nothing but a case of toliet paper, 12 bottles of wine, and 4 boxes of wine. Preparing for Apocalypse indeed.

  8. Toilet paper, baby wipes and diapers, hand sanitizers and sanitary wipes, bottled water all completely gone at the bigger stores. I didn't look but son said canned veggies and a lot of frozen veggies ALL gone at his store.

    Pet food! Pedigree canned dog food gone. (Small cans. Still a lot of large cans.) Fancy Feast cat food VERY low. Friskies caned kind of low.Expensive stuff still in good supply.

    This all happened in just a couple of days. I was out Monday and though it was crowded for early on a weekday, there was no noticeable shortages. By Thursday it was a whole different story.

  9. I generally stay stocked up on everything. We could stay in for a long time and not suffer. People that I work with (healthcare) have stopped teasing me about being prepared! I am in Pennsylvania and the schools are shutdown and many activities postponed or cancelled. I have heard from others about empty store shelves and noticed that our local Dollar store was packed on my way home from work yesterday. I am so thankful to be a country person and able to take of myself and family as needed. Today I am canning 40 lbs. of chicken that I ordered several weeks ago. With my freezers and root cellar I don't have to worry about going hungry. As for toilet paper, I have plenty as well as common sense about what to do if I ever did run out. Everyone be safe and wash your hands!🙌

  10. I keep hearing that 20 million kids will not get a good meal now that schools are closed. I do not believe this. First I am sure that every "poor" child lioves in a household that gets food stamps. I know some people who get food stamps and they typically sell half their ration of stamps in the first few days of each month. They have priorities, usually beer and cigarettes but some buy drugs. I am also sure that there are children whose parents work but my parents worked AND where poor and I still ate at home. I think what is really going on is that the welfare lobby is using this crisis to ask for more free stuff.

    1. Before the virus millions of parents could have fed their children but shirked their responsibilities. Shortly ALL FAMILIES (except prepper families) will be hard pressed to find food no less afford it.

      Many store shelves (outside of the Redoubt) are already bare of oats, beans and rice. Try to buy these staples at online giants Walmart and Amazon. Even Azure Standard can't fill many orders today. Where will these families get food? The government? How have governments helped refugees in history?

      Montana Guy

    2. Actually schools are requiring employees to report to work to deliver meals (2 per day) plus school supplies and school work to students and any child age 1-18. This includes children open enrolled elsewhere, attending online school, etc. Our local school reported giving out 1000 meals today... way more than we have students.

  11. I usually go to Costco at 9 am on Saturday, and it's pretty empty. Two Saturdays ago I noticed it had gotten very busy by the time I was loading the car at 9:30. Yesterday when I arrived at 9:00 not only was the parking lot nearly full, but the store was only letting people enter in groups. At about 9:10 they rolled the door closed until the some in the first group could finish their trip and leave. I left without waiting.

    I have noticed store to store variation: one Walmart had not a single package of paper towels or TP out, but another one had a lot of both (that was getting heavily-hit by customers; most people had at least one package of each in their carts).

  12. Just wait until the Toilet Paper People come back for food. You can bet your Birkenstocks that FOOD RIOTS ACROSS AMERICA ARE IMMINENT.

    This is much more than a 'medical event'. Economic chaos is 'baked in the cake'. I have a lot of respect for truckers. Many have children at home. The safety of their children will come first, as it should.

    Montana Guy

  13. We did most of our shopping last Tuesday. No crowd and plenty of stock on the shelves. We just went for normal replacements of items we had used. Decided Thursday to make an unscheduled run to the little dairy for our milk and a couple more replacements and then to a local supermarket for others. No problems or crowds at any of the stores. My brother went shopping yesterday and reported an entirely different situation. Crowds and bare shelves at two different Aldis. He mainly went to see what has was going on. Schools in his area are on distance learning for the next two weeks at least and family members in other areas around here noted the same both with schools and shopping.

  14. I live in rural south eastern Arizona , went shoping about 10 days ago in Nogales , which is the closest city, everything was normal with out any shortages. Two days ago I received a call from a friend that lives in Sierra Vista who had just came home from trying to do her normal grocery shopping . All the store she visited were out of TP, paper towels,all cleaning supplies and most of the food she normally buys .I have no plans to go out and see what the stores here are like now , most likely the same as she experienced . I may be low on TP , but I have stacks of baby wipes and enough cleaning supplies and food to last quite a while . I do have concerns for my children in Cal, one is a prepper , but the other two have ignored my advice to have food insurance unless you consider a yr's worth of supplies for Latte's .