A couple coronavirus symptoms: profiteering and price gouging

Emergencies bring out the best and worst in us...

Recently I read a news story about some guy buying all the hand sanitizer he could find, then selling bottles of the stuff on Amazon for as much as $70 a bottle.

Human beings…ya gotta love ‘em.

Apparently, Amazon caught on to what was happening and pulled his items and thousands of other listings for hand sanitizer, wipes and face masks. Amazon suspended some of the sellers and warned others that if they kept running up the price on these items they could lose their accounts.

eBay did pretty much the same thing.

So while the rest of America is trying to find a single bottle of hand sanitizer, this dude is sitting on 17,700 bottles of the stuff and no idea how to sell them.

I’d say it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, but I think it’s more accurate to say if he was a nicer guy it couldn’t have happened.

He’s now whining about his predicament and saying all he was trying to do is put his family in a “really good place financially” which might also be true of certain bank robbers and drug dealers.

So when you go down the toilet paper aisle and it looks like a horde of diarrhea-suffering locusts have recently passed through, remember; it might not be a sign of panic, it could be a sign of greed.

The guy in question does not believe he was price-gouging when he charged $20 for two bottles of Purell that retailed for a buck each. He pointed out that people forget his labor and shipping costs.

How thoughtless of them.

On the other hand, he forgets nobody asked him to do this and instead of letting people buy cheap hand sanitizer off a store shelf, he schemed to make people buy expensive hand sanitizer out of his garage.

As Seinfeld would say, “People…they’re the worst.”

I think we could all suggest where that guy could put his 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer, but my guess is it would be anatomically impossible.

Meanwhile, my son in LA says he’s visited four stores, couldn’t find any toilet paper and is down to a roll and a half. After that he’s got paper towels and several unappetizing options.

If that’s happening around the country – and you gotta think it probably is or will – we might survive the coronavirus and get wiped out by a national wave of dysentery.

The media and the president

I watched Donald Trump’s press conference where he shook people’s hands, touched the microphone they just spit on and misinformed the nation.

If you’ve been paying attention you know I don’t like this president and think he’s done a lousy job handling this national emergency – not that long ago it was a Democratic hoax – but the reporters asking questions didn’t come off all that great either.

Normal press conference protocol is to allow a question and a follow-up question, but if a reporter attempted a follow-up, Trump would speak over them and it appeared they would turn the reporter’s microphone off.

In that situation reporters need to support one another, as in, “My question is why you didn’t answer Bob’s question” but reporters have egos too and most of them are so intent on asking their brilliant question that they’re not paying attention to anyone else’s.

Some of the reporters must have thought they were pitching in a softball tournament when they asked tough questions like what Trump might have to say that would encourage Florida’s cruise industry. “Go float around in the ocean until this crap is over” came to mind, but Trump did not seize the opportunity.

A couple female reporters actually asked hard questions, but they were the exceptions.

The low point of the media’s performance was when a reporter wanted to know what research was being done into the mystery of why the coronavirus was more dangerous to the elderly.

A doctor on hand pointed out that pretty much everything is more dangerous to the elderly because we (or as I prefer to think, “they”) have one foot in the grave and another one on a roller skate and their immune systems are worn out from fighting off the rickets, whooping cough, the Black Plague and all the other shit that was going around when they were kids.

The doctor pointed out that this was pretty well documented already and my guess is researchers currently have better things to do than figure out why 97-year-olds don’t seem to live all that much longer.

Of course if I was 97, I might be singing a different tune.

Combat pay for grocery store clerks

There are unsung heroes all around us and once in a while we take time to think of them and now is one of those times: policemen, firemen, doctors and ER personnel – the people who run toward danger instead of away.

You can now add grocery store clerks to the list.

Those people didn’t sign up for a death-defying job and yet most of them are still showing up to take our money and put our 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer in bags.

Emergencies bring out the best and worst in human beings and we each ought to take a moment to decide which side of that line we want to be on.


It’s hard for me to imagine anyone is happy about what’s going on, but my guess is there’s at least one group that’s feeling just a bit of satisfaction right about now and that’s the survivalists.

Being a survivalist during a pandemic is like owning a four-wheel drive during a blizzard.

All that time we thought they were nuts for stockpiling Ramen noodles and paper towels and living in some remote cabin in the ass-end of the woods and now that cabin without electricity and a family of raccoons living in attic looks pretty damn good.

I’m currently wondering if the guy who hasn’t bathed or shaved in six years would like a roommate. Maybe I could trade room and board for some hand sanitizer…I know a guy who has some.

Stay safe, everybody.