From the USA to the USSR: many necessary goods disappeared in American stores
In just a couple of weeks, the coronavirus epidemic made America a dull desert from the richest country in the world
It is already known that the same thing is happening in America today, and maybe worse than what China and Italy went through. Here is another testimonial that blogger Andrei Selezov publishes is a letter sent to him by a friend from American Baltimore:
“There is absolutely no desire to say any pathos and lofty words, but I would like especially careless Russians to pay attention to numbers and sad global statistics.
The only thing I would like to say is dear Russians. Please take everything that happens with complete seriousness and responsibility.
Those who do not particularly believe in the tragedy of the global epidemic-related situation can see the statistics in figures for some European regions (Italy, Spain, France, the UK), but moreover, these people can see the numbers with the number of infected people in our country, which do not have tears at all not perceived.
125 (!) THOUSAND INFECTED IN THE USA AT TODAY (there were 14 thousand of them exactly a week ago. And 2200 (!) LETAL OUTCOME. And this is, unfortunately, not the last figures.
On Saturday, despite the quarantine in our city, as well as throughout the country, and in many countries of the world, I broke out of my house with just one purpose - to buy the necessary products. A little for myself and a little more for mom.
What can I say. The situation is changing almost every day with lightning speed, and if a few days ago when I did the last time shopping, people in stores could be found in not a small amount, on Saturday the number of people decreased significantly.
Deserted streets, a small number of cars, and the shops themselves resemble places of hostilities. Half empty shelves and a limit on many types of goods in one hand. Staying in a large grocery store near his home, he got to Alice in the Looking Glass, as they say. It’s easier to list what remains on sale than why it came.
Near my home, relatively recently, a grocery store abounded with a huge number of products and goods, turned out to be a miserable likeness of Soviet stores in the early 80s of the last century.
Meat products are completely absent, the shelves where eggs were sold earlier are also empty (there are not even broken eggs), there is milk, but only the most expensive is left, drinking water is completely missing, the bread remained of not the best quality. But if the above-mentioned products sometimes appear on sale (in particular, if you arrive early in the morning), then the situation with paper products (napkins and especially toilet paper) is completely out of control.
Toilet paper disappeared mysteriously in many cities in America as soon as the first wave of the coronavirus epidemic began. Arriving at a store near my house, I quickly realized that there was nothing to catch in it and went to a huge wholesale club, where everything is always there.
Network clubs in America are quite popular and in fact resemble in your version supermarkets for the wholesale of goods. In the USA, for such wholesale retailers you need to pay an annual membership ($ 50- $ 60) and these supermarkets are packed to capacity.
Actually, on Saturday I went to one of these clubs to buy products / goods for a long period of time. When I arrived at such a megamall on Saturday I instantly realized what to expect from shopping. In a huge parking lot, besides my car, there were several more (no more than 10), while at such a megastore it was difficult to park the car in pre-epidemic days.
Entering the wholesale store, I saw noticeable changes. The first thing that caught my eye was that right at the entrance and further along the entire perimeter of a large food wholesale mall, posters and signs were put up on precautionary measures in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic. Along with this, there were warning signs about the limit of purchased necessary goods (such as water, antiseptics, toilet paper, etc.) at the rate of one package in one hand. Moreover, over the entire area of the wholesale super center there were signs where it was indicated that the purchased essential goods were not subject to exchange and return. Under no circumstances and without exception.
Here I have to explain something. For many decades, American consumer service has always been famous for its loyal policy towards customers, and everything purchased can be returned or exchanged as they say at the click of a finger. Depending on the level of the store and its requirements, the average consumer of our country could return the purchased item / product on average in three months, in some large retailers in six months, and in some stores the return of purchased goods was accepted throughout (!) All life.
Everything that happens now, first of all, speaks of serious changes in the future life and activity of the country of my residence, but at the moment this is being done with the aim of stopping a large number of consumers from buying too many goods. In simple words, when the first wave of the epidemic began from the shelves of all stores, almost all essential goods disappeared, the people swept away absolutely everything from the shelves.
In this regard, store administrations had to take emergency measures and revise consumer policies. Henceforth, all purchased (swept from the shelves) goods and after the epidemic is over - WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Simply put, many who bought containers of packaging with water, antiseptics, huge quantities of toilet paper, etc. essential goods will not be able to return purchased back and will be forced to use all of the above, apparently until the end of life.
From myself, I can add that the absolutely correct decision was made by the US Consumer Association and very reasonable. Returning to the wholesale supermarket, which I visited on Saturday, I would like to add the following. It was sad to see and realize the harsh realities of the new (hopefully temporary) situation in connection with quarantine. A small number of people inside with grocery carts practically shied away from each other and moved into another row when they saw an approaching person (s). If a few days ago, the number of people in protective masks and disposable gloves was in the minority, then on Saturday everything changed polar. I met only a few people in a huge wholesale store who were without protective masks and looked at them as potential suicides.
As for the products / goods and all in the same megastore - some of the products were in a small assortment (especially dairy), the meat department resembled not the best times of the Soviet past, thank God there were vegetables and fruits. But most of all, the situation with the same toilet paper is bewildering, it not only disappeared, it went somewhere and did not promise to return.
Forced to repeat, a huge American megamall, which is always packed to capacity and, oddly enough, completely empty shelves with toilet paper. Fuck, as they say, with paper. Wipes also disappeared. Fortunately, the Soviet savvy, as it were, involuntarily prompts you to use improvised materials as hygiene products - newspapers, advertising brochures and booklets.
But most of all, and in connection with the epidemic, the very procedure for acquiring goods has changed. Cashiers have already disappeared (we are talking about a specific wholesale store), since they were the fighters of the invisible front and, accordingly, were little protected from the possibility of infection with the virus. There are only self-service terminals, where you yourself are forced to scan the purchased goods, respectively pack them and pay. After a trip to a half-empty wholesale grocery center and on the way back, I drove to my mother with the goal of grocery shopping and seeing.
Mom lives in a multi-storey and multi-apartment residential complex, where American grandmothers sit at the entrance and on an ongoing basis. They (grandmothers), by the way, are not very different from post-Soviet ones, they also discuss each other and look at all visitors with suspicion. But it's not that. Eternally seated grandmothers at the entrance to the residential complex has been blowing off the benches for several days. There was such a magnificent classic American film "Gone with the Wind." Here they (grandmothers) were blown away. And apparently in the same direction as the toilet paper ...
What is happening now in my country of residence and those numbers (infected and deaths) should give other nations a reason to think seriously. On Friday, US President Donald Trump urged Americans to strengthen and prepare for the worst case scenario of the epidemic. In his words there was absolutely no hint or desire to spread panic in the country, he called on all, and first of all, careless and irresponsible Americans to take the epidemic in America seriously.
Trump turned to American manufacturers with a request to return people to enterprises, so that, having provided them with antivirus equipment, they would begin to urgently produce artificial lung ventilation systems that were in short supply. Manufacturers of automobiles (Ford, GM, Tesla), vacuum cleaners (Dyson), air conditioners, refrigerators (Fridgidaire), washing machines (Whirlpool) and many others urgently stop the release of their everyday products and begin to produce fans for pumping light. There were so many exclamation points on the president’s twitter that it’s easy to guess about the unpredictable consequences of the epidemic for the American nation ... ”