Friday, May 01, 2020

Social Distancing Day 46

It is hard to believe that it has been over 6 weeks of social distancing in Colorado.  The nation continues to suffer with tragic loss of life compounded by financial insecurity.  Over 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment.  For those who had health care through their employer, they have lost health care as well.  Some families who could have worked are struggling to find child care as schools and camps have been canceled.

Just as a rising tide raises all ships, an ebbing tide exposes all the jagged rocks below the surface of great societies.  $2.5 trillion have been printed and pumped into the US economy.  The federal government purchased 77 million barrels of American-made crude on March 19, while energy companies furloughed workers.  That oil would have negative value on April 20 as the world is awash in oil with the pandemic freezing consumption and producers unwilling to turn off the spigot as future production may not be as robust.  Bail out after bail out to select industries and large corporations improves their balance sheets and will allow the stock market to recover some time in the future.  It does nothing for GDP. 

I have been asking myself what the new normal looks like.  Shaking hands will seem as odd as checking your firearms at the door.  Shared resources such as swimming pools, gyms and trampoline parks will be seen as hot beds of germs as nefarious as the bath houses of San Francisco in the 1980's.  Individuals will again be doing their own hair and nails.  Spectator sports, concerts and theater will no longer be viewed in person but streamed live.  The fate of public and private education has yet to be decided.

A person's home will truly become their castle.  There will be grain stores to survive the long winter.  There will be fortifications, as police and fire may not be fully funded.  There will be tools and building materials on hand, whether that be a lathe or a 3D printer to keep everything in the home running.  There will be tutors (operating remotely) for the children.  First aid and primary care will be provided in the home (the doctor will only be called for emergency care).  Organized religion will be replaced by some icons and the family book of worship.

My own life has changed little.  My wife and I are still employed and working remotely.  My kids are old enough to manage their classwork without assistance.  I have gym equipment at home.  I do miss the social support network provided by 12 step groups.  I watch a lot more television.  I eat more.

We have carried out food (4) times in 6 weeks.  Pizza from Mossino's  Pizzaria, Arvada Villa Italia, Tokyo Joe's an Dunkin Donuts.  I do not know when we will go to a buffet.  We still get DIY meal kits from the likes of Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc.  We have been more thoughtful about shopping.  We go to King Soopers or the Buckley Commissary once a week.  We go to Costco once a week.  We have an accurate accounting of food in the house.

We have made the house more habitable.  Typically we would leave the house for work or entertainment.  Over the past 6 weeks, we have set up (4) "home offices."  We have played badminton in the backyard, we have gone on bike rides on the trails, we have played catch.  The kitchen is organized, office supplies are organized, our possessions are being pruned to the essentials while the remainder is sold or donated to the community.  We are in the market for an air hockey table.

No comments: