COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

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Augustus
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COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by Augustus »

I'm not trying to spark a panic or anything. But given that: 1) people make the stuff we buy 2) those people may not be able work, how will this affect manufacturing/food production/utilities?

I'm wondering if I ought to buy items that would be impacted by COVID, but I don't even know what would be affected. So far it seems confined mostly to the service/transportation sector, which doesn't affect me much, as long as the trucks and freight keeps moving and the farmers keep farming.

jacob
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by jacob »

The stuff either won't be available or available only at a high price. This translates into inflation. This is also why FIRE is only a partial solution to resource constraints; why "safety in more money" only goes so far, and why it's useful to have some self-reliance built into the web of goals.

Figure that the unavailable stuff will mostly be non-critical and bottlenecked production since production is a somewhat adaptive system. For example, it's rather unlikely that utilities will be shut off. Some noncritical manufacturing is also on hold. For example, GM has largely stopped making cars for the time being. Where it gets interesting is what constitutes a critical absence as opposed to merely an uncomfortable one. For example, what about A/C units? Ovens?

brdsl
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by brdsl »

I think the items you would buy would be personal. It would change for each person. If you are a minimalist, you probably won't know what isn't readily available. You won't be buying it anyway. I would simply take a look at what you have spent money on in the months previous to the "stay at home" stuff. Then take a look at your home, and the life of your "must have" appliances. Think furnace, hot water heater, microwave, frig, etc. Whatever you use daily. Can you live for a bit without it? If not, think of an alternative, or look into purchasing one...you don't need to install, just have on hand. If things get bad...you can always install it. The last part would be food and fuel. keep the pantry full, car full, and an extra 5 gallons..it is probably the best you can do. And once a month, dump the fuel in the car and refill.

jacob
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by jacob »

https://www.dw.com/en/will-coronavirus- ... a-52952081

This could be a problem.

PS: Please don't dump the fuel in the car after a month. If you're worried about gumming up the engine, there's a product called Stabil (not a spelling error) that you can pour into the tank.

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Ego
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by Ego »

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... -shortages

Drug shortages. Pharmaceutical companies keep their supply chain information secret.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic expected to last many more months and with more patients in need of life-saving drugs, we call upon the pharmaceutical companies and their partners to publicly come forward with current inventory levels and information on the status and relative resiliency of their critical drug supply chains,”

and

Drugs such as epinephrine, various antibiotics, and albuterol (used to treat asthma) are among those of most concern, said Stephen Schondelmeyer, PharmD, PhD, co-principal investigator with the project and a professor in the University of Minnesota's College of Pharmacy.
India and China control most of the market.
"The Indian government has put a ban on exporting more than 25 drugs, and one is hydroxychloroquine," a malaria drug that is being tested as a possible therapy for COVID-19, Schodelmeyer said. "If we find in clinical trials that that is useful for COVID, one of the major sources of it in finished form is India, but it's banned for export now. We'd be limited to what we have in stock in the US."
This could get ugly if we have to resort to using leverage to get them to reopen supply lines. Smaller countries are going to suffer.

Riggerjack
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by Riggerjack »

Wait. Dump your gas? How and where? What do you do with it now that it's not in your tank? Our local recycling station won't touch the stuff. Used oil, no problem. Old gas? Get that out of here.

There is a product called stabil, as Jacob posted above. Get the grey stuff "marine grade" if you can get it.

It forms a thin liquid barrier on the top of your fuel, reducing fuel oxygenation and water vapor being absorbed into the ethanol.

Ideally, just fuel up with ethanol free gas, and use stabil, but that can be difficult to find.

If your car is carbureted, it is very vulnerable to water absorbed in ethanol causing gumming in the tiny holes in your carburetor. Fuel injection pumps fuel at high pressure, rather than using lower pressure vacuum. So gumming is far less of a concern.

I'm not aware of any gas cars in the last 15 years that are carbureted, but most small engines (tools, generators, etc) are still carbureted.

Store gas for small engines in unvented cans in a cool, dark place, until needed. When the tool is no longer needed, drain the fuel vack into the can. Then run the tank dry before putting the tool back into storage.

As to stocking up, you are a rich American in a rich American city. To you, this crisis will look like price changes and limited variety. And anything you stockpile today simply means something someone else will need to do without tomorrow. So buy the things you need to limit your contact with the world, but not more.

Myself, I am a bit of a prepper. I bought what I needed years to months ago, when it wouldn't inconvenience anyone if I stocked up. So now I sprout mung beans, and started my garden, and live out of my pantry.

But now is not the time to gather that stockpile. Now is the time to look in your pantry, see what you need, go buy it, and stay home.

You are a rich American, in a rich American city. Your needs will be met. Not everyone will have that luxury. There's no need to abuse it.

7Wannabe5
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I stocked up on albuterol. Anything with natural caffeine in it is a pretty good bronchodilator. Theophylline is the drug they gave kids for asthma when I was a kid and it is often present where caffeine is found. If I am just a little bit wheezy I will usually drink a cup of strong coffee instead of resorting to inhaler.

Campitor
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by Campitor »

I'm not concerned about having enough people to make things - especially hospital supplies; a lot of it is automated. I'm more concerned with the stockpile of raw materials and the facility size to make the supplies.

In the 90s the "just in time" mantra seized hospitals with a vengeance. The reduction led to downsizing of raw materials and production up and down the supply chain. The risk has always been not having enough product to meet surge demands; access to a viable work force has never been the major concern. We would need to reach Medieval Bubonic Plague infection and mortality rates before a diminished workforce is an issue.

When I started in logistics and procurement, it was normal to have an 8 week supply of critical items. By the end of the 90s it wasn't acceptable to have more than a 5 day supply of anything since goods can be delivered 5 days a week.

Hanta, Ebola, AIDS, etc, were the canaries in the coal mine; too bad the early warnings were ignored.

bryan
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by bryan »

I actually filled up my van's tank (~26 gal) at the beginning of some of the lockdowns in the US at $2.56/gal. Price is currently at $2.39/gal and dropping every day (the commodity futures indicate a much lower price). I probably won't need to fill up again until, at the earliest, May, probably longer if the bars are still shut down for much longer.

I'm staying at my dad's house during the stay-in-place and he has two refrigerators/freezers and a deep freeze. His freezers are full but the deep freeze is just about empty and I was considering turning it into a keezer/fridge..

The virus has put a damper on my aliexpress orders.. but luckily I already received most of the more important items I needed and some that I think might be affected e.g. solar cells.

The worst thing during this period has been losing my pressure cooker's main valve (I think my dad misplaced it or accidentally threw it away).. been looking at thrift shops occasionally for a cheap, old one since I don't want to pull a trigger on a new one since the valve may be found somewhere or I wish I could just find one at a garage sale (no-chance during this virus.. probably gonna be a garage sale boom this summer).

Augustus
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by Augustus »

jacob wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:26 am
I had read something about that which sparked this thread. Definitely going to get a portable A/C unit, last years heat wave pushed temps to 110F. Also thinking I'll buy a couple pairs of shoes and maybe some extra clothes. I don't need a whole lot, but I do need shoes, food, clothes, ac, water, electricity, plumbing, and refrigeration. We bought a house and happen to have a spare fridge at the moment, the seller left it behind. I'll probably start keeping a list of everything I use daily/weekly and buying some spares. Seems almost impossible to predict how this will affect supply chains. Not planning to hoard, but 1-2 spares of things I use daily/weekly seems prudent given the unpredictable nature of this.

I'm not going to worry about utilities, since if the utilities go that would mean we've got really big societal problems. Also not worried about gas for the same reason, and the gas demand is cratering right now, so if anything there will be a bunch available.
Campitor wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:52 pm
I was figuring it's going to be unplanned problems that pop up. Say if some nonessential factory closes and makes a part that turns out to be essential to something else. E.g. some random bolt, screw, pump, filter, etc.

Seppia
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by Seppia »

jacob wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:26 am
https://www.dw.com/en/will-coronavirus- ... a-52952081

This could be a problem.

PS: Please don't dump the fuel in the car after a month. If you're worried about gumming up the engine, there's a product called Stabil (not a spelling error) that you can pour into the tank.
I’ve been in the F&B world my whole life, what we are experiencing, consistent with what some ex colleagues of mine tell me in other companies within the industry across the globe is this:
The scarcity is not due to a shortage of supplies but to logistical hurdles created by measures to contain the pandemic.
Prices of maritime containers from Italy heading East have tripled to quadrupled.
Finding trucks that are willing to come to Italy to deliver and/or pick up goods is extremely hard as many countries have closed their borders with Italy (ie Slovenia, Switzerland...)
This has limited effect on high value goods (liquor, coffee, etc), but a huge impact on commodities.
ie a container of midrange pasta is worth about 20-25k usd
A container of high end coffee is worth around $80-100k
A container of bottled water is worth 2-3k
Shipping a dry 40ft container from Italy to Korea went from $900 to $3500, with full door to door transportation going from 1.5k to 5k

I really don’t think first world countries will face severe food shortages, as the world simply needs very little people to produce a whole lot of food.
We may not even see inflation in my opinion.

brdsl
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Re: COVIDs effect on production/manufacturing

Post by brdsl »

" keep the pantry full, car full, and an extra 5 gallons..it is probably the best you can do. And once a month, dump the fuel in the car and refill."

Sorry for the confusion....dump the 5 gallon container in the car and refill the 5 gallon container.

I would never recommend wasting gas. Sorry again.

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