03/13/20 - Live in the Time of Coronavirus

I felt like I ought to make a note about this event, as I have never witnessed anything like it before. There have not been any reported outbreaks in my area but there are concerns this is due to a lack of testing. They have shut down the public school system for several weeks. Marlin’s father, Pop, has been quarantined in his retirement home. My brother was given equipment to work from home and many people at our company were sent home. Marlin and I already telecommute. Minnow’s school will be open at least 2 more days, we’re waiting to hear if they will close as well.

We’re reclusive people anyway and largely keep to ourselves, so further restrictions will not impact us the way they would impact others. I generally only interface with other people when I go to the grocery store (and usually not even then, because I prefer the self-checkout kiosks) or pick up Minnow from school. I will be doing a big grocery store trip today to restock the pantry and then we will be able to sit tight, if necessary, until people feel more secure.

I think this will be a test of what happens when you are forced to abruptly slow down a juiced-up economy. My perception, as a layperson, was that the economy was slightly inflated and would recalibrate soon. If you think about the overall picture, e.g. climate change, you have to wonder how long we can truly sustain this level of consumption. The forcible slowing of the economy may allow the government to consider the needs of its citizens long-term. Ultimately, I think Americans are going to have to reconcile their tremendous and laudable work ethic with the reality that LESS may not only be better than MORE, it may be imperative. But these are just thoughts. We’re still early in this process.