Dear RV Shrink:
We don’t have enough storage space in our RV to stock up on food and supplies during this pandemic. My husband has a boatload of medical issues and we are social distancing to the extreme. The park we’re in is not too crowded, but people must think we are anti-social. We only go out at night to walk in the dark for exercise. We still see people socializing 6 ft. apart, but those activities still make us uncomfortable.
We left one park because so many of the other residents were still attending church services and other functions a few times a week. They stopped letting additional RV travelers in the campground, but somehow found congregating at events non-threatening.
Our biggest concern is stocking up on supplies each week. I do not want to bring any virus home from the store to my husband. What are others with limited storage doing? —Storing Stores in Sarasota
Did your mother ever say to you, “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?” That was a parental lesson that can definitely pay dividends today. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, or what they think about you – protect yourself.
No one knows how this whole story is going to end. We may all be forced to jump-start the economy before food riots begin. I just saw a story highlighting 5,000 families lined up at a food bank in Texas. I have to say, I always wondered what would happen if we had a near-depression in this country in this day and age. Unlike the last one, the majority of the population thinks milk comes from a store. Many have no idea a cow is involved in the process. So here we are – I am getting all my questions answered as this pandemic unfolds day after day.
But let’s get back to your basic question. You don’t have to jump. You don’t even have to get close to the edge of the cliff. My wife and I are perfectly healthy but, like you, we choose to be “anti-social.” We have been using online grocery shopping. Walmart has a user-friendly site. You order what you want, put it in your cyber basket, select a date for pickup, pay and show up. We pop the trunk, the groceries are deposited and off we go. You may not get everything you order, but otherwise it is a smooth operation.
We are suspect that store management might be getting rid of soon-to-expire produce by passing it on to “trunk poppers” like us, but that’s a small price to pay for safe shopping. On our last pickup, we couldn’t get milk even though there was a segment on the news that dairy farmers are dumping their milk on the ground. This is no different than the example I used last week about having over-abundant oil and possible gas shortages. Supply chains are no different than food chains – break one link and the whole process falls apart.
It is not time to panic – it is time to get creative. Even if the country opens back up for semi-normal business, it doesn’t mean you have to. I used to have a Master Sergeant in the Marine Corps who always said, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” Seems everyone has a theory right now – just concentrate on your own actions.
Give drive-by grocery shopping a try. You may never go back to wrestling your way through a grocery aisle again. And don’t worry about what others are doing – this virus has many more questions than answers at this point. The best way you can protect yourself and your husband is to become RV hermits until this whole mess blows over. If you get bored, consider the alternative. It is much better to be a social misfit than a statistic. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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