Everyday now, the news is mostly about Covid. And it should be. C-19 ain’t going away anytime soon and, in the meantime, it is still expanding and hurting us all in so many new-found ways.
“But a vaccine is just around the corner and we’ll all be back to normal soon!”
I hope so (although that which was ‘normal’ could be improved on considerably). But I doubt it. Firstly, we are at least six months away from a vaccine and secondly, many people will voluntarily stay back an extra six months simply because this ‘rushed’ vaccine has yet to inspire a lot of public confidence. Thirdly, the virus is mutating. That does NOT mean a vaccine won’t still be effective but it is a possibility. A greater likelihood is that the vaccine is more effective on one strain but still somewhat effective on another and so we will be trying to defeat this virus asymmetrically – some countries will not do as well as others and so the virus will continue. And it will mutate some more. As some professionals are predicting, “We may have to just learn to live with it, to a large degree.”
But there is more. And it is the ‘more’ that most of us do not see. I have a rich friend with a portfolio of commercial property (leveraged but not dangerously so) and he thought he was rich. NOT SO MUCH right now. Today, he’s afraid that his commercial property may just be the millstone around his neck that drowns him. Just having the fears means that he is changing and altering how he operates. He is not alone. Airlines, of course, are faring only a little better than cruise-lines. Very few people are traveling and even fewer are traveling for pleasure. Resorts, restaurants, bars and hotels are only suffering lesser losses because they are generally mom-and-pops and smaller and lesser capitalized. They are going bankrupt even faster.
And we are all ‘in this together’ and linked to God-knows how many others from Guatemalan avocado growers to thespians in the theater, from healthcare workers to kids in school. Who needs a bus driver when no one takes the bus? Everyone is affected to some extent. And the damn virus is still growing!
So, my point is that ‘hoping for a vaccine’ may be the wrong plan A. Plan A should maybe be about adjusting all those ‘normal behaviours’ we practice – and not only for just the next six months or so, maybe forever. If you are a pub frequenter, get a new habit. If you like public events, buy a bigger screen TV and try for some of the action from the safety of your home (if there is any to even watch). This year may be the year we drastically change a lot of personal habits. We have all ‘hunkered down’ for 8 months already and it was not enough. I suspect that we have another year of relative isolation ahead. How ya gonna do? Take up quilting?
It is already happening in some weird and unexpected (for me) ways. E-bikes are taking off in sales. Why? Because urbanites do not want (afford?) a car but sucking public transit air is now more risky. Solution: a bike. Better solution: an e-bike. Investment in E-bikes is a winner.
Puppy mills. As disgusting an industry as it is, puppy mills are expanding as lonely singles and isolated couples seek some instant ‘loving contact’ partners. I am guessing that ‘match-making’ internet sites are going gangbusters, too. Oddly, used car prices are dropping as two-car families now out of work and having to stay home, get rid of the second vehicle. Good ol’ Bubbas down at the levy drinking whiskey and Rye are also spending more time there and less at work. The levy, it seems, needs some extra lead. The Bubbas, it is reported, are buying up tons of ammo. We are now a bit low on some bullet choices – who knew? And so it goes…..
Lettuce has gotten really expensive!!??
Of course, another year of isolation is fine by me. I am alright with it. But not everyone out there in the world is an antisocial old grump who chooses remote and isolated as the better lifestyle. The vast majority need other people with which to trade their wares or share social gatherings. Many people will not adjust well.
Any good news? Yeah, there is some….more and more young people are showing up out here. Some buying, some renting, some hanging out……all having babies…….