Journal of the Plague Year: Such small strange things

Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in News

Journal of the Plague Year: Such small strange things

by Gina Hamilton

March 17, 2020

I've been to the grocery store several times looking for one item that I can't find -- I end up buying more than one, but the thing I'm looking for isn't lysol wipes or hand sanitizer or even toilet paper, which is in incredibly short supply. I had the foresight to get that stuff in advance.

No, the thing I am seeking and can't seem to find, at least locally, is flour.

Specifically, I want bread flour, since it will be used to make, you  know, bread, but I'd buy ordinary all-purpose flour which can be used in a pinch. I'd also appreciate some more baking powder and soda, and maybe some yeast, but for now, flour is the thing.

Neither type is available on the store shelves, and hasn't been for at least two weeks.

It's hard to imagine the average hoarding type (but perhaps there isn't an average hoarding type anymore?) buying up all the flour; most of those folks probably wouldn't know what to do with it. It wouldn't have occurred to me that there would be a run on flour, and no one at Shaw's knew why it was such an issue, except that in the last few deliveries, despite their request, no flour was sent. Shaw's had a little sugar, which had also been out.

The same was true over at Brackett's, the local IGA market. The owner, Steve, told me that people don't really understand how long it will take for things to get back to normal. He told me there might be a delivery that might include flour in the morning, and to call and ask.

I will. Thanks, Steve.

But who could have predicted that something as small and homely and simple as bread flour would be a target of these odd supermarket runs?

Maybe, I mused to Steve, that people are staying home and laying in supplies to make cookies during these periods of enforced isolation?

"There are worse things to do," he said.


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