COVID-19: Do we have enough food? Random thoughts on food supply and food waste as the world panics.
March 3, 2020
People are really in a panic regarding Covid-19. There are at least twice daily email updates it seems from upper echelon management about the policies and procedures. The most relevant item is that if one physician is potentially exposed to Covid-19 than that person has to be isolated for 14 days. So it seems prudent not to have physicians meet in large groups as we have to mobilize in case there is a real outbreak. We want to keep our physicians out of isolation. The reality is that if I get isolated, I’d probably just be surfing the internet and blogging and eating oatmeal and having a great time and getting paid. But it’s not good for patient care, as I can see up to 30 patients in a normal workday. I am a cog in a large efficient health care organization.
The recent studies, albeit new data is coming out every day, is that the pediatric population will likely be fine. We are just through the peak of a bad influenzae season and still with several more weeks to go. I am not stressed about my little patients. The data looks good that this won’t be a pediatric crisis. Who knows what is going to happen? I may be Dr. Plastic Picker the ocean plastic picking avatar/superhero, but I’m professionally a general outpatient pediatrician. I have to wait for Infectious Disease to tell us the policies and procedures.
So what can I do in the meantime? The world is coming to a standstill. My in-laws might have to cancel their upcoming trip to New York City, because what if they get stuck in New York? Or they get exposed there and then we have to be isolated because of them and can’t work? The Climate Reality Project Training was cancelled in Las Vegas due to Covid-19. I think it was meant to be because I’m not sure how much I would have learned there. I am worried about my in-laws as they are in the older age range which is harder hit, but we live in a stable western country with a running government and they have excellent medical care and full coverage. We have the best odds as anyone. I don’t even know if I can move forward with certain work projects, as we were thinking of organizing large vaccination campaigns but if we are not supposed to congregate in large groups than maybe I can’t even do that?
So instead of freaking out about Covid-19 and stressing unduly, I am thinking about our food supply. The nurses today at work mentioned that our local Costco was completely out of bottled water, toilet paper and hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. My in-laws were panicing because my sister-in-law in New York said the stores were out of rice. My in-laws went to the store over the weekend and said they found rice and bought a large bag. We already had a bag, so now we have two. What in the world are people doing?
There is a run on bottled water? We have a safe drinking water supply. You can drink out of the tap. Toilet paper? What if you run out of toilet paper? You can wash your delicate rear with soap and water and pat dry with a handtowel. Or better yet, maybe I should just get the bidet I’ve been meaning to get tomorrow? Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes???!!! Those things don’t work. I told patients today, just wash your hands with soap and water.
But food we do need. I’m not sure how Covid-19 would disrupt the food supply, but we do need food so I just walked around the house to make sure we had enough. We have three separate fridges and freezes that are mostly filled with food. I think we are going to make it people. Let me total for you what we have.
- Two Large 40 lb bags of rice
- Two Large Containers of oatmeal
- 10 boxes of pasta
- 6 jars of pasta sauce
- One large bag of turkey meatballs
- Two still green bunches of banana
- Four Costco Frozen Pizzas
- One Costco Bag of White Frozen Fish fillets
- Once Costco Bag of Salmon Frozen
- Two loaves of bread
- One Large Honey Bunches of Oats Box
- Half Large Sack of Beans
- Two cans of curry sauce to make Panang Curry
- One large cake of palm sugar from my friend Usa to make the Panag Curry
- Two large bags of frozen vegetables from Costco
- Half Jar of Cous Cous
- 100 bottles of single-use plastic water bottles (we had bought this months ago and stopped using them so have them in the garage for earthquakes ect)
- Lots of frozen bags of anchoives (don’t ask me why, this is my inlaws)
- Many many jars of Kimchi
- A Lemon Tree in the front garden with >60 lemons
- Lettuce that is filling the back garden planters
- Two bags of cookie mix
- One Box of Chicken Ravioli
- A large bag of dates in the freezer
- An entire cupboard of teas and coffee and sugar and creamer
- A large bag of kirkland green tea in the back refrigerator
- My in-laws have hidden peanuts in their room
- Fifteen boxes of Girl Scout cookie in grandparent’s room
- Two boxes of Thin Mints in my car
- An entire pantry of dried goods I have not catalouged
- Another entire fridge I have not catalouged
- Two pet bunnies (Bella and Peter) which if we were in starvation state and I could not find any other food, I would eat or feed to my dog. We love our bunnies but we love our dog more.
So that is it. Plus we live within two mile walk from my mother, and I know she also has a lot of food stock-piled away. We also live one block from a Sprouts grocery store. I am also a pediatrician and I think if we were in a catastrophy I could barter my skills for food. I think the bunnies will make it. So there you have it! My random thoughts on how much food we have to make it through this crisis.
I’m going to go to the beach to ocean plastic pick and clean tomorrow because the Covid-19 is a potential crisis, but the climate crisis is really happening now. I wish people would panic about that as well. The irony is all this panic about Covid-19 is actually making emissions go down. And I reminded some of the staff today, if you run out of bottled water – just turn on the tap. It’s better for you and the earth anyway. I will stop by the store and probably grab some dog food and maybe a bidet. If this crisis continues, I’ll definitely finally have time to make the Panang Salmon my friend Usa suggested to pair in with the two large 40 pound bags of rice we have.
Click here to read what I think my most humorous well written post on COVID-19 https://drplasticpicker.com/covid-19-social-distancing-is-like-bedrest-dr-plastic-picker-understands-but-this-time-you-stay-home-and-i-get-to-do-something/