Zoom Meetings. I changed my profile picture for my work Zoom meetings today.
Thoughts. I went downtown last night to pick up dinner. Everything was ordered online and all I had to do was pick it up. When I got there the line stretched about 50 yards with everyone carefully spaced two yards apart. I wore my mask. 90% of the people I saw were wearing a mask. I was offered a free beer for my patience, but I declined. Drinking beer requires taking off the mask and no straws were offered. I was annoyed by the person waiting behind me who was not following the pink tape on the cement and encroaching in on my space. Many other people walking along the sidewalk seemed not to realize that the 6 foot distance is a circle and not a straight line. Essentially sidewalks weren't meant for social distancing and yet no one seemed too worried about that. It took 15 minutes to pick up dinner. Under normal circumstances I would have raged about the horrible service. I still raged, but kept it to myself. Add to that the need to see the world through fogged glasses with my mask on and I struggle to see coping for a year or more under these requirements. The dinner was tasty.
Hair. Hair salons are opening up in Georgia this week. Most think it's too early. Way too early. I wonder if I would get my haircut if I lived there. Not sure. Probably not. The emotional and the logical minds are still fighting it out. Not easy.
Chocolate. Easter brought lots of chocolate just over a week ago. It's starting to dwindle. Clearly this is my comfort food.
Steering the Ship. Guiding a community back to work is like steering a ship. The ship is neither immediately responsive nor is control absolute. As we come back we'll need to have a plan operate at different levels of protection and distance depending on the consequences of the "turn" we made two weeks prior. The idea of moving through phases should not be seen as a one-way path. A reversal will clearly be required should hospital admissions spike, but like that time when you touched the stove to see if it's hot, but the time the pain registers in the brain it's too late to prevent damage to the hand. And once allowed a level of freedom can government put the people back in the toothpaste tube (our homes)? I guess if I was calling the shots I would create a 10 step process where step 10 was "normal" and step 1 was "complete shut down" with a list of mitigations that slowly allow more human interactions. I heard a restaurant owner say that being shut down completely for two months was easier than being forced to operate at 50% (by enforcing restaurant distancing) for 18 months. That's an interesting point and it's not too hard to imagine tough economic times with any steps that are not a 10.
A friend wrote me to say that he had converted his equities into cash. He was worried that we are not at the bottom. I replied that I expected weakness before we see strength but that long-term I was bullish. Yesterday, I started to second guess my opinion. Can we survive under a "partial opening" for as long as it takes to get a vaccine. Frankly, we just need to get a little lucky. We need 1) a treatment 2) a vaccine 3) an ability to "see" the virus through daily testing of those people in the community. Can we accomplish one of the three? How long will it take? We are well off the pace of my original death forecast, which is great. While we've flattened the curve we haven't bent it back down. Our speedy recovery has everything to do with how we play the next month.
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