I think I may have mentioned this in a previous post. I ordered some masks on EBay and within one day received a “your order has been shipped” message. However, after several days, with no further activity, I decided to trace the shipment which, I am sorry to say, continued to advise me that the item had not yet arrived at the shippers. So, it was obvious that nothing had transpired beyond a label being created. I next attempted to contact the seller via email and received no response. Attempting to trace the order further, I started checking the shipping method and guess what. My shipment was originating in China. Yes, that China. Seems like they were able to send us the virus a lot faster then the masks.
A week ago, while on the web, I found a harness for Kramer that was perfect for my needs. As they say, once burned, twice cautious, and not being familiar with the seller, I researched them and found that they were a pet supply company in New York. Further, their site said “orders normally depart our shippers warehouse within 48 hours”. OK, that sounded reasonable. So I ordered one. I almost immediately receiving a confirmation and a tracking number. After a couple of days I started tracking the progress and each time received a message advising there was no progress to report. Further, I had never heard of the shipper, a company called CJPacket. To my surprise, this morning, I got a hit on my tracking number. This is what it said.
2020-05-28 13:59:12 CHINA, CUSTOM CLEARANCE IN PROGRESS
Now, I’ve lived through a time when it seemed everything we bought was stamped with “Made In Occupied Japan” and then, over time, it evolved into “Made In China”. I never gave it much thought, nor did it really bother me. If it was what I wanted and it was available, so be it. But now, I’m becoming a little paranoid. I’m no longer tracing things that are here and are being fulfulled by UPS or FedX. Nope. I’m buying stuff that is probably floating around on a ship somewhere, and that scares me.
I guess this whole Coronavirus thing has made me a lot more aware of the degree to which we depend on China to provide us with goods. Just for grins, not that you could see them under my homemade mask, I wandered around a Lowe’s the other day, and then a Walmart. At each location I randomly selected 10 items and looked for their point of manufacture. In both store, many of the items indeed came from China. And, I might add, none of them, in either location, was made in the U.S.
So, now I’m a believer. Going forward, I plan to not only shop price, but origin. If I can find what I want and it is made here, I will buy it even if the cost is slightly higher. This country was built on values like quality, innovation, and design. We became strong because of what we produced and stronger because we produced it. But somewhere along the way we said, “hey, let’s let the guy that can build it most cheaply make it” and then we made sure that it wasn’t us. Now we find that this decision was not only sad, but intrinsically dangerous. How many times do we have to be reminded that we are oh so vulnerable. Just sayin.