I’ve never had a Word of the Week before, so it’s fitting that my first one ever is unprecedented.
An adjective, unprecedented describes something that has never before happened or been experienced. I’ve chosen the word because it popped up twice in the half-dozen headlines I scanned in my news app just a few minutes ago. Take a look:
The first piece is an interview with a sober-bar owner in New York City. (For the sake of clarity, please note that the subject is a woman who owns a bar-type establishment that does not serve booze. This is not to be confused with a woman who is a teetotaler but owns a boozeful bar.) At any rate, the owner is seeing a surprisingly huge spike in sales of unspiked beverages.
Interestingly, our second bit of news also involves a huge spike. This time, said spike relates to the price of eggs. Over the last year, the going rate for a Grade A 12-pack has jumped from $1.70 to $5.46.
What explains this hypereggflation? Like many food staples today, eggs are in short supply. Unlike other foods, the shortage is even shorter due to avian influenza. While sickened chickens are capable of laying incredible edible eggs, they quickly progress from infection to the ceasing of all production, as it were.
According to the CDC, the current bird flu outbreak has claimed the lives of more than 46 million birds. This number is gravely high but not yet unprecedented, as the 2014–2015 outbreak affected 51 million birds.
Daniel Brey, a U.S. egg farmer, told CBS News, “If you have one sick chicken, all the chickens have to be off the farm, one way or another.”
The article doesn’t clarify, but I’m pretty sure a chicken is “off the farm” when it's been going to a sober bar for a while but then spends a long weekend at the non-sober kind.
In summary: Sober bars are more popular than ever. What’s that got to do with the price of eggs? Not a dang thing.