As if Jeff Bezos isn't already rich enough. As someone who is at high risk because of a compromised immune system, I thought it might be a good idea to get a few N95 masks. Because local medical supply stores are out of stock I checked Amazon. While the prices are reasonable (pack of 20 for $99), they want $200 for shipping. I bought some luggage a couple of years ago and because my order was over $35 the shipping was free. So how is it that something that weighs less than a box of Kleenex costs $200? Could this be a way of avoiding charges of price gouging? Keep the actual price reasonable but kill on shipping? If this is the case than Mr. Bezos could not only be the richest person alive but possibly also one of the most contemptible.

DeForseti commented: Many talk about the second wave of the pandemic in the fall. Maybe it's not over yet +0
pcbuilderpro commented: Components make the lifeline of the PC's! We have listed all kinds of PC and laptop components so you can build your own PC with minimum efforts and v +0

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I see this made the news at

It's about the N95 masks. Here's a few pictures I took at the local supermarket. The same empty shelves were at Trader Joes for toilet paper, cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer.


That seems to be across the USA now. The hand sanitizer I understand but the TP? I can't find a news story to explain that one.

I managed to find a 3-pack of 3M masks on Amazon with semi-reasonable shipping. Fortunately there are no known cases on the Canadian prairies just yet. Even so, my wife and I (by choice) aren't very sociable. We both don't like crowds. Growing up on 30 acres probably had a lot to do with that. Once we get into May we head to the lake, and there we really only see people every three weeks or so when we go into town for groceries. We're a lot less likely to catch something than those who bump elbows in pubs & clubs. It also helps being retired. No workplace transmission.

TP is easily explained. If you are going to be quarantined in your residence, either self or imposed, you want to make sure you have enough TP to last for the 14-21 days you will be isolated. If you run short of peas you can eat corn. What do you do if you run short of TP?

Do you really want me to answer the TP question? If you insist, sure.

I'm in San Diego with friends in Canada, England etc.

  1. San Diego AT&T stores shut down for deep cleaning as an employee tests positive for COVAD-19.
  2. Asian food restaurants in Vancouver (well Richmond B.C.) have no waiting for a table. Urban Myth that you can get the virus there.
  3. There are little to no hand sanitizer bottles at stores in San Diego and Vancouver.
  4. Costco ran out of toilet paper in Omaha Nebraska and here in San Diego.

Yes that's only a few cities but I'm hearing similar panic buying and spooked herd behavior in many cities.

And yes, Amazon the online retailer is out of a lot of items with price gouging replacements filling in. I hope folk don't buy when it's a price way out of line.

I came across this recently

A quick check by MarketWatch late Wednesday found a 20-pack of N-95 masks selling on Amazon by a third party for $174, “discounted” from $250. Under normal circumstances, such a pack costs around $15. And a pack of 12 8-oz bottles of Purell hand sanitizer that would typically cost around $20 was listed by a third party for $388.

This just in. Sorry folk, I won't give up links or vet this.

USA stockpile of N95 masks: 12 million.
Surgical masks (better than nothing?) seem to be about 30 million.

So if health care workers use one mask a day that's a two day supply. More at

This just in:

  1. 350 hospitals workers exposed to COVID-19 but are not sent home because "the heavy volume of cases scotched plans to furlough workers who had been potentially exposed to the virus."
  2. Nursing homes are having outbreaks. and others.
  3. Medical Screeners at airports such as LAX have contracted COVID-19. "They are assuring us we are safe. If we were safe, screeners would not be getting sick."

This is not contained. The view I see is the US Gov is unwilling to take the actions required.

the US Gov is unwilling to take the actions required

The people who know what they are doing have either been fired or muzzled and the agencies have been gutted to pay for the tax cuts. Of course, when the prez lies on the average 16 times per day the media no longer calls him on and new lies (like they ever really did) so it's far easier for him to just say "it's contained" than to actually take action. The White House recently prevented government health officials from recommending that elderly people be advised against flying on commercial airlines. It's more important for Trump to keep the economy going than to protect people, at least until after the election.

Regarding the media no longer calls on him, part of that is a new rule where "Reporters were barred from recording video or audio footage during Monday afternoon's White House press briefing."

This is in the news so no links from me. Said video and audio barring appears to be extending to meetings with all party members, their leader and is only allowed when they say so.

@RJ. Yes I know "the people who know what they are doing have either been fired or muzzled ..." Scary. Be safe.

We have two freezers that we always keep stocked as well as a lot of dried goods. Not expecting the end of the world as we know it. We just wait for a sale then buy in bulk and we make just about everything from scratch. Lots of toilet paper (we always keep that in stock) and I have a 3-pack of N95 masks (I'm immuno-compromised) for when the virius hits Winnipeg. Also we don't go out/socialize that much to begin with. Our idea of a good time it to hit the x-country ski trails (the fewer people the better). Once we get to mid May we head to the cottage and see even fewer people. Just once every three weeks or so when we go to town to shop. So far the closest reported cases are in Minneapolis (650 ish km away).

The article raises a lot of questions like why didn't they give them to hospitals or PEOPLE before they expired? The article does ask.

Jim asked what the situation here is.

I live in the dutch region with the most issues. Companies are requested to let people work at home as much as possible. Some schools are already closed just as a precaution. Most major public events are affected, soccer games are played without supporters, concerts are being cancelled. The pope will not get Dutch flowers this year at the urbi et orbi... Stockpiling has begun, food and masks and such. About 400 infections and 4 dead I think.

If you have the symptoms, you cannot visit your own physician. If you think you are infected tests will have to show so. Regional/national health institute has to do that, but tests are already queueing up.

With symptoms it is expected you quarantine yourself at home for two weeks. So yes, over the last month we've acquired enough to last quite a while.

Some webshops are already rationing products to prevent excessive hoarding.

2018 - Trump fires Tom Bossert (Homeland Security adviser) after he called for a biodefense strategy to deal with pandemics. Within weeks, John Bolton disbands a global health team led by Timothy Ziemer. Dr. Luciana Borio (NSC director for medical and biodefense preparedness) resigns that May and is not replaced.

2020 - Trump cuts CDC funding my 10% and HHS (Health and Human Services) by 12% as well as a $30 million emergency fund created by President Obama especially to deal with just such a crisis as Covid-19.

commented: Today: "White House ordered coronavirus meetings classified." +0

Winnipeg (my city) has its first confirmed case.

commented: "Foreign virus" - DJT March 11, 2020 +0

Getting tested in the US could cost up to $1300 if you go to the ER. And if you are put into isolation that may cost you thousands more. With so many Americans lacking adequate health coverage, and medical bankrupty being so high, what are the odds that many people will forego testing, making the spread of Covid-19 even more likely?

commented: Are you taking wagers? +0

My wife said I should listen to today's announcements.

Google was mentioned yet they didn't know what he was talking about. Read:

Trump said that Google has 1,700 engineers working on the project.

I saw the flow chart and immediately thought "1,700 engineers?" I felt like Superintendent Chalmers and the Aurora Borealis who asks "Can I see it?"

The German newspaper Welt am Sonntag has reported that the Trump administration offered the German biopharmaceutical company, CureVac $1 billion to procure the U.S. exclusive rights to a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

How is everyone doing in their neck of the woods?

@Dani. I got chicken. Really. Went to Trader Joe's just after 9AM (their new opening time) and was able to finish my shopping list.
Here's shots from my usual(?) Sunday shopping.
Photos. No Potatoes.

The checkout person said all employees arrived at 4AM to stock shelves for the 9AM opening. It wasn't fully stocked but I'm good for a week or so now.

@Reverend Jim. Remember Sliders? That Fever episode? Recap at

I have a close friend that wants to visit from Canada next week. I hope they can put that off for now.

I've seen Sliders but don't recall that episode. We've been careful going out (gloves, distancing, etc). We are always prepared. Not for a crisis, just because we usually keep our freezers stocked up. If it's on sale we buy a lot and freeze. Got vegetables, pork loins, ground pork, chicken, tuekeys and ham in there. And the fixins for home made soup. Not to mention home smoked bacon and cheese. Had to make sure we also had enough dog & cat food to last a while.

We have 7 confirmed cases in Manitoba. Schools are being closed and speculation is that in Ontario they will remain closed until September. There is a push for the government to fund more day care spaces so parents won't have to take off work. So... keep the kids out of school so they won't be exposed to other potential carriers but put them into day care facilities. I wonder how all this will affect tax season?

Isolation works. The paper at shows this is not about stopping a virus but flattening the curve so hospitals are not as swamped.

The curve is pages into the document but let's say the isolation drops the peak by 2 to close to 3 times the max. That will save a lot of lives.

so parents won't have to take off work. So... keep the kids out of school so they won't be exposed to other potential carriers but put them into day care facilities.

That will all change soon. You’ll be on the same trajectory we are in terms of mandatory work from home for the past two weeks, and now we are in day two of government-mandated 24/7 lockdown.

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