On Friday we returned from a short last-minute cruise. Before setting sail, I took advantage of what looked like some emerging bargains in the stock market, loading up on Carnival Cruise Lines stock, energy companies, and a retailer. Last week while we sailed the Bahamas ($90 each for a balcony stateroom!), my brokerage accounts were obliterated. At the lowest point I had lost over $100,000 on paper. On Friday, my brother called. This is rare. We talk maybe once a year. He's a pilot. "Go stock up on groceries," he exclaimed. Turns out he was furloughed. His boss told him air travel was about to be shut down, which would lead to shortages of everything. I figured this was an overreaction, but to be safe, we ran to Aldi's and stocked up on canned goods and other food.
Aldi's had signs limiting quantities on canned goods to four per buyer. Shoppers were panicking, as evidenced by the run on toilet paper. Best we get a few things, just in case the shelves stayed empty. At this point I'm not worried about being stuck at home. I'm more worried that the frenzied panic by other people would cause a shortage.
After Aldi, I worked a delivery block for Amazon. Amazon Fresh, which is groceries. I get tips for making deliveries, but won't know how much for 24 hours.
Oh, one little thing I almost forgot to mention: the house in Birmingham I listed finally closed today. I listed it for $149,900. It sold for $148,000, $17,000 more than I paid for it in 2008. Not much appreciation in that market, so I'll call this a success.