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And many of them, worldwide, bought up local supplies and shipped them back to family in China. One or two companies in Australia almost single-handedly cleaned out that entire country's supplies.

I wouldn't call that "being ahead", I'd call that "being a parasite".
 

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The river flows
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Where I live, within commuting distance of Toronto, we had an "influx" of mainland Chinese (very different to Hong Kong Chinese) house purchasers over the past 5 years. From having virtually no Chinese in the neighbourhood (other than the odd one), we went on to seeing Chinese groups every time we went grocery shopping at the local supermarkets.

I noticed that around October-November 2019 time, their numbers were vastly reduced... as in, it went from seeing 4-5 Chinese families/couple at grocery shopping time to seeing 0-1. Every week. Since February or so, I have barely seen any... very odd...
 

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Here in the S. Ft Worth Tx area as soon as this started someone went to all the local stores and bought up all the supply of mask and filters.

My bud went to Northern Tool to get a pack of mask to wear while mowing and he was told someone came in and bought all they mask they had including all the stock in the back of the store. They told him the buyer bought $500 worth of mask. Then they went up the road to Home Depot and then back down to Lowes and bought them out. Same with Albertsons.

I guess someone thought they were going to make a killing selling them on Ebay. I hope Ebay shut them down and they got stuck with a $1,000 worth of mask they can't sell.
 

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Patiently Waiting
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And many of them, worldwide, bought up local supplies and shipped them back to family in China. One or two companies in Australia almost single-handedly cleaned out that entire country's supplies.
Not even close to true. Don’t believe everything you hear or read in the media. My wife is front line medical here in Australia and she has access to enough masks and hand sanitiser that she can bring some home if she wants.

What has happened is that current supply is being redirected from hardware stock and chemists to the national medical stockpile. There are warehouses in every major population centre that have been slowly built up and stocked with medical equipment for just such an occasion.

Yes some medical equipment was bought and sent back to China, but was not a significant enough amount to cause a national crisis.

What I am seeing first hand is lots of white/non-Asian Australians wearing masks in public. A LOT! That’s never happened before. Multiply that all over the country and that tells you there was a panic buy of masks that quickly depleted stock.
 

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Stopped by a CVS while out on Sat for weekly resupply trip. I was looking for masks and gloves. They told me as soon as the news broke in China about the virus their stock was gone. All the local Asians bought up their supply of gloves and masks weeks before it became a real need in the USA.
are those "asians" not americans?
 

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Beware of the dog!
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After the shelves went empty and the supply chain dried up 3m chose to witch [typo - switch] production to medical use and stopped making the masks for retail sale. The difference I don't know, maybe a better quality of material?
 

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Only politics *****.
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After the shelves went empty and the supply chain dried up 3m chose to witch production to medical use and stopped making the masks for retail sale. The difference I don't know, maybe a better quality of material?
Technically it comes down to, there's less room for error. And they need to be certified to medical grades, so more and better testing on the lots. There's no real difference in the masks themselves that i know of.

That said, lots of false certificates floating around suddenly.
 

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After the shelves went empty and the supply chain dried up 3m chose to witch production to medical use and stopped making the masks for retail sale. The difference I don't know, maybe a better quality of material?
Now will OSHA cut the guys on jobs it's a break for not having N95 masks while sanding drywall, cutting brick and other silica dust producing activities? They were all over it at one time while most of the guys just used a bandana or t shirt to breath through.
 

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are those "asians" not americans?
Actually no most of them are not, they come to America to work and send money and other stuff home. Same as the Mexicans, Guatemalans and Hondurans. Hell there is a sizable amount of Canadians that do the same thing.
If we as a country made them pay about 15-20% of what they are mailing home we could rake in billons and billons of $$$$$$
 

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Beware of the dog!
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Now will OSHA cut the guys on jobs it's a break for not having N95 masks while sanding drywall, cutting brick and other silica dust producing activities? They were all over it at one time while most of the guys just used a bandana or t shirt to breath through.
Nope. I work at a Home Depot. When we scan the SKU# for the masks it now shows "Inactive SKU". 3M has removed the regular, manual labor mask from production availability, because they are making them for medical purposes.

I am not blaming them, but at the same time it is the reason they are not available for us common folk.

I don't make the rules, just sharing what I have learned at work.
 

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Beware of the dog!
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Technically it comes down to, there's less room for error. And they need to be certified to medical grades, so more and better testing on the lots. There's no real difference in the masks themselves that i know of.

That said, lots of false certificates floating around suddenly.
I agree.

Odds are they needed someone to come in and say "Yep, the production line is clean." The government needs their hands and approval on anything medical.
 
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