On-The-Road Epilogue #2 – Stages of the Pandemic & The Death Knell of Local Eateries

While on my 3+ weeks on the road, I actually lost almost 4 lbs. That kinda surprised me but in looking back I realized the source of the loss was the absence of local eateries in many of the areas I visited. The Midwest, or at least the part I come from has pretty much unmasked now and things are starting to return to normal, or maybe a new normal.

In many parts of the South where I visited they are still pretty much in a pandemic lockdown mode, with restaurants only doing curbside pickups if anything at all. Many have “CLOSED” signs on them. I suspect a good part of them will never re-open. I don’t for the most part eat out regularly, so I don’t really know how common this is where I live, but since I depended on many of my meals while on the road, on local eateries it was more notable.

I can only imagine the long-term consequences of COVID. There are Help Wanted signs everywhere but, seemingly few workers to take the jobs. That seems strange to me.

WARNING. – Soapbox Alert. 🥴

This moves me to a slightly different but related topic and that is all the sudden price increases everywhere now. I lived through the inflationary period of the 1980s and I remember it started with the oil shortages and gas lines, due to the Middle East cutting off oil supplies. At that time, we depended on their oil to drive our 10mpg cars. I also remember that when I bought my first house in 1984 it was at a 12.75% interest rate.

We are now mostly energy-independent. I realize Russia is a major supplier for Europe, so that drives up the cost there, but why are our oil prices going up along with theirs? I think it is mostly gouging by U.S. Oil companies seeking higher profits. If we ever again have a functional government in the U.S., we should institute a price gouging taxes on industries that are taking advantage of world trends to raise local prices. The oil they pump is primarily on public land, so they seem to be biting the hand that feeds them! But with broken government, we simply can’t do anything about it. The oil companies are the not only ones who decided that now is the time to increase profits. This just seems to be a massive trend. It’s called greed and without someone to bring it under control, it will inevitably continue.

I wonder what our country will look like in a couple of years? Will things get back to normal? Elon Musk is predicting that within the next twenty years we will become a “Mad Max” world, and that is why he is so anxious to put humans on another planet.

We have to find people who can lead us out of all the messes we are now making for ourselves. I am hoping for Millennials and Gen X folks to step up to the plate, but that just doesn’t seem to be happening. How long can we wait?

4 thoughts on “On-The-Road Epilogue #2 – Stages of the Pandemic & The Death Knell of Local Eateries

  1. People have pretty much stopped masking here, too, and are acting like the pandemic is over. Ironically (or just logically), cases are on the rise here. I don’t think most of them are being logged as such, because people are sick, testing themselves at home, and cases numbers are probably higher than we know. For example, my hairdresser just cancelled me because she has Covid, and her husband and small son had it last week. Our Governor had a policy summit last weekend and 15 people who attended now have Covid (including Pete Buttigieg). I think it’s ramping up again, but people seem unconcerned. 🤷‍♀️ We do have restaurants and small businesses that closed for good during the pandemic, and I know restaurants are having a hard time finding workers. But many of them are doing business as usual. At least hospitalizations and deaths seem to be trending down.

    Yes to oil companies and others gouging. And I don’t mind if Elon Musk moves to another planet. I’m behind him on that one. 😉


    1. Thanks for the thoughts, Laurel. I caught Covid two weeks before I left on my trip. Because I have had four vaccinations it was pretty much done in a couple of day, and was not reported. I think the only people who should be seriously concerned are those stubborn ones who refuse the vaccine, and those who can’t tolerate it.

      I remember in my youth, way way long ago, that when chickenpox and measles and such came around parents actually tried to expose their kids so that it would be over with. To me, that’s kind of the way Covid is now. Covid now is more of a nuisance than a serious risk.


  2. In my area, most restaurants are open and busy these days. During peak hours and weekends, we need to wait for about half an hour to an hour before receiving service. Before the pandemic, we often go out to eat at the neighborhood restaurants. During the pandemic. We only go to restaurants having outdoor dining area. Gasoline, groceries, and eating out have become expensive lately. I hope our government can do something to suppress the inflation soon.


    1. I see pretty much the same thing where I live, Ivy. Since I live in a retirement community that provides meal as part of the plan, I don’t eat out very much anymore. But, then again, I didn’t eat out very much before I live here except for my regular dose of Chinese food which I simply love.

      I hope someone can figure out how to ameliorate these sudden price gouging increases so, or they might become permanent as they were much of the 1980s.


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