Here are some of my random thoughts in-between listening to the news, playing cards with my wife, and deciding if we want take out from the local Italian restaurant. Here are a few:
Old people: People over 60 are at greatest risk. The entire strategy of our federal government is to protect the elderly population and those with medical vulnerabilities from getting the virus. Those are the stated justifications for the ENTIRE population urged or required to quarantine. It is the primary reason for closing down businesses, putting people out of work, crashing our economy, creating shortages of many essentials, and creating a great deal of angst.
So, what uncomfortably crossed my mind as an old person, is to what extent will millennials and younger harbor resentment toward the elderly and blame us for the hardships forced upon them. Millennials and increasingly millennial-pandering media (due to seeking to bolster ad revenue) are already for the most part “anti-Trump”. Are they also anti-aged? We’ve already heard snarky comments from many, such as “let them die”, “why are they such a big deal?” and others. Will there be a backlash reaction against the elderly?
Anti-Trump bias: Continues. “The View” can’t help criticize Trump for identifying China as the source of the virus. Those thoughtless anti-American socialists prefer to defend China over their own president in time of crisis. China itself identified “patient zero” coming from a wet market in Wuhan, smack in the middle of China, and several hundred yards from one of the few Level 4 Bio-containment facilities in ***China*** that has been known not to contain deadly viruses very well.
The spread of this virus is seen by most on the left as one more opportunity, after Russia-gate, Ukraine/memo-gate, and now Wuhan-gate, to slander our President. Market shortages: Yes, we are going to experience product shortages and likely rationing. And I’m not just referring to hand sanitizer, facemasks, and toilet paper. Two reasons: Not just supply chain shortages from China, but there will be thousands in the US who are not going into work. Either out of fear or just out of “an abundance of caution” many are calling in sick and staying home. This has been impacting grocery warehouse product “picking” workers and hundreds of other employment categories we haven’t even begun thinking about, that will disrupt the “just in time” deliveries to our grocery, pharmacy and retail stores.
Market shortages: Yes, we are going to experience product shortages and likely rationing. And I’m not just referring to hand sanitizer, facemasks, and toilet paper. Two reasons: Not just supply chain shortages from China, but there will be thousands in the US who are not going into work. Either out of fear or just out of “an abundance of caution” many are calling in sick and staying home. This has been impacting grocery warehouse product “picking” workers and hundreds of other employment categories we haven’t even begun thinking about, that will disrupt the “just in time” deliveries to our grocery, pharmacy and retail stores.
Businesses, unemployment and our economy: Restaurants are hardest hit. Most states have ordered closings. Tens of thousands will be financially devastated around the country. Most other businesses that require drive-to shoppers will also suffer. The unemployment rate will skyrocket. The unemployed will rise to the millions – some predicted “worst case” at depression levels of 20%. I believe that is a “likely case.” The stock market fell to pre-Trump levels, foray falling below three years of gains. The market was “limit down” several times, including 1:00pm today (Wednesday, March 18). Unheard of Federal aid in the trillions to businesses and individuals is being promised.
Fort Lauderdale and other Florida Beaches: The “don’t offend the tourist” mentality of Florida beach communities has driven sanity from government leadership. Fort Lauderdale, in Broward County, Florida, is a case in point. Why does Broward County have the number one flu breakout in the state? Could it be the hoards of spring breakers at the beach that the locals don’t want to chase away and offend? Yes, welcome one and all, the beaches are open. And that is the case in most beach communities in Florida.
Everyone will get it: It dawned on me yesterday that everyone will get this virus, eventually. We either get it sooner or we get it later. Sooner is within the next month. Later is six months or a year from now. Everyone gets the current version of the flu. About every other year the immunologists don’t get the vaccine for the exact strain of the day and those who didn’t get the flu last year get it this year. The same applies to COVID-19 which is even more contagious and has more fatal consequences.
Positives, but not worth it: The “glass half full” people look at the bright side. Less traffic, less crowded stores (at least the ones that remain open), and lower gas prices. But the realists understand it isn’t worth it. The excitement of a new challenge and the polarized arguments of how to handle it will soon fade. Reality will dawn that this is a lasting, long term, year plus or longer set of hardships we are in. It will not be fun. Expect civil unrest in areas harder hit and an uptick in the numbers of haters and other non-thinkers with little emotional control who will do all they can to disrupt and demean authority.