Essential goods in times of Covid19


As you are all aware, in the US of A, essential goods includes guns and ammunition. I think these are useful in killing the virus.

In SA where Ark lives you can’t go out to buy alcohol or cigarettes.

And here at home, among the goods considered essential for daily life is tobacco and alcohol. The who list can be found here. I must however add that I don’t trust this newspaper. It is what I would call gutter press.

I hope wherever you are, you are not missing on essential goods and services.


In other depressing news related to the virus, I read this doomsday post that basically says we are in for a marathon of self distancing, quarantines and economic hell for at least the next 18 months or when the laboratories working on a virus get one and it is wildly available all over the world.

What do you think? Is it too alarmist or should we think of reorganization of our lives in ways not imagined before.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

59 thoughts on “Essential goods in times of Covid19

  1. Arkenaten says:

    I reckon everyone is waiting for someone to blink first.
    We are up to 19 deaths – nothing in context but a jump of 5 in pone day which is the worst so far.
    Ramaphosa is yet make a decision whether to extend the lockdown.
    For some reason my gut tells me that while he won’t totally lift it he will relax it for a week and see what happens – and the rest of Africa will react accordingly.
    Our economy is rough as it is and the disparity between have’s and have -nots is a chasm.

    Small businesses like ours cannot survive indefinitely either, and the country simply does not have the infrastructure to support an unemployed nation.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Here, restrictions have been getting stiffer as we go along. If the cases increase, I am not sure what this govt will do but we cannot long survive under a lockdown. Even this partial lockdown is a mess.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten says:

        People are ingenious / sneaky and will find workarounds. One can only hope that they exercise all due precautions.

        I can envisage one positive outcome – a return to a lot more local manufacturing.
        The Chinese have almost wiped out many local businesses – our indigenous textile industry almost went extinct over a period of 2 years.

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        • makagutu says:

          On people being ingenious, when the government announced a ban on intercounty movement, people discovered they can use shortcuts that are not known by the cops until the media highlighted it and spoilt the fun.
          If it goes on for longer than 3months, that would be an outcome. Though for the building industry here, costs would go high. A lot of things are imported from China

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          • Arkenaten says:

            A lot of things are imported from China

            Maybe it’s time to address such issues?

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            • makagutu says:

              Steel will be hard to address. Maybe change the market.
              We can improve local production of floor tiles or import from Egypt. They make some very good tiles. Cement, paint we can meet local demand. Sanitary fittings could also be imported from different markets

              Liked by 1 person

              • Arkenaten says:

                Once the problem is acknowledged then recognised something can be done about it.
                We were having a similar discussion over dinner.
                It is truly unbelievable how much market share the Chinese have over a huge number or products.

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                • makagutu says:

                  I think the issue has always been cost. When buying in bulk, buying tiles from China is cheaper than locally manufactured tiles. So we need to invest bigly in cheaper power and raw materials. I can enumerate a list of roadblocks to local investment

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. john zande says:

    There will be waves. 1918 flu went around the world three times.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. judyt54 says:

    Unless this is one of those recurring and morphing viruses, the way the flu is, once it hits a population and those who get it, get over it, they now have an immunity to it.
    That means, once around the block, next time you get the folks who missed it the first time, and there’s an end of it.

    If it morphs every year or so, then yeah, there will be virus shots but still a lot of sickness.

    There will always be people who believe god saved them or the devil did this and gradually they will die out. Literally.

    You have to really consider what exponential means: take one sick person. Say he infects unknowingly 3 other people. Those three people, also unknowingly, pass along their new virus in a matter of a day or so, to three others. Each. Now we got twelve new cases in a day, 12 sick.
    on and on. In a week, before anyone even knows they’re sick, or contagious, and you can be up to 60K people.

    I guess it’s a balance of deciding how far to let it go, what damage is worse: dead people or hungry people.

    We have entire states here in lockdown, Canada has closed its borders, NYC is shut down (thank you Governor Cuomo), and even in small under populated states like ours, we are wearing masks, gloves, and have early store hours for the elderly. It does work.

    A lot of businesses have put people on what i guess would be called administrative leave, paid vacations, or work-at-home. Some, like Hobby Lobby, fired everyone and are just about out of business. Them, I don’t miss. Nasty people. What we seem to be doing is what we should do anyway, is take charge of ourselves, both personally and publicly, both as private citizens and as states and towns. Our choices. If we wait for Washington…

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  4. Barry says:

    Essentially any product found in a supermarket is considered “essential” as they are the only shops permitted to open, along with pharmacies and petrol stations. As supermarkets can sell beer, cider and wine (but not not spirits or liqueurs) , alcohol is available. Not sure about tobacco products. It’s illegal to advertise or display them, but I guess some supermarkets can supply cigarettes if the customer asks.

    As for guns, well, they are only allowed for recreational use and and pest control – most definitely not for self defence. So most definitely not essental.

    15 days in lockdown and the 4th day in a row of declining new infections. We now have more recoveries per day than new infections. It’s early days, but it looks like our government’s intent to eliminate the virus instead of merely “flattening the curve” is on track.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      I did read some article yesterday that NZ plans to eliminate the virus not just flatten the curve. I recall you said one of your major foreign exchange earner is tourism so what happens? Will you reopen borders soon?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barry says:

        That’s not going to happen. Some 20% of our foreign exchange comes from tourism and international students, but that is gone for now and possibly for years. Air New Zealand has just made 400 pilots and 1500 cabin crew redundant in an effort to stay afloat. Tourism employs directly a out 100,000 people and about a further 400,000 indirectly. Most of those are going to have to find new jobs.

        The border is likely to remain closed for some time. Only NZ residents can enter and they are now put into managed isolation for 2 weeks before being allowed to go home. I don’t think there’ll be a relaxation of border control until such time as a vaccination is available.

        Don’t know if there will be mass vaccination, or if anyone wanting to travel here will need prove they have been vaccinated. That was how it was decades ago for example when smallpox was common throughout the world but absent from NZ. We didn’t get vaccinated but anyone entering the country had to be.

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        • makagutu says:

          Our tourism is dead for the moment. It will take a lot of marketing to bring it back. And maybe it is an opportunity to encourage domestic tourism but I doubt people will have money to spend. In the short term many livelihoods will be utterly shuttered

          Liked by 1 person

  5. basenjibrian says:

    An ex-co-worker was whining on FaceBook that vape shops are not considered essential. I guess it is essential to pre-damage your llungs with unknown Chinese chemicals so you are better prepared to not-weather the virus.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ron says:

    Well, as many have discovered, political activism, inter-sectional gender studies courses and celebrity talk-shows have now become non-essential services.

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    • makagutu says:

      I see you don’t like celebrity talk shows.

      Like

      • Ron says:

        Let’s just say that they rank low on my list of essential items needed for survival. I recently watched a home video of Stephen Colbert attempting to fix a flat tire on his bicycle, but it was painfully obvious that he wasn’t quite up for the task.

        Robert Heinlein wasn’t kidding when he wrote the following observation in To Sail Beyond the Sunset:

        “But there seems to have been an actual decline in rational thinking. The United States had become a place where entertainers and professional athletes were mistaken for people of importance. They were idolized and treated as leaders; their opinions were sought on everything and they took themselves just as seriously — after all, if an athlete is paid a million or more a year, he knows he is important … so his opinions of foreign affairs and domestic policies must be important, too, even though he proves himself to be both ignorant and subliterate every time he opens his mouth. (Most of his fans were just as ignorant and unlettered; the disease was spreading.)”

        Without their studio audiences and big-budget production crews, they become less than useless.

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          That paragraph by Robert Heinlein is beautiful. I love it.
          I read an anecdote that we pay such busybodies a lot of money because most people are bored and they need entertainment. So without such distraction, they would literally go mad.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. We’re doing GREAT in the USA!!! Since 2016, America has been GREAT, again! Hell, the virus hasn’t even reached our shores yet! Our President is on fuckin’ top of this shit, man! He was preppin’ fer it since November and has had a FANTASTIC plan in place to protect us Americans from this harmful virus since that time. Thank God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost for our President! i LOVE him! What a fantastic fuckin’ guy!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Not alarmist…..I feel ”normal” life will not happen until cure or vaccine is developed & tested safe to use.

    At our age, time is running out for us anyway, so ”normal” may not ever come for us, & being in this position is a bloody nightmare.

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    • makagutu says:

      Yes, my friend. It is a bloody nightmare

      Liked by 1 person

      • So far, so good, none confirmed in my city at the moment. I wish I could count on it staying that way, but we’re all pretty much at home 24/7 unless we need food or meds. Dr. appointments are done by phone.

        Glad were loners at the best of times, so staying home, & not socializing is not an issue. It’s coming into fire season, so evacuations are a worry when things get hotter. No idea how those will be handled.

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        • Nan says:

          You’re in Canada, right? What part?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, British Columbia, mid province, 3 hours minimum by vehicle from the nearest larger city.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Nan says:

              If Trump gets re-elected and turns into the czar that he wants to be — and if something dire should happen to my other-half — I plan to move to Canada. I’m no spring chicken by any means so it would be a MAJOR undertaking, but there is simply no way I can see myself living under this man’s rule.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I don’t know how you’ve already survived 4 years!
                I know we’re not perfect, but at least we have a government who pulls together over a crisis, no matter what party, & they are making a huge effort for all of us..

                Like

              • makagutu says:

                Trump might be reelected. He will just drop bombs using drones like Obama did, tighten immigration and Make America Great Again. He may even serve a 3rd term

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                • Nan says:

                  PLEASE MAK! Don’t EVER put such thoughts into writing! It’s bad enough they occasionally float around in our lower consciousness, but to see them in print? Arrrggghhhh!

                  Like

                • Ron says:

                  He can’t serve a third term because the 22nd Amendment say no one can be elected to the office of president more than twice; and any changes to the constitution must be ratified by three-fourths (i.e. 38 out of 50) of the states. So if you can’t run for a third time, you can’t win.

                  Like

                  • makagutu says:

                    Can that amendment be challenged at the supreme Court? Can that court squash it? You have had a president serve 3 terms, was it before or after the amendment?

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                    • Ron says:

                      The two term rule was an established tradition from the beginning. However after FDR won four times it became codified in law. Hence the reason for the 22nd Amendment which came into effect after he died. And only Congress can repeal an amendment. SCOTUS can only rule on whether or not a law violates the constitution.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      I understand now

                      Like

                    • Nan says:

                      While there are laws in place that don’t allow a third term, I wouldn’t put it past Trump and his loyal lawyers to find a way around it …

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                    • makagutu says:

                      That’s my thinking too

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Ron says:

                      I don’t see how that would that be possible. The constitution prevents him from running a third time and the electoral college is constitutionally obligated to count only the votes cast for legitimate candidates. So unless Mr. Trump can persuade congress to pass an amendment that gets ratified by 75% of the states prior to 2024 (which I don’t see as being very likely) he’s limited to two terms.

                      Like

                    • Nan says:

                      Oh I totally agree that the likelihood … even the legality … of such a thing happening is next to impossible. Note: next to impossible. The actions this man has implemented contrary to the rules and standards in place do not allow me to be as assured as you.

                      Like

                    • Ron says:

                      To be honest, I have no idea what he’s done or what he’s up to — nor do I care. My life improved dramatically after I ditched the TV and newspaper subscriptions. First off, I became much calmer because I no longer worried about the things I couldn’t change. Second, it freed up a lot of time to pursue all those personal interests I’d been putting off before: reading, walking, gardening, biking, hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, music, etc.

                      In contrast, my next door neighbor, who’s financially secure and still in reasonably good health, has spent the bulk of his retirement years cooped up indoors engrossed in politics — mostly local — and only comes out to get groceries or cut the lawn. And on those rare occasions we happen to meet his conversation immediately turns to what’s going on with those “bungling idiots” at city hall. I once asked him why he didn’t run for office, given that he had all that free time on his hands, but he didn’t seem too interested in that idea. Like most people, he preferred complaining to taking direct action.

                      It wasn’t until I found myself held captive in a repair shop waiting room listening to CNN that I realized just how mind-numbingly idiotic television news had become. Five minutes of that abuse was about all I could handle before heading outside and go for a walk. Small wonder people are so wound up when they’re bombarded by that much negativity on a regular basis. It’s like having an open sewer flowing through your mind.

                      So my advice is to expunge that shit from your life and focus on what’s important to you.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      Ron I agree with you on the news.
                      Second to it was twitter for me. It felt like there was a demand to be enraged every day. There was always some reason to be angry. I quit and this days I have better ways of wasting time; reading, cycling, blogging and the occasional movie.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Nan says:

                      Actually, I keep abreast of the news to a fairly small degree. I mostly am involved with blog visiting and commenting. Of course, many of them are “news-slanted.” 😉 I check Google News (headlines) a couple of times/day and MAYBE read or glance at articles with particularly enticing headlines.

                      In the evening, while doing “Color by Number” on my i-Pad (meaning I’m somewhat distracted), CNN and MSNBC are on in the background so I get a sample of what’s going on from the liberal side. Around 8-8:30, I switch over to Roku and watch movies.

                      That’s pretty much the extent of my personal news gathering. Oh, and I glance at the headlines of our local newspaper, which aren’t much since we don’t live in a “metropolis.”

                      OK. So I probably shared more than anyone cared to know. Sorry.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      No problem Nan. I had an inkling you don’t do too much news

                      Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          Part of my work include site meetings and I have a site that is still live which I haven’t closed yet. I have just reduced the number of site meetings.
          I leave home in the evenings to go cycling.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. … should we think of reorganization of our lives in ways not imagined before…

    Yes, and I would’ve answered that way even before this coronavirus pandemic. Modern civilization, as currently constructed, is not sustainable.

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  10. jilldennison says:

    I roll my own cigarettes and order my tobacco, and so far I’ve had no trouble getting it. I can also buy wine and the grocery store, even though there may be no food available. So, I’m all set. Sigh.

    Like

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