It’s Wednesday, a little after 10am, and I’m laying in bed, still in my boxers, laptop on my microfiber blanket situated on my lap. My upper torso and head is propped up by two pillows pressed against my fabric headboard. My girlfriend is conducting a ballet class online in the living room.
The Coronavirus lockdown is into its fourth week, and they extended until end of April, so another four weeks.
I’ve been struggling with motivation. We can’t leave our homes. Restaurants are closed. Retail is closed. Only a handful of “essential” businesses remain open.
It all began in February. There was vague reports of a virus in China, but that wasn’t entirely uncommon. It wasn’t until our motor factory suddenly went off the map, and production and delivery updates ceased that we became concerned. Then the Chinese New Year happened, then we find out that China is on lockdown, and less than 10% of employees showed up to the factory. This continued for several weeks, and it wasn’t until a month later than workforce production was at 90%. Meanwhile the virus seemed to began spreading globally, with reports in Italy and Iran, and in the USA with Washington State, Bay Area, New York City, New Jersey, and others. Since then it’s spread throughout the globe. Interestingly, it seems to effect developed nations, almost exclusively. Although, we shall see how India, who just instituted mass lockdown, and simultaneous mass chaos, fairs in this whole situation. I’m also curious to see if Africa is impacted, and to what extent. It could be catastrophic.
From middle of February to middle of March, the stock market dropped 35%, a historical decline. It rallied the past week and a half with news of a $2 trillion stimulus plan, but growing COVID cases and a reported expected death toll of over 200,000 over the next several weeks has slowed the rally, which appeared to me as nothing more than a bull trap or dead cat bounce. There was 3.3 million jobless claims filed last month, and economists expect over 30% unemployment by the time this is said and down. The supply chain shocks will be massive. I don’t think our economy will come out of this for years to come.
Meanwhile, my customers are providing some updates to their forecasts by pushing some orders out a bit due to sub supplier issues, but other than that everything seems eerily okay. I just don’t think the economic impacts have really set in.
I imagine the entire economy will collapse this year, at least for the USA. The government downplayed the virus since day one, minimizing and marginalizing it, no thanks for China’s propaganda which seemed to indicate it wasn’t as bad as inititally thought. I believe at the moment China is reporting just over a 100,000 people with the virus, and a few thousand dead. But there are stories of the cremation urn industry selling more than 40,000 urns… and we know China is keen to censor and distort narratives.
So now the USA, with its lethargic response, and complete ignorant disorganization, is facing an unprecedented experiment.
We shall see how it all unfolds.
Work has been okay, though my motivation has been struggling. Like I said, this is the fourth week of being trapped in an apartment. I went to Land’s End with my girlfriend on Sunday, the first time I really spent time out doors in over three weeks. It was so nice, so refreshing, to hear the ocean waves, to smell fresh blooming flowered, to observe the birds soaring in the breeze, and bathing in placid pools. The flowers were the biggest rush. The ocean breeze, its salty smell, mixed with seaweed and brine, blew over the shoreline, up the hillside where we walked, and filtered through the lush vegetation, wisping the scent of nectar along with it, right into my nose, filling my lungs, invigorating my being.