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We all know how this miserable virus is affecting all of our local and regional meetings/contests and especially the 2020 National Convention.  But there is a trickledown effect on many levels, including job losses, reduction in income, loss of all income, etc.  One of the most crucial impacts...obviously...is food and the ability or lack of same to buy it.  In my own area, just an hour or two ago, I was driving on a street when I ended up passing a multiblock long line of cars, as well an 18 wheeler in a parking lot with many more cars parked around it.  Reason?  Distribution of free food for all comers.  Total vehicles involved?  About 215.

Which raises a rather interesting question: How has the pandemic impacted your modelbuilding hobby financially?  Are you buying fewer models or lower cost kits?  Building what you have and not buying anything?  What about references?  Books?  Magazines? CDs?  E-books?  Paint?  Tools?  Other supplies?

There's all kinds of misinformation as well as flat, baldfaced lies out there, to the point that no one knows what to believe, but seeing a couple of hundred or so cars lined up for food definitely gets your attention.

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No impact. Work for a medical device company. Got furloughed with pay for three weeks after working 24/7 for three weeks. Were selling at 90% normal, got raises and bonuses and feeling very blessed

Just bought a couple figure kits that were grails and cost ~$400 and went on vacation so, like I said, very blessed. Wife still working to albeit from home

Dave

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Work at Batteries Plus in Chandler, AZ.  We're considered essential so, we've been open since the beginning.  Early on we reduced our hours a couple hours a day.  No we're back to business as usual.  The retail side dropped off for awhile but have slowly come back.  Commercial sales have actually risen beyond what they were this time last year.  I've been working more hours because some of our folks decided they didn't want to risk the chance of exposure. 

My model building has never been prolific.  I have 2 kits waiting for the temperature to drop during the day so I can airbrush in my shed (Phoenix set records for the most 100 degree plus & 110 degree plus days this summer as well as 1" of rain for 1 of the driest monsoon seasons on record) and a Monogram F-106 on the bench.

It hasn't affected my buying much.  I already have most of the kits I want(very limited stash storage space) so most of what I have purchased is paint, resin, & PE.

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Not really effecting me, just lowering the amount of stash I've got.  But was wondering about how this is going to effect some of the websites I visit.  Noted one saying that he was short $1500 of support money compared to last year.  Wondering how many of the websites we visit won't be around next year.

Eric

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I'm unemployed, but the Illinois Lock Down hasn't affected my hobby buying simply because I have more than enough kits to keep me busy for the next 40 years   🤐- especially the kits I wanted most - and being home with the Home Improvement stores considered essential and open for business meant that my money and time has been diverted into upgrades for my home with exterior first and interior during this winter.

Given that the economic vitality of my home state is in free-fall, it will be interesting to see if any brick and mortar hobby shops survive until next year 😧  as I have seen an increase in the number of empty store fronts since March and I suspect the Lock Down forced even more people to buy from on line hobby suppliers.

Of course, there is a silver lining in my time being diverted away from model building; far easier to pack up and move unbuilt kits vs. assembled kits. 🤫

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In my case, I did a couple jobs in the beginning of this that allowed me to buy a number of kits that have been on my list for awhile. I also stocked up on some glues and paints as well as other supplies. Now with no money and no prospects of any future income for the foreseeable future; I am hunkering down in the Hobby Room and building what I have with what I have. That is, when my mental state allows me to. I am thrilled that I am able to make progress with all the extra time I have. For those who wish to see that progress, I posted my latest already.

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Personally, as a mailman, I've been blessed to work as normal all year, so the only affect on me has been the reduced hours by the local shops or a few months. However, I know of several of our local club members who're in financial straights and have had to sell some of their stash, or at the very least, greatly curtail their buying of kits and supplies. I've also heard some references to a loss of "mojo" they attribute to all of the stresses this year has entailed. To those people I try to point out that building a model may be just what they actually need....doing something to take your mind off of everything else, if only for an hour or two at a time.

 

Gil :smiley16:

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Over here in the UK we went into total lockdown earlier in the year. Unfortunately the cases are rising again since many of the restrictions have been lifted to stop our economy going into freefall. I am blessed to be retired now, but there are many people world wide who have to work fearing for their own futures.

Queues for basic necessities like food are a salutary reminder that there are much more important things going on in the world that are affecting us all, and will do so for some time to come. Sort of puts the i.importance we place in our hobby, local meetings, shows and contests into perspective.I

The one blessing about our hobby (and that is all it is) is that it keeps minds occupied and must help relieve mental anguish to an extent, where many are stuck at home.

We will eventually come out of this, but it will be like recovering after the two world wars for nations to get their economies up and running. The effect of Covid has been overall worse than 2008 when the banking system almost collapsed due to corporate greed and lack of safeguards banks to be bailed out by tax payers money.

Maybe Covid is a reminder of how vulnerable we are as a species, what with the effects of global warming etc. The dinosaurs existed for millions of years before extinction. Humans, only thousands of we do not get our act together. The save the planet demonstrators really mean save the human race. We cannot destroy the planet, only ourselves. It the human race disappeared overnight, in a few thousand years (merely a blip in geological terms) the planet will sort itself out, the forests will regrow and nature will retain a natural balance and new species will evolve.

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I have been lucky to be fully employed throughout this pandemic.  Hawaii relies on tourism for about half it’s economy, so lots of other guys have been hit really hard over here.  Most people I know are not tied directly to the visitor industry however, so most have been working at home.  But two have been laid off, one with their shop permanently closing.

My building has increased a bit, but more from being inspired by others than having any more free time.  Kit sales have been brisk over here, so I am taking the opportunity to thin out the stash.

A friend mentioned that all this stay at home productivity will result in a huge turnout at next year’s Nationals.  Fingers crossed that he is right and it happens.

 

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The turnout at Telford IPMS I'M Scalemodelworld Show  next year may also get a massive turnout of models both in competition and just displaying. Hopefully we may be back to some sort of normal by November 2021 with travel restrictions lifted as we get many European Competitors and Visitors to the show. Hopefully, as the UK will have fully left the EU by then, our friends from abroad will not face any travel restrictions by then.

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Noel,

I think a large or massive turnout next year is the hope of all who have suffered thru this mess.  Since the 2020 Nationals in San Marcos, Texas was cancelled and rescheduled for 2023, I'm hoping to continue avoiding the virus so I can attend that one.  But what we'd better all hope for is that this virus is under control  before the shows scheduled for 2021 start being cancelled...and I'm talking January or February 2021.  The latest I've heard from the various politicians, scientists, alleged scientists, rumor mills and fake news outlets is that it will be at least April 2021 before a vaccine begins to be widely available to the general public.

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Financially, it's had no negative effect on us.  If anything we're doing better than usual, since we're not spending money on things like our annual Nats trip.  I work at a TV station and my wife is a nurse, so we're both still employed.  Physically however...we both had Covid-19 back in June, when it tore through the nursing home where she works.  I had a mild case with just a nasty cough and fatigue for a couple weeks, but my wife spent a total of ten days in the hospital.  We both seem to have recovered now, although my wife's hair has been falling out like crazy (apparently that's a known after-effect of the virus..supposed to clear up after a few months.)  All-in-all, we've been very lucky.  One of our long-time club members passed away from the virus last week.

Steve Nelson  IPMS #30925

 

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Steve,

Thanks for the info.  Based on the replies I've received here, the impact or lack of the same is all over the scale.  While I haven't seen any evidence on this thread, there are a tremendous number of people who don't believe that the virus is all that bad.  Some even claim that it's a hoax and that all the numbers are manipulated.

Here in Tarrant County, Texas, we're currently running around 700 new cases per day and 3 or 4 deaths.  Are those numbers accurate?  I don't know, but since I am high risk and then some, I have to assume the worst since if I get it my wife will probably be planning my funeral.  And that's if she doesn't get it since she is also high risk, though not quite as high as I am.

From a modelbuilding perspective, I'm wondering if this stuff will be under control enough for the 2021 Nationals to go forward.

Glad you and your wife are recovering.  Both of you have mine and my wife's sympathies.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We will all have to live with this until a vaccine is developed.

The UK came out of lockdown a few months ago albeit with some restrictions. However, cases are on the rise again so maybe we will suffer lockdown again. Telford was cancelled this year, but who knows about 2021?

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Time, the pandemic has taken away free time from me.

I work in an industry that was deemed "essential", but truly is not. I make high end refrigerators for GE Appliances; $2000 to $4000 models. Some models have WIFI and coffee makers in the doors. Yes, we make refrigerators in Louisville, Kentucky that you can control with a smartphone to tell it to start warming up water so you can put a Keurig K-cup in the door and make a cup of coffee. Been making the hot water version since 2013 and the coffee maker version since about 2015.

Believe it or not, because many people work from home, they've decided to renovate their living space. That created a demand for new appliances. People weren't spending money on commuting costs, cleaners, eating out, and other forms of recreation and entertainment. So there are people with excess disposable income in "these unprecedented times."

Normally, we have around 5, 6, 7 weeks of inventory on hand and have massive sales during the holidays like Labor Day, Memorial Day, Black Friday, etc. in an attempt to be profitable. Now we have about -4 weeks on hand meaning units built today were sold last month. Nothing is on sale, everything is full MSRP.

Many US manufacturers shut down production. Imported brands were not coming into the country because those factories shut down as well.

Our factory complex shut down for one week at the end of March to install social distancing measures on the factory lines. We allowed factory workers to take voluntary leaves of absences if they were in an "at risk" population, cared for a family member who was "at risk" or had child care issues due to school and daycare closures. This resulted in a reduction in production with some lines shutting down and the workers being loaned out to other lines to keep the factories running.

We've resumed full production and now have mandatory overtime. Our first shift ran from 6 am to 2:30 pm and our second shift ran from 3:30 pm to midnight. We'd make about 1100 units a day (550/shift).

To meet demand and increase production, first shift now runs from 5:30 am to 3:00 pm and second shift runs from  4:00 pm to 1:30 am. We now make over 700 units per shift if we run well. We've even been required to work several Saturdays.

I have to be at work around 3 pm to set up for my shift. I live nearly an hour away, so my daily commute begins at 2 pm and ends at 2:30 am, literally a 12½ hour work day. I get to bed after 3 am, wake up around 11 am, eat lunch, make my lunch to take to work, and then leave for work. My entertainment is watching the midday news and an episode of the People's Court (they are doing it by video with people in their homes).

The company even cancelled our annual shutdown vacation week. We are limited in the amount of people who can be on vacation at any one time. They even increased everyone's pay during the pandemic and gave us a $50 weekly bonus if you were at work for every minute of your scheduled shift (the bonus ended this past month).

So, bottom line, my pay increased, but my ability to spend money and free time have vanished.

And for you people who complain about having to wear a mask for a quick trip to the store or restaurant, we have to wear a mask at all times in the hot, humid Kentucky factory only taking it off for our half hour lunch break (8:30-9 pm for me). Yeah, I put on a mask at 2:45 pm and take it off at about 1:40 am everyday and have been wearing a mask since the end of March. Yes, I am tired of wearing a mask, but I'm even more tired hearing about people who complain about having to wear if when they go to Walmart for a 30 minute shopping trip.

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I'm a long time teacher so luckily finances have been steady...was still getting paid in the spring when things went south. Our school has been back since September in the hybrid model so I only have half my students in a class at a time (although one class has 16 which is a little tight). Just got hit with 8 new cases in the school last week so it's only a matter of time before things hit the fan again...

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Rob I'm glad to hear you're doing so well. While you only build refrigerators, I was wondering about freezers. I had seen a 7.1 cu. ft. frostless freezer before the lockdowns started and now; when I'm in a position to buy' they are nowhere to be found. You probably have no ideas about this, but I though it didn't hurt to ask.

 

Mike, I'm also glad to see you still teaching, despite the issues. I hope things don't hit the fan too hard; I'll be praying for you and all affected.

 

On the plus side for me; the extra time I had allowed me to reach another milestone.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mark Deliduka said:

Rob I'm glad to hear you're doing so well. While you only build refrigerators, I was wondering about freezers. I had seen a 7.1 cu. ft. frostless freezer before the lockdowns started and now; when I'm in a position to buy' they are nowhere to be found. You probably have no ideas about this, but I though it didn't hurt to ask.

Mike, I'm also glad to see you still teaching, despite the issues. I hope things don't hit the fan too hard; I'll be praying for you and all affected.

On the plus side for me; the extra time I had allowed me to reach another milestone.

Here in Louisville, Appliance Park is a huge complex of many factory plants. One building makes washers, dryers, dishwashers, and our French door bottom freezer units. One used to house a hot water heater and air conditioning unit line, but was converted into a receiving warehouse that gets the parts/components from overseas like wiring harnesses, and other items we use to make certain appliances.

There is a similar production shortage in all home appliances. As well as people buying them for home improvement, there are many contractors rebuilding homes lost in the wild fires, hurricane losses, etc. We (the appliance manufacturers) haven't been in such a good position since before the housing bubble burst. The downside is that we are over working ourselves and our equipment. We recently ran out of refrigerant the other day and lost more than half of our second shift production for the night and a good portion of first shift's production in the morning. It wasn't an issue of ordering enough; it was an issue of none being available.

We've had similar problems with wiring harnesses made overseas in China and Mexico and have had to make adjustments due to shortages or various subassemblies.

When I get home at night (actually the wee hours of the morning), I play a little World of Warcraft online, knocking out a few easy chores before heading to the shower and going to bed. It's odd that now 10 am to me is like 5 am to people who work "normal" hours. Normally when I build, I like to have a good, long uninterrupted stretch of time.

My Saturday (if I have one off) is yardwork and running some errands. Sunday my wife insists we go to her mother's house for Sunday dinner. That's normally an all day affair and I'm usually roped into doing some tasks there.

So, many factories that make these items were idled or reduced in production capability. Less supply, increased demand and shortages occur whether it is a $3000 fridge or $300 dishwasher. We have a higher profit margin per unit so if you make $300 dishwashers and $3000 fridges, you know where you redirect your workers to increase profits.

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After an earlier 3 month lockdown and follow on restrictions, It is looking on the cards that the UK will be going into a second lockdown from Wednesday this week for a projected 4 week period. Who knows it it will be extended?

A vaccine will be the only final solution to all this. One can only hope that development is in its later stages.

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Working in medical devices, please don't count too much on a vaccine. Between a less than 100% efficacy and a fairly large percentage who will not take it plus the fact virus mutate, I personally do not hold out hope on the vaccine side. Sounds good but I suspect that this won't be the cure all some are hoping for world wide.

Dave

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Dave, if anything involving the Covid-19 mess...and that's all you can call it...can be be rated 100%, it's that I agree with you 100%. 

 

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And with all the anti-vaxxers out there, even if a vaccine is developed, there will be others who won't get it for fear of being microchipped by Bill Gates.

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