Thursday, June 04, 2020

Relaxing of Social Distancing Day 81

My local community has started to open up without a reported uptick in illness.  Of course the news cycle is now dominated by the tragic killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.  I am hesitant to use the term murder as that is a legal judgement.  It is unfortunately easy for me to ignore the ills of society from the confines of privilege.  

The transition to summer has my kids moving from remote learning to remote summer programs.  They are learning Adobe Illustrator and my older one still takes Zoom voice lessons.  Relaxing of social distancing also means the kids are playing with the neighbors again as well as small group play dates with families we know well.  

Without live all day camps, the kids are getting more creative.  We have acquired a badminton net and an inflatable pool over the last few weeks.  Both have been a big hit.  We even set up a table tennis net on our dining room table.  That has been surprisingly fun.  The old standbys still include Youtube surfing and Roblox.

My wife and I are still employed and working remotely.  I have been really busy, but that is the ebb and flow of my project cycles.  My wife's work has been steadier and she has bore more of the burden of feeding the kids and running the household.

We have been carrying out more frequently from the restaurants that survived the economic trials of the past few months.  We have picked up as well as taken advantage of meal delivery services like Uber Eats and Grub Hub.  I understand that live seating is available, but I have not missed the live dining out experience.

We still have not done any live non-grocery shopping and Home Depot.  I have been calling Bicycle Shack weekly to get my daughter a new bicycle for her birthday, but their inventory trickles in slow and disappears fast.

It is amazing how few products are still made in the United States.  Our supply lines have become efficient to the point that they are no longer resilient to minor bumps, much less major disruptions.  The dependence on overseas manufacturing have led to a tremendous increase in US quality of living.  Mobile devices are commonplace.  Clothing is so cheap, it can be discarded several times a season.

Livestock and agriculture are a weird anomaly.  The consolidation in the industry has led to driving down wages and working conditions.  The result is jobs that are only attractive to immigrants (legal and illegal).  Those same individuals are working without health care or paid time off resulting in a petri dish of disease.  The distribution of meats and vegetables are even more odd.  I see reports of farmers spoiling crops, dumping milk and not being able to send their livestock to slaughter houses.

As social distancing relaxes, I expect people to drive more and raise gasoline prices.  People will start flying again.  The environment may suffer as fossil fuel consumption rises, but oilfield jobs should come back as it becomes economically viable to extract oil from United States soil.

No comments: