Face masks?

no way to buy them unless you are willing to shell out a huge premium

the rumor is that most of the production capacities are already ordered up by gov or health care facilities, which leaves us the commoners out dry

Plus I'd guess they were sourced from China in any case so that means depleted inventories can't be replenished. Nothing like a brewing pandemic to reveal how hollowed out the real US economy is. I went out yesterday looking for masks but I was told they were sold out. I found some masks eventually -- but no specs (e.g., N95). Which means they're useless.
Most people would go hunt for the disposable ones but you can get those heavy duty N95 from Homedepot and hardware stores under the Paint section. They are expensive and I'm not sure if you can reuse them.
I have these 3M respirator that I bought a while back with cartridges for wood making that would be handy when all hell breaks loose.
Best of luck buddy. You and I and everybody in this world is looking for masks right now.
The level of gouging is unreal. These masks should cost less than $5 in normal time and it sells almost 20X markup

I order a bunch of these on ebay a few weeks ago at "normal price" but it ships from China and will take 2 months to get here. Go figure.
Seems it is better to wash your hands than wearing a face mask...?

That's what I've heard as most of the cases transmitted locally in Singapore are from close contacts (e.g. family, churches, business meetings) rather than through the air. The government's official stance here is that an N95 or surgical mask won't protect you and only prevent your cough/sneeze from spreading into the air.

Whether that's completely accurate or just an excuse to prevent panic from the shortage of masks, I'm not sure. I do have a box of mask I keep for myself though I don't wear one regularly yet.
sorry andy after the breaking news of the 15th confirmed local case in the us and the 1st without clear trace of origin i will keep the masks to myself

hope its not armageddon and everyone be safe
What triggered the alarm for me was some video footage of Chris Martenson on Sunday, when he suggested N95 masks + gloves + goggles. His blog coverage continues:

Coronavirus Containment Has Failed | Peak Prosperity

(Caveat: much of seems to be hidden behind a paywall, which I was unaware of. The video footage I saw on Sunday is here:


Of course the probability of the virus now hitting the US is now on US mainstream media -- which means there must currently be a general panic in the country and millions of people must be looking for masks. The stance of the Trump administration is that "there is a very low chance of the virus entering the USA" -- which will correctly be interpreted as the very opposite of the truth.
This looks interesting:

A little known specialized bond created in 2017 by the World Bank may hold the answer as to why U.S. and global health authorities have declined to label the global spread of the novel coronavirus a “pandemic.” Those bonds, now often referred to as “pandemic bonds,” were ostensibly intended to transfer the risk of potential pandemics in low-income nations to financial markets.

Yet, in light of the growing coronavirus outbreak, the investors who purchased those products could lose millions if global health authorities were to use that label in relation to the surge in global coronavirus cases.

Is Wall Street Behind the Delay in Declaring the Coronavirus Outbreak a “Pandemic”?
Seems it is better to wash your hands than wearing a face mask...?
You guys are really underestimating how dangerous the coronavirus can be. Back in 2003, there was a neighborhood in Hong Kong where over 300 people got infected SARS at about the same time. As further investigation revealed, the virus was actually transmitted through the air in the drain pipes.

Covid 19 is even more contagious than SARS.
This is an interesting essay on the interaction between the imperatives of global capitalism and the rise of deadly epidemics (and pandemics?). I'll get a hard copy of the essay to grok it in fullness.

Under such conditions of massive public divestment from the healthcare system, it’s no surprise that COVID-19 took hold so easily. Combined with the fact that new communicable diseases emerge in China at a rate of one every 1-2 years, conditions seem primed for such epidemics to continue. As in the case of the Spanish Flu, the generally poor conditions of public health among the proletarian population has helped the virus to both gain footing and, from there, to rapidly spread. But, again, it’s not just a question of distribution. We have to also understand how the virus itself was produced.