I hope this doesn’t bore you too much, but this is a detailed account of my current situation as I shelter in place during the Coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 is continuing to make inroads in Michigan; cases up to 20,346, death toll now at 959. The Governor has indicated that she will extend the “stay at home” order, and will make an announcement to that effect this afternoon.
“We know that it’s worked in other states that have been confronting this longer,” she [the governor] added, citing New York. “To the extent that we impact making fewer people have to go to the hospital or fewer lives lost, and shortening the amount of time that we’ll confront this as an economy, is better for everyone.”
It’s unclear how long the extension will be. The Michigan Legislature approved a 23-day extension of the state’s emergency declaration on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Gov. Whitmer said the state “is not close to the apex yet,” and staying home is the best tool to keep people safe.
On the personal front, I have mentioned before that I exclusively use grocery delivery, and I do not have personal transportation at the moment (which has turned out to be really annoying during this “stay at home” period.)
As the number of cases grew, and people were staying at home, two things happened:
1. Demand for grocery delivery grew tremendously;
2. Delivery persons quit their jobs because they fear catching the virus.
Both events are understandable.
As a result, all grocery delivery services in my area are severely backed up or unavailable. I placed my last typical grocery order from Meijer via Shipt a week ago, but no delivery windows have opened up. The same is true for Costco, Whole Foods, Kroger and Target. This is the message from Costco. Their 2-day service is now running 5-6 or more days. Also, many items are just not available.
I have some fresh fruit that will keep in the refrigerator for a while (apples and tangerines), some in the freezer, some canned, and quite a lot of dried fruit (dates, apricots, raisins, cranberries).
I will definitely run out of potatoes in the next few days, and I only have a couple of onions. Not much fresh veg. I have enough lettuce to make another salad or two, a few fresh tomatoes, green onions and carrots. Fortunately, I bought two dozen eggs before delivery ceased, so I’ll be okay there for a while. I have some fresh milk and cream, butter and cheese. I also have a package of thick cut bacon.
There’s frozen meat and fish. I am VERY happy that I froze several containers of roasted tomato sauce last summer! I dehydrated tomatoes and have those in my freezer, and some home made stock, as well as buckwheat flour, nuts and seeds.
I have an ample supply of rolled oats and 10-grain cereal, and got another 10# of bread flour, 5# of AP flour and a package of sprouted wheat flour from King Arthur before they ran out again. Also have cornmeal, cake flour, almond flour, white whole wheat flour and semolina. Plenty of yeast, baking soda, baking powder and cream of tartar, salt, white sugar and brown sugar, vinegars and oils/shortening/lard.
I have a good supply of dried whole and non-fat milk, dried buttermilk and some condensed milk, so I should be all set there. I even have a small supply of dried egg!
There is lots of rice, a few pounds of dried pasta, lentils, dried beans, split peas and couscous. Also canned beans, peas, corn and some tomatoes (not enough), tomato paste and pasta sauce. Plenty of tea.
Several large cans of chicken, and several cans of pasta in meat sauce, canned sardines, clams, smoked salmon and shrimp. Lots of condiments (plenty of ketchup!), spices and dried herbs, including granulated garlic, onion powder and garlic powder.
My strategy for the past week has been to order what I can from online sources to fill out the pantry. I ordered more coffee, peanut butter, honey and tuna packets from Costco, and a number of items from Amazon Pantry, like pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, salsa, dried potatoes, dried soup mix, shelf stable whole lactose-free milk, mayonnaise, crackers and tortilla chips. I’m eager to see what the shelf stable milk is like.
Items become available and unavailable quickly, and Amazon is limiting the number of certain items that you can order. Delivery times are extended; the Pantry order that I placed today is scheduled to be delivered April 30!
Almost forgot – I also got more dog and cat food, and I have plenty of paper products and cleaning supplies.
My suggestion? If you don’t have a stocked pantry and can get to the grocery store, now is the time to stock up, because it is better late than never, and most items will stay good in your pantry after this is over.
My one weak area was ability to obtain my pharmacy prescriptions. The pharmacy I have been using is not close to me and, as I said, I don’t have a car right now. Fortunately, I received a phone call this week from the pharmacy, and they advised that I could have my prescriptions mailed to me, if I so wished. I did so wish! In this regard, don’t be like me!