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The long game. Here we are! The start of the fifth full week under lockdown and things in my head are starting to feel a little normal. Who needs people? Who needs to leave the comfort of your own home as long as food and other supplies arrive? Eve managed to pull off Easter Baskets for everyone, which I'm not sure how she accomplished. My attempt to fill her Easter Basket was pitiful although it wasn't empty. We ate good food, some of us completed a jigsaw puzzle, some of us took silly dog pictures. I got exercise by donning headphones, cranking up the best of Van Halen and dancing around the house in my own little world complete with some serious air guitar. We watched Spanish crime TV on Netflix. I chuckled through the home edition of Saturday Night Live. We had ham. We colored eggs. This is our life. It doesn't suck.



Conspiracy Theories. I've been bored by politics the last four weeks or so. That's a hard turn from where I was just five weeks ago. I saw a conspiracy clip from people who seemed to be legit (don't really care at this point) who put some reality into the novel that I first imagined on these pages a few weeks ago. According to these semi-credible people, China insisted on a clause in the recently signed trade deal that had an "act of god" escape clause that specifically used a pandemic as an example. In the event of this "act of god" China would no longer have to spend all the money they committed to spending with the US. The theory doesn't quite say that the Chinese created the virus with this express intent, but does say that at the time the clause was requested, that the virus was in existence and China was not telling all at the time. Clearly more to come on this story when it comes time to fulfilling the trade agreement.


The second mistake. Throughout my career I've observed that the second mistake is often worse than the first mistake. Here's what happens. You make a small mistake and in a desperate effort to "fix" the mistake in fact you end up making it worse. I know I've done this (can't think of a specific example) and I remember the feeling of wishing with all my might that I had limited the mistakes to JUST the first mistake. The President seems itching to make a decision to return people to work and open up the economy. This feels like the second mistake in so many ways. There is no vaccine. There is no medical treatment. There are no antibody testing that can show us who has already had it. And we don't even know for sure that past exposure creates any immunity at all. So opening up the economy just because the death toll has flattened seems crazy. Unless of course the way the President values healthcare and life less than economic security. The trade off is stark. Any decisions at this point will pit safety, health and life against dollars. I'm the first to admit that the goal is not zero death from the coronavirus. Life has risks and the goal is to optimize for the good of the community. Yes, we care but if we try to make everyone in society perfectly safe and take no risk then we probably aren't optimizing for the greater good. Ours is a society that takes risk and the result is either reward or failure. I obviously support this approach but I suspect my line is much closer to "health safety" than our President's.


A Silent Press Conference. I was on a call during Trump's daily press briefing. I could see the screen but the volume was down. I was present in my call so the only input I had was reading the chyron at the bottom of the page. Usually the chyron highlights key facts or summarizes the discussion. Not today. I don't think I've ever seen so much "analysis" and "fact checking" on a live press conference in my life but as I would later learn this was a press conference unlike all others. The photo below will give you my perspective.



Quick takes



Eating. Eve has gone all out in the kitchen. Kevin and I have been eating like kings and without my standard exercise routine, the waistline will soon look like a king as well. Last night was a great beef stew but we've had enchiladas and a variety of newly discovered recipes that are making their way to my dinner table. I listened to a podcast that discussed the challenge in food distribution. The supermarket and home cooking is seeing massive increases in demand while the commercial food supply is finding demand to near zero. This is the result of the evaporation of hospitality, restaurant, school and workplace cooking. The problem is that's it's not easy to simply move food from one channel to the next. Commercial food is not packaged for consumers and as a result to a large extent it's wasted. We learned yesterday that a pork producer in South Dakota (a state without any lockdown requirements) has about 900 cases in the state and over 300, we just learned, came from this one plant responsible for about 5% of the nation's supply. It's now closed. Apparently even small rural states can have problems. The food supply from my personal perspective has been the best of my life, but I worry about what my dinner table looks like in a month or two as the food supply chain strains.


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