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Plague Diary 2: Empty Shelves

It’s Bad All Over: The Above Picture Is From the UK

Last night I called my friend Bill Korn, who warned me that the supermarket shelves are likely to be all picked over by hoarders. As I do my main food shopping on Monday, I started the day with apprehension. I woke at 7 am to get to Ralphs Supermarket (owned by Kroger) by the 9 am opening time. When I arrived, I had trouble finding parking, could not get my hands on a shopping cart (except the one they always have on hand with square wheels), and found very little of what I was looking for.

Fortunately, I was able to find some ground turkey—seconds before the hoarders descended on it. Then I joined the checkout line that wound up and down the store aisles.

Later, I stopped at Trader Joe’s on Olympic Boulevard and found a similar situation, though the well paid staff was much better at restocking the shelves.

The dish I prepared was a non-spicy keema consisting of the ground turkey, various Indian spices, and a selection of frozen vegetables from my freezer. If this situation prevails over however many weeks the plague restrictions are in effect, I will have to be highly creative in my cooking. It’s already difficult to cook for Martine and myself because there are relatively few dishes we can agree on. It’s like the Mother Goose nursery rhyme:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
But, together both,
They licked the platter clean.

Rather than fight with Martine about what I cook, I will gladly arrange for her to have any take-out meals she desires. She is considerate enough not to over-abuse this privilege.

Other than food shopping, I viewed a classic psychological horror film from 1943, Val Lewton’s The Seventh Victim. And I read about a third of Jan Neruda’s excellent 19th century Prague Tales. Jan is not to be confused with Pablo Neruda, who hi-jacked the Czech writer’s last name as his nom de plume.