Our first blow from the coronavirus

42

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
We don’t rely on paid advertising to fund our website and daily newsletters. It helps, but it’s not our main source of income. The Google ads that you see on our site are far more important, as are the commissions from products we promote on Amazon.com.

Fully a third of our support now comes from our voluntary subscribers, who we call our members. Without their pledges, I would be very worried right now about paying all our bills.

HERE’S WHY
We signed up another advertiser to begin on March 1. It was a modest campaign, and not a huge boost to our income. But all our income, no matter where it comes from, goes into a pot, and we use that to pay our salaries, our freelance writers and all our operating expenses (our server rent and technical support alone costs about $2,000 a month). Most months, we come out with a modest profit.

But like most businesses we are concerned now about the economy. Will the coronavirus (COVID-19), either through the people it infects, or through fear of it, send the economy into a serious decline?

Our new advertiser was excited about exposing his product to our readers. It’s manufactured in China. Friday morning, he received an email from the manufacturer there saying the company had cut back on production because of the virus. He said he could no longer supply our new advertiser in a timely basis. It was not, then, a good time for him to begin advertising. And so he cancelled, which makes perfect sense. We would not expect otherwise.

Already, RV manufacturers are talking about difficulty getting parts for RVs they are building or replacement parts for RVs in use. That, many people expect, will get worse. As is, the average time to repair an RV when brought into a service center (most often an RV dealer) is 21 days. Without available spare parts that repair time frame will almost certainly stretch a lot longer.

We will keep you informed of what’s happening and how it relates to you and your RV. In the meantime, if you read this newsletter on a regular basis and have not yet voluntarily subscribed, we would certainly appreciate your support at any level. Learn more here.

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

42 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Susan From KC
2 months ago

Anybody in need of an honest, fast and only and always a well done repair at a reasonable price check out Abe Thompson Service Center in Oak Grove, Missouri. You won’t be disappointed. He works on any make or model trailer or motor home.

Dick
3 months ago

Best wishes Gary Bunzer for a speedy recovery!!

Cheryl Ernst
3 months ago

We are planning to spend the next few years in our 5th wheel traveling across the country. How is this virus going to affect this type of travel?

livingboondockingmexico
4 months ago

It’s always the extreme in anything we do. Now, one group says we’re not going to have a pandemic and the other side is running to buy up food on the grocery store shelf. No one has any clue what is going to happen with this virus. H1N1 nearly destroyed Mexico’s tourist economy and end of it all, there were 12,000 deaths worldwide. We took precautions. You never know. Don’t walk around with your heads in the sand. We’ve only been industrialized for 150 years so time is relative. Be smart, follow the safety precautions, have the necessary foods and water on hand. Doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Les Reid
4 months ago

We should always be worried about thee imbalance of trade with China not counting all the other reasons. If we buy made in america as often as possible we benefit the US in many ways. Bringing manufacture back is now highlighted by the current supply chain with it’s possible interruptions. We can never be compensated for inconvenience. Always remember the benefits assumed by low price are long forgotten when problems arise. This is true in everything.

Monty
4 months ago
Reply to  Les Reid

The theory of comparative advantage: if one country is better at producing one product, while another country is better at producing another, each should devote its resources to the activity at which it excels. They should trade with one another, rather than erecting barriers that force them to divert some resources towards activities they do not perform well. Tariffs, according to this theory, are a drag on economic growth, even if they can be deployed to benefit certain narrow sectors under certain circumstances.

alvin.e
4 months ago

I had in mind writing about the 18,000 flu deaths and the 310,000 flue hospitalizations – but, CandiceB wrote it much better than I could.
Yes, there is the outcry about that. Corona is just a “relative” to the flu virus.

Richard Getz
4 months ago

It’s a shame we have to rely on China for so many things. One day, we’re gonna need to rely on other country’s for food, If we keep destroying our farm land. It’s a shame we don’t have much ingenuity make things here and how to make it cheaper. We rely on China to much, and those workers really don’t make a fair wage either. But that’s ok to our business people here, they don’t really care as long as it’s cheaper, plus they really don’t care about the quality.

Livan_Life
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard Getz

Sadly our country already relies on other countries for our food as well as medicines.

Hook-n-Haul
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard Getz

Years back I went on a buy Made In American Only campaign. It didn’t last long. The supply of American made goods dwindled as manufacturers moved off-shore and foreign labor, being less costly, resulted in cheaper goods flooding the American market. Cheaper in two ways; price and quality. I will purchase Made In America products when they are available and don’t object to the higher cost. If all American consumers and manufacturers would get back to buying Made In The USA products and supplies it would 1) support our country’s economy, 2) insure better quality is insisted upon and 3) prevent disruptions to the supply chain. How asinine is it that, in a time of medical crisis, the most powerful nation in the world has to rely on a foreign adversary to supply so much and so many of our needed medicines? Please pledge to buy American and keep America independent. MAGA

Monty
3 months ago
Reply to  Hook-n-Haul

I think it’s more important to BE American than to BUY American. BEING American means exercising the liberty of choice in purchasing goods and services.

Rob
4 months ago

There are moisture meters you can purchase from Amazon to test the walls and ceiling for rot.

Rob
4 months ago

Chuck, I am so surprised a guy who writes articles about the RV industry and has all these RV experts contributing to your website wouldn’t have checked the seals on your roof or had someone check such seals ever few months. This would be considered a part of maintaining one’s RV. Maybe this can be a lesson for others. I recently sold our 1993 Gulfstream 5th wheel. I was the second owner and the first owner was absolutely a maintenance expert. This RV never leaked and the 4 years I owned it I covered it every winter with a $200 breathable cover and every month climbed up on the roof and check all the seals around everything, Hope it all works out for you Chuck, and your right it could be expensive depending on how long it’s been leaking. I restored a 1991 truck camper that I received basically for nothing back in 2018. It was thought it had leaked just on the overhang but after I started working on it I found rot in 60% of the unit. Spent over 150 hours fixing it. I posted about the process o my website. http://brainrattle.info/1999-frontier-truck-camper-rebuild-2018/

Cheers

/ rob

CandaceB
4 months ago

Stay calm. Use hand-sanitizer.

An excellent and commonsense article on the CoronaVirus appeared last week in the Los Angeles Times. It’s titled “How deadly is the new CoronaVirus?” and it’s written by a reporter with a Master’s degree in public health. You can read it here. https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-02-11/how-deadly-is-coronavirus-fatality-rate

As for the stock market. I’ve already told my financial adviser to look for bargains. I was starting to worry that the market couldn’t go up much further. Now that it’s taken a dip, it’s time to buy (and you can bet the super rich are doing just that).

Scott Sparks
4 months ago

One thing you can think about doing to try and discover how bad any rot or moisture penetration is in the wall or ceiling is to look and see if you can find a place to drill a hole in the wall or ceiling that you can hide later. Then take a paper towel and roll up a small piece and stick the end in the hole. Of course make sure you only go part of the way in the wall. This can be as small as an 1/8″ or so. If it comes out wet or very damp you have found part of it. If you do find water or moisture see if you can drill more holes lower down to drain as much as possible. Any water or moisture you can get out will help minimize the issue. Hope this helps.

DAVID QUINN
4 months ago

This is just one of the reasons we need all manufacturing back in the states.

Sonny
4 months ago
Reply to  DAVID QUINN

Ross Perot was spot on back in the day and Trump is the only one who has attempted to fix this traitorous act

cee
3 months ago
Reply to  Sonny

Please explain how Trump fixed anything by having China manufacture his ties?

CandaceB
4 months ago

The clickbait-driven news media have created an unwarranted panic over the Coronavirus that is costing governments and businesses billions. Standard flu causes anywhere from 12,000 to 80,000 deaths every winter here in the US and an estimated 250,000 deaths worldwide. (Look it up. ) Where’s the panic with that?

It’s understood here that flu can be deadly for those who already have underlying illnesses, like pneumonia, bronchitis, AIDS, emphysema, etc. Plus 70 percent of those hospitalized with flu are 65 or older, so old age is a risk factor.

Like with the flu, most people with Coronavirus get a mild case and recover without seeing a doctor. In fact, I’ve already heard a report that it could actually be less deadly than flu.

That said, China is a poor country where cultural practices in handling food and slaughtering animals, along with poor hygiene, are likely to lead to new outbreaks of strange viruses. Companies that base their manufacturing there will continue to risk disruptions.

So ride it out. Stay calm. Use hand sanitizer. Coronavirus will be off the front page in weeks and the nutty “news” media will have moved on to the next bombshell, crisis, catastrophe, etc., swearing that THIS TIME the apocalypse really is upon us.

Greg Jones
4 months ago
Reply to  CandaceB

Candace, this is not the flu. Early, and it is early, indications are about 3x the communicability and 10x to 20x the mortality rate of the Flu. Mortality is less than SARs, but communicability much higher. The percentage of these that survive needing ICU care is also very high.

I live in the town in Oregon that announced last night they have a case of community spread… Worker at an elementary school… The school is shut down for cleaning, all weekend events in the town are canceled. This is not hysteria, but prudent as we still don’t know what we are dealing with.

If you run the current math, and the infection is indeed wide spread, each of us will know about 20 people that have died from it. DO NOT RUN THAT NUMBER UP THE FLAG POLE!!! The point is, that it’s still fairly unknown and nothing to mess with.

I hope you are right about it being gone in a few weeks, but that sounds like it came from a political press conference, not the WHO or CDC… Hope for the best, but plan for the worst… it’s an old Boy Scout thing…

CandaceB
4 months ago
Reply to  Greg Jones

Greg, in order to “run the current math” you have to be certain that your numbers are accurate, and we won’t have reasonable numbers on exposure for months and months. Meanwhile every politician, WHO/CDC official, and so-called expert is getting his/her 15 minutes of fame. We’ve already been through this with AIDS, Ebola, SARS, MERS, H1N1, etc. Haven’t we learned anything? “Each of us will know 20 people who have died from it?” I’m sorry, but that’s just absurd.

Early in an epidemic mortality rates skew high because we’re seeing the sickest people first – those who are hospitalized or see a doctor. What you can’t know is how many never seek medical treatment because they simply recover at home or have symptoms so mild they don’t even know they have the disease, and that could be hundreds of thousands of people. Once you have better numbers on exposure – which will takes months and months – the mortality rate drops.

Another factor affecting mortality is environment and the availability of medical treatment. Areas where people are poor and live cheek-by-jowl in unhygienic conditions will fare far worse than where people practice better hygiene, are spread out, and have better access to health care. Tropical diseases that often come up through Mexico never spread more than 5 miles across the U.S. border for just that reason.

A very good article on the CoronaVirus appeared last week in the Los Angeles Times, written by a reporter with a Master’s Degree in Public Health, not just a degree in “journalism.” It’s titled “How deadly is the new CoronaVirus.” You can read it here. https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-02-11/how-deadly-is-coronavirus-fatality-rate

Monty
4 months ago
Reply to  CandaceB

Until I see people dropping like flies around me, I’m going to do live my life.

White Rabbit
4 months ago
Reply to  Greg Jones

“This is not hysteria…”

Really???

Alvin
4 months ago
Reply to  CandaceB

I agree with Candace B completely.

We’ve lived through a plethora of virus’ that were said to end life on this earth as we’ve known it and most of us are still here,

in fact if you look at burgeoning population numbers, we should be a whole lot more worried about the impact population has than a virus killing a few thousand from the 7,5 BILLION currently trying like crazy to made this planet inhabitable.

I’m not poo pooing COVID-19 in the least, I’m just trying to put the hysteria into perspective with what has gone on it the past and highlight seemingly more important issues ( seems a new virus disaster every year pops up) to balance the reality.

Another point rarely ever mentioned are the deaths from HAI’s, Oh, you don’t know what an HAI is? Well learn more about Hospital Acquired Infections and prepare yourselves to be real scared,

The numbers are growing every year from HAI’s – so media where are you on a health situation few know anything about – which kills tens of thousands every year in North America ???

If COVID-19 kills as many people it’ll be labelled a pandemic!

Greg Jones
4 months ago
Reply to  CandaceB

Believe me when I say I hope it’s gone in 3 weeks and things are back to normal.

But… BUT… you can not look at a virus and say the last one didn’t get us, so this one won’t either…. So any argument along these lines are a false equivalency… and are not relevant. ” just absurd.” only time will tell, but I certainly hope it is an absurdity. Unfortunately, neither of us know and it will be very hard for the US to take the measures China did if those are required to contain things. Right now the states are responding… not ideal.

Pushing panic is just as bad as pushing complacency, IMHO. Historically the WTO and CDC have not been driven by the prospect of “15 minutes of fame, better fact check anyone pushing that prospect. The point of the dire math projections was again, perspective… My background is science and Tech. You do the math with the best numbers you have to understand the “space” you are dealing with. This helps form the appropriate response…

We will have to “ride it out” there’s no other option. What does that mean in this case? Could you shelter in place for 3 weeks if needed?

So yes, all the precautions you would take in Flu/Cold season. Those “extras” that make sense, be vigilant and aware. Be calm and deliberate and do your best to work off good information.

BTW, think we had the first US death today… here’s a place to check if you want to track what’s happening, assuming it stays current.

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Alvin
4 months ago
Reply to  CandaceB

“Use hand sanitizer” probably good advice for those who do not employ top drawer sanitary habits or are to lazy to do so.

A broadcast duo on a morning radio program in my town start the day off with a question of the day. A while ago it was “How long does it take you to wash your hands after using the toilet”
An early caller said he takes at least 15 seconds to wash his hands after using the restroom. That started a tsunami of comments from the radio guys and follow-up readers. Almost everyone proclaiming that 15 seconds was absurd! (to long)

In my world 15 seconds doesn’t get the soap lathered to the point I start to remove it thoroughly with warm running water. My observations among men – is that about 6 out of ten do not wash their hands at all. A high percentage of the rest just wave their hands under a running tap and dry off in seconds, doing nothing to kill germs. ZERO!

Lazy people, spreading germs – the outfall of what’s going on today killing thousands annually does not surprise.

Ron B
4 months ago
Reply to  CandaceB

Excellent article. It’s too bad that positive news doesn’t sell newspapers.

David Koch
4 months ago

The entire World supply chain is disrupted. Major international airports are telling people to take a leave of absence without pay. Flights are canceled all over the World. Even Amazon has suspended all travel – both international and domestic. Investors are removing buy orders and keeping in place all stop-loss orders. Once the markets start to tumble on Monday, there is a good chance that trading will be suspended as it was on 911. The first two cases of the virus showing a positive test in dogs in the U.S. was reported this morning.

Greg Jones
4 months ago
Reply to  David Koch

Oh Crap…

Alvin
4 months ago
Reply to  David Koch

I wonder if knowing a couple dogs tested positive for COVID-19 will make those who share their ice cream, and spaghetti & meat balls et al with the fur pal stop to consider – just curious!!!!

Monty
4 months ago
Reply to  David Koch

The entire world supply chain? Hmmmm.

Montgomery Bonner
4 months ago

It’s called the supply chain. We are to blame for this, why. in the mid 80’s the government allowed business to move production and workforces to china to cut costs and “supposedly be more competitive on costs”, let read CEO and managerial salaries, not workers making more profit. Capitol ONE had a huge call center on the NE area. They closed it, move that call center to Asia, and 6000 Americans lost their job, to this day I won’t ever use Capitol ONE for anything except trash. The RV industry is like all the rest, suppliers moved manufacturing to China, and now that 680 million Chinese are not allowed to go to work, parts are not being made, nor shipped here. This could last for months maybe even a year or longer depending on the disease. So that 1 year warranty means nothing, because even though you may have appointments for service work, if no parts, no repairs, and when the warranty expires, no obligation to fix you rig. I am facing the same thing, mine runs out in June, so early apt in June for repairs, but, by that time rolls around, their may be no parts to fix the things broken, and I would imagine the company might not care about good will to fix it after. Welcome to our world, xxxxxx (Bleeped by editor. Please leave politics out of comments.)

Alvin
4 months ago

Totally agree. Just another reason and one hell of an important reason to support the President as he attempts to return America to America. We could all contribute some to that effort by buying stuff bought at home – and simply STOP buying anything from a DOLLAR STORE- nothing but a branch of the massive Chinese retail invasion.

Monty
4 months ago
Reply to  Alvin

And what happens when the USA is hit by a pandemic? No goods will be manufactured here,

Brian M
4 months ago

This coronavirus situation is extremely concerning. Apart from the illness itself the economic havoc on all kinds of supplies and inventories around the world will be devastating and nobody has any real idea to what extent and for how long. Having watched the POTUS presentation on how the White House and it’s minions are dealing with the situation may be putting the lives of many Americans (and others), at risk and is not reassuring to say the least especially when the POTUS reportedly declared the coronavirus a “Democratic hoax”. Of course this is from the same person who declared that climate change was a “Chinese hoax”.

Alvin
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian M

Brain M. I will not attempt to settle your discomfort of the President,
What I will ask is that you check out the numbers who die every year in America from HAI’s, which has nothing to do with POTUS.

Of course you’ll agree with me that if the corrupted lady would have won the game, there’d be no “economic panic”, there’d be no devastation, there’d be an aurora of peace over the entire earth, topped off by health care providers shutting down hospitals and medical centers for lack of patients to fix – YA!!!

Sonny
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian M

POTUS is correct in his HOAX comment , just like he was correct in the Russian HOAX, The Impeachment HOAX . FYI – Every election year has a disease
2004 = SARS
2008 = AVIAN
2010 = SWINE
2012 = MERS
2014 = EBOLA
2016 = ZIKA
2018 = EBOLA
2020 = CORONA

Cooper
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian M

I thought politics was to be left out of discussions……………….

EG Willy
4 months ago

Expected outcome when the powers that be contracted most of manufacturing and supply chain to China starting in the early 90’S.

This too will pass.

tom
4 months ago

Entire China supply chain is disrupted, many will be affected. It is going to hurt the World. Having a top down government control over everything does not allow for discussion or alarm that may upset the “every thing is under control” as projected from the top.

Danny Evans
3 months ago
Reply to  tom

Your point is right on.