Foraging run completed

Today was grocery shopping day, which involves getting up early in the morning and driving 45 miles to the northeast and filling up the car with two weeks of food. The early is required to get there before there are any crowds; the drive to Alexandria is necessary because too many people in Morris don’t give a damn about masking up or social distancing. I suspect many of the people in Alexandria are just as bad, but at least we’ve found a couple of stores that actually enforce the policy to some degree.

Going early wasn’t as useful this time, I think because it’s so close to Xmas and everyone is stocking up. We hadn’t quite paced ourselves appropriately, though, and not only had we gone two weeks without fresh groceries, but our long-term supply of staples was getting low. The dried beans canisters were partially depleted, and we were completely out of rice. So we got it done today, and now the next time we have to go grocery shopping it will be the year 2021, when the hellscape of this year will finally be behind us.

Everything will be better, magically, in 2021, right? It’s not like we’re going to get into a new year and start fondly reminiscing over how much better off we were in 2020, are we?


  1. naturalistguy says

    Thankfully in the east metro hell hole known as Woodbury, both Costco and Trader Joe’s were strict about mask-wearing and the number of people allowed inside when I did our holiday grocery run last Sunday morning. Only had one quick stop at a Fleet Farm store where I saw people not wearing masks, even though there were signs posted that they were required and a table with free masks available. There is definitely a rural attitude about the coronavirus that’s both ill-informed and ill-mannered, no doubt because of both the right-wing media and conservative churches, certainly some of the more reactionary congregation members anyway.

  2. blf says

    I must admit I am happy I’m not faced with the dilemma poopyhead & Mary face — shop in local death-traps or travel quite a distance — in part because I don’t run a car anymore (I can drive, I just don’t bother with owning a car) and hence would have the added complication of “risking” public transport. (This is France, so despite being in a village, there is actually rather decent transport — until about 8pm, when it all goes poof! (A well-known “rural” French problem, nothing to do with the current 8pm–6am curfew.))

    Today was the local outdoors market day, so it was mostly a walking tour of the usual stallholders, getting both regular(-ish) supplies but also holiday goodies… It was sunny and warm(-ish), so only a light jacket was needed. And, of course, a mask — which almost everybody is wearing — hand sanitiser (which most shops and many of the market stalls are making available), but, unfortunately, mediocre-to-poor social distancing…

  3. says

    We did the big run last week. Thankfully we got a pass that allows us to shop at a wholesale supermarket. That’s not cheaper, but you get amazing quality when it comes to meat, and you get nice 5kg bags of pasta.
    Afterwards both fridges (though European fridges are about half the size of American fridges) and the freezer were full to the brim, now they are slowly getting empty again. Tomorrow morning Mr will go to Aldi early to get some fresh stuff, because I can’t let the kids go without cucumbers for two weeks. People are good with masks here, with an occasional dick nose, but not so good with distance.
    Though I noticed some interesting dilemma : you’re not supposed to hoard, but you’re also supposed to stay at home. But shopping for a family of four for a week plus two aged parents looks a lot like hoarding…

  4. says

    I am patronizing the only grocery store in my area that offers curbside pickup. I order online. I call them when I arrive. They come out and load groceries into my vehicle while I stand more than six feet away.

    I have to drive further to get to that store, but it’s worth it.

  5. aronymous says

    Once you get your vaccination, which I assume will be soon since teachers are high in the queue, you can start shopping in Morris again. Then you can fake a coughing fit to see how they’ll react.

  6. sc_262299b298126f9a3cc21fb87cce79da says

    You are still seeing bulk food bins? Empty or not? Stores here (Oregon) seem to have done away with just about any form of self serve — and I wonder if it will ever return.

  7. unclefrogy says

    the problem of masking and other measures being not taken seriously besides discouraged by the republicans for political reasons of trying to keep their voters (sheeple) separated my also be influenced by the more rural nature of peoples experience not being urban and things like that are not right next door. the belief that it can’t happen here. I am reaching aren’t I trying to make sense of behavior that just does not make any sense at all.
    I order some things on line and mys on does a combined order and drops my part off so I am doing the self-isolation thing pretty well. I have an appointment for an ATT upgrade in a few weeks that I am not looking forward to, I am not enthusiastic about letting a technician in to do the work
    I am looking forward to midsummer though with some hope.
    uncle frogy

  8. billseymour says

    I generally make a couple of runs to the grocery store each week, but everybody in the store is wearing a mask and, so far, I’ve been able to social distance from other shoppers.

    I’m fortunate that I can work from home, and I won’t be 75 until August, but I check the age and possible complications boxes for “Phase 1-C.”  With any luck, I’ll get my first dose of one of the vaccines some time in March.

  9. asclepias says

    Fortuately, the grocery store closet to me does curbside. Ordering is a bit of a bear, though. We’ve been having anything we need from Target shipped. And we’ve been doing our damndest not to use Amazon for anything!

  10. wzrd1 says

    Did my shopping yesterday, think from now on, I’ll do curbside pickup on online ordering.
    Everyone was masked, but my back was such a wreck that I barely got everything unloaded and inside.
    Annoyingly, there were only small loaves of sliced bread on the shelves and odd one-off shortages that are typical in these parts after a winter storm. They did manage to restock milk, so they’ll likely have bread by tomorrow… Need more milk, as my wife’s been on a milk binge lately… Thankfullly, she hates my 1% milk.

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I need to do a veggie/fluids to the grocery store. I’ve been held up by receiving a letter from IDES addressed to the Redhead’s ghost, where she was laid off from driving for Uber and filed for unemployment benefits. I’ve been frozen next to the phone waiting for the call-back from the fraud squad. Maybe tomorrow I can wake up early and get to the store just after they open a 6am, so I can be home by 8 am. Fingers crossed.

  12. Ridana says

    I think the rural resistance has a lot to do with the “rugged individualism”/”self-reliance” tropes. Farm people tend to feel like they’re pretty much on their own, only going to a doctor as required for school, for broken bones (usually, though as a teen I broke a finger and nearly tore off half the tip, but never got it set or stitched), or if there are clear enough indications that you will die in the next hour if you don’t seek medical treatment. Since most things do get better on their own, even if you could have suffered less pain or misery with treatment, that generally works out, and it doesn’t cost money that you don’t have to spare.

    There’s also a bit of fatalism in seeing disease as being a fact of life you can’t control, like the weather. Wearing a mask not only feels unnecessary, it’s childish, like fearing the dark. Accidents will happen, people will get sick, no sense fretting over every little thing.

    If Covid laid people out in 24 hours, or made them bleed like Ebola, it would be taken more seriously, but unfortunately it’s invisible enough to spread under the radar of traditional rural attitudes toward medicine and doctors.

  13. fergl says

    The new variant virus detected in Kent England is racing through the country. I hope this isnt a sign of things to come next year.

  14. davidc1 says

    @15 Nothing is racing in Kent ,all the roads and motorways are packed with lorries ,ho ho .
    Hope you are stocking up on pasta ,rice ,and other non perishables .
    Around the time the first Bluebells are out ,maybe the leavers will start to realise how much they
    have damaged the UK ,the stupid gits .

  15. tacitus says

    Well, our plans for a quiet self-isolating week before Christmas went up in smoke. I’m in the Plague Isle, er, the UK, for the holidays to look after my 90 year old parents after they went through a very trying second lockdown, and everything was going according to plan until my mom had a TIA at the breakfast table a couple of days ago. She’s currently none the worse for wear but, of course, she spent several hours in the ER afterwards, and we just got back from several hours of tests and consultations today.

    My parents did get their first vaccine dose last week, so hopefully, any exposure will at least be mitigated somewhat, but it wasn’t ideal. Kudos to the NHS though — professional and kind throughout and still give my mom the prompt treatment and follow-up needed to minimize the chances of a stroke despite the pandemic raging around us.

    Total cost of treatment — $8 for parking.

  16. davidc1 says

    @17 Have you seen the news ,Lufthansa is flying in 80 tonnes of fresh food because of all the hold ups at the ports .
    I can just imagine the the reaction of the gammon faced, two world wars and one world cup ,plus one referendum (if they have room on their T shirts ) leave voters .
    “Eighty years ago they were bombing us ,now they are suppling us with fruit and veg “.
    I think we are all going to laugh ourselves to death .

  17. PaulBC says


    Around the time the first Bluebells are out ,maybe the leavers will start to realise how much they
    have damaged the UK ,the stupid gits .

    No. They’ll blame it on someone else. (This isn’t specific to Brexit. It’s a universal principle.)

  18. davidc1 says

    @19 Hi ,glad your mom (see ,i spelled it like Americans do ,just for you) is doing ok .
    Always nice to hear non Brits saying how great the NHS is ,it would be a lot better if
    the fecking tories would sod off and leave it alone ,they hate it even existing ,and would
    love to replace it with an American style health care system .But they are too chicken to do
    that ,so they underfund it.
    @21 Yeah ,them immigants for example .

  19. PaulBC says

    and would love to replace it with an American style health care system

    Is that the pre- or post-ACA system?

    Granted, ACA has suffered a great deal over 4 years, but it still exists. A few important elements have wide impact, such as prohibiting denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions and allowing parents to keep children on their insurance until age 26. Republicans would still eliminate these popular measures if they could get away with it.

    I’m not going to pretend to know anything about ACA insurance markets, but is still out there covering open enrollment. I am fortunate to have great coverage with my employer (and I’d go from affluent to dead broke very fast if I had to pay for my daughter’s healthcare out of pocket).

    The “system” preferred by American conservatives (Mick Mulvaney came right out and said it) is basically “If you can’t pay, then it’s your own damn fault and you should just die.” We’ve never quite instituted that system in its entirety, but it’s not for lack of trying.

  20. tacitus says

    @22 davidc: Thanks for the kind words. I’m actually British but I’ve been an expat long enough to use the American vernacular and spelling most of the time, for the sake of common understanding. :)

    The most frustrating lie about the British NHS propagated by Republicans in the US is the whole “death panel” bullshit. While the NHS isn’t perfect, my 90 year old mum has had multiple ECGs and blood tests, spent three hours in A&E (ER) under observation, was given a next day appointment at a major regional hospital (in the middle of a pandemic) where she underwent X-rays of her carotid arteries, a brain MRI, and a consultation with a stroke specialist, and will get an appointment for a heart scan in the next few days.

    Admittedly, the quality of care can vary from region to region, and depends on the diligence of the doctors, but both my parents owe their lives to the NHS more than once over.

  21. davidc1 says

    @22 I mean the system where you get health insurance ,and if you have pre existing conditions ,you are shown the door .
    And where one cough sweet can cost $10 .And getting ill can result in going bankrupt .
    @24 ,Yeah British and Americans separated by a common language ,LOL