Dec 28, 2020 Day 287 of SIP (19.55M+/332K+)
So the first vaccination in the US was on December 14, 2020. As of 12/28/2020 there have been more than 2 million people vaccinated with the first shot according to the CDC. So given the current rate of approximately 2 million vaccinations every 14 days or 143,000 per day and the US population of 329 million, we should be all done vaccinating in a little over 6 years if the rate stays the same. This is only a little over 10% of the 20 million vaccinations Operation Warp Speed promised by Jan 1, 2021, but it is progress! Also why is it that over 11 million doses have been distributed but only 2 million people have been vaccinated? Even if the 11 million doses includes the 2nd shot, we’re still over 3.5 million short. (Calculations 2m/14=142,857 329m-2m=327m / 143,000 = 2,286 days / 365 = 6.26 years 11m doses/2 =5.5m doses – 2m = 3.5m)
This of course should be no surprise: US population growth smallest in at least 120 years given that over 330,000 have died of Covid-19, migration out of the US should be at a high, immigration into the US should be at a low, and who would want to have a baby during a pandemic?
L.A. County issues most dire coronavirus warnings yet: Hospitals in crisis as death toll surges toward 10,000 yet travel through LAX is currently seeing a record number of travelers. My guess is the first half of 2021 will be especially grim with Covid-19 morbidity and mortality rates out of control but hopefully things will look much better the second half of 2021. Who is supposed to tell us it’s our turn and where to go to get vaccinated. No one seems to know…
Dec 8, 2020 Day 267 of SIP(14.63M+/281K+)
The very first person was given the vaccine today so this is a major milestone in the fight against this pandemic. California is also in another shutdown as of midnight Sunday Dec 6, 2020. The Thanksgiving and Christmas get togethers are supposed to fuel major outbreaks of the virus. We’re seeing the start of the Thanksgiving surge. I’m not even going to the grocery store anymore. Warner Bros announced this week that its entire 2021 slate of movies will be released to theaters and HBO Max simultaneously. We knew this was coming and I expect other studios to follow them, but who knows, maybe they’ll hold out for a few months longer.
Oct 25, 2020 Day 223 of SIP (8.55M+/224K+)
Nothing special about this day, except the WH admitted they will not control the pandemic. Many of my predictions were wrong or at least the timing and severity of them was. Bankruptcies and homeless have gone up significantly, but not at the rate I predicted. I suppose the government injection of money into the economy wasn’t something I predicted. The first and second highest number of daily Covid-19 infections (82,000 and 83,000) was reported this week, so clearly we are not headed in the right direction since the previous highest record was in July 2020 at 74,000. Not surprising but at least the white house chief of staff Mark Meadows admitted that, “We’re not going to control the pandemic.” Great. When the head of the pandemic task force sees his staff coming down with the virus, can we expect that the average American is safe? Source of total infections and deaths is now the CDC website.
This winter is predicted to be much worse than the summer and fall. I plan to have even less contact with other people compared to the last few months. Not sure how that will be possible? I now wear two masks and will goggle up when at Costco. The goggles just fog up and make it difficult to see. Need to find a resolution for the fogging.
September 22, 2020 Day 190 of SIP (6.91M+/200K+)
I guess today requires an entry. It’s been a month since the last one and today we hit a milestone of over 200,000 deaths in the US due to COVID-19. The infections are also shifting away from big cities to medium sized ones and rural populations. What else is going on, Louisville Mayor Declares State Of Emergency Ahead of Breonna Taylor Announcement so I guess he knows what the announcement will be. Bill Gates also talks about how the travel ban made the pandemic worse in the US by allowing people to come here from countries with high infection rates and enter the country with no testing or quarantines seeding the virus all over the US.
August 22, 2020 Day 159 of SIP (5.59M+/174K+)
So why an entry today? Well, four reasons, three having to do with the movies.
First, Movie theaters reopen this weekend, but it’s unclear if audiences will return with customers saying: ‘We have our masks on’: Movie fans cautiously return to AMC and Regal’s reopened theaters So what do you think? The admission was only $0.15 and exposure to Covid-19 was free! They have good safety protocols, 30% max capacity, mandatory masks, but will it be enough to stop the spread of Covid-19? If you eat popcorn or drink a Pepsi then you have to take your mask off. I wonder how long the theaters will be open? My guess is they will do better than universities which I’m guessing will almost all close down before midterms. The NBA figured out how to manage Covid-19, not sure that theaters will be able to do the same. Sitting in the same room for 2-4 hours with 29 other untested people… I’m not going back to the theater, what about you?
Second, Unhinged is playing at my local drive-in!
This is significant since this is a new release for 2020. Sure, not a tentpole or blockbuster, or even a movie I want to see, but still, it’s a new release and drive-ins may be where smaller films get distributed before PPV VOD, while some might go directly to premium streaming where the movie has to be purchased directly like King of Staten Island.
The King of Staten Island is available to purchase on Amazon Prime for $10.99. This is the other avenue of distribution besides the drive in. This I’m guessing will work well, because if we want to see the movie and don’t want to wait for it to stream for free on Netflix of Amazon, then we just buy it. It’s cheaper than DVD’s used to be… Then the next tier would be premium PPV like Mulan for $29.99, see the previous blog post. I bought King of Staten Island. If you like Judd Apatow’s work and Pete Davidson from SNL it’s a must see.
Fourth, not movie related but in an entry two months ago I talked about how bikes under $2000 were sold out in all my local bike shops and Walmart etc and that’s still true. Giant, the largest bike manufacturer in the world said sales and revenue were at all time highs for the second quarter. Giant’s factories are at full capacity yet I’ve only seen 2-3 new Giant bikes a month at my local bike shop, so demand far outstrips supply. So much so that after buying a new bike, people sell them on craigslist for $100-$500 more than they paid at full MSRP plus tax! Used bikes are going for unreasonably high prices too.
August 5, 2020 Day 142 of SIP (4.87M+/160K+)
So on September 4, 2020 Mulan will be released on Disney+ for $29.99. This marks the beginning of the end for movie theaters. I predicted this here in my blog early in the pandemic. This is pretty much the only alternative I can see for the studios. The $30 price may seem expensive but I can see parents renting it for their kids to do a movie night at home. For single people though it’ll be expensive but they can alway go to a watch party or create one of their own. I expect now that Disney is doing it, other studios will be watching the reception carefully and planning to do the same. This of course spells doom for the theaters. It started with Trolls World Tour, but now that Disney is doing a streaming release of a tentpole movie like Mulan, the other studios have to do the same killing your local theater. There is a slight inconsistency in the release policy since countries that have COVID-19 under control and whose movie theaters are open, Disney will probably do a theatrical release and a Disney+ release where theaters are closed. I suppose this only makes sense. Maybe we should move to a country that has COVID-19 handled? I miss going to the theater to watch a movie. Drive ins though are an alternative for old movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark. I saw Grease last month at West Wind Capital Drive-In but the new releases will reach a broader audience than drive-ins or sit down theaters. If studios charge $30, that’s like 2.5 admissions at $12.00-$13.50 at Cinemark so this will make the studios more money since theaters usually take 50% of the box office receipts. Cinemark has $525 million in cash but is burning $50 million a month, so how long can they hang on for? Will Mulan being released on Disney+ be the new standard or just a one off? We’ll see…
Source info for numbers above.
June 24, 2020 Day 100 of SIP (2.3M+/120K+)
This is the 100th day of the shutdown, is anything better? No. The situation is the worst it’s been since stats started being recorded in March 2020. Daily infections are at a record high in California with hospitalizations and infections surging in Florida, Arizona and Texas. Why did states even open up? What does this say about our state and federal governments if we just close the states down again? If we would have stayed closed things would have been better, but then our economy collapses so this is a tough problem to solve. Looking at the chart below, would you recommend opening the economy?
So one thing is abundantly clear, this COVID-19 virus will be a threat to us for a long time. How long is anybody’s guess, but what would you guess? A year, two or more? There is no national strategy to deal with the virus. Even at a state level, counties and cities will subvert the state direction so it’s a haphazard mess. Plus, what about people who cross state lines? Hawaii can impose a 14 day quarantine and stop travelers from renting a car, but what about the mainland? A quarantine for people entering a state is not practical to implement. The reality of this new normal is sinking in. Don’t depend on the government for accurate information or sound guidance. Wear your mask when going outside the house. Wash your hands frequently. Don’t touch stuff you don’t have to. Keep at least 7-10 feet away from people. Hold your breath around unmasked people. Hope you don’t catch it.
The US has another 1,000,000 infections in the last 6-7 weeks. The demeanor of the Bay Area, state, maybe the country is we’re tired of this shutdown and the virus. We are all fatigued by it and the restrictions it has put on us. States are slowly opening back up though they haven’t necessarily met all the CDC criteria to open. So that leads to people going out more, interacting with other people, and spreading the virus. Young people in the US South and West are increasingly getting coronavirus. I guess we could have expected this. Young people take more risks. Nursing homes, prisons and food processing plants is where we previously saw major outbreaks, but the new outbreaks are in Bars, Strip Clubs and Churches. California and Florida are both being hard hit right now as are other states.
Going to Costco last week, supply has definitely caught up with demand from all the panic buying. I guess the people who bought more than a years supply of toilet paper figured they don’t need to buy any more. There was also plenty of pasta, sauce, and meat and everything else.
One good thing about the shutdown is that people are buying bikes like crazy. Bike sales were up 75% in April 2020. Bikes under $2000 are sold out everywhere! Hopefully this will continue and more people will ride. This pushes up the price of used bikes so I plan to sell all three of my bikes and get new or used ones to replace them. How often do you see this at Walmart?
Several of my predictions were way off. The stock market is the main one. I still don’t know why it’s so high. Nasdaq 9000-10,000! DJIA 26,000! Tesla at over $1000??!! I predicted Nasdaq 7000, DJIA under 20,000, and Tesla $200-$350 so I was way off. This was before they announced earnings and the factory had been shut for months. Only a few bankruptcies and the crime rate hasn’t seem to gone up that much. Still, it’s going to get worse in the months ahead as more companies go under and people’s savings and UI run out. I’d also expect a moderate migration out of high priced cities to areas with a lower cost of living especially for single people who can work remotely and are renting expensive houses or apartments. This will push rental prices down as vacancies rise.
Though we are tired of the shutdown, the main impact for most people I know is: Not going into the office and socializing with co-workers since we’re working from home. Not going to the movies or sitting down at a restaurant to eat. We miss this, but the rest of our lives aren’t impacted all that much. I guess we’re lucky. We miss concerts too, but since we only go to 1-4 a year, it’s not really a big loss. It would be a big loss if concerts were being held and we couldn’t go for some other reason, but concerts aren’t even being held so it doesn’t feel like that big a loss if any. I think the impact is psychological more than anything. The fear of catching it and reading the bad news online every day.
In the sports world, the world’s number 1 men’s tennis player along with several other players who played a charity tournament and didn’t socially distance all got the virus. This of course will mean that the US Open in Sept is in doubt even without fans. Hopefully athletes will take socially distancing more seriously now. I’d bet more NBA players will be reluctant to go back and play when they start up in Florida in July, especially since several players have tested positive. Why risk it? Tennis you can socially distance, but no way you can do that in the NBA.
I went to a motorcycle shop that sells ebikes in San Jose today. None of the workers had on masks. WTF? I want to buy a bike but gawd, I don’t want to put myself in danger. They weren’t socially distancing either!
My friend said this is our generations war. I disagree. The wars in my lifetime have never had the impact of this pandemic and racial awakening. No war in my lifetime has had any practical impact on my life. The current situation in June 2020 is so much different then say WWII. In WWII we were united with our allies against the axis powers. Now, the US feels internationally isolated and domestically divided with the EU considering banning Americans from entering. Canada’s PM takes over 20 seconds before answering a question about our president in a press conference. Over 120,000 Americans have died. That is more than WWI, The Korean War, The Vietnam War combined. No, I feel this historical moment is best viewed as a combination of several past events: A Great Recession, a Civil War, a Civil Rights Movement, and a Great Pandemic all rolled up into one.
A Great Recession: The unemployment rate is the highest it’s been since the great Depression at 13.3% and as usual the unemployment rate for POC is higher but I didn’t want to crunch the numbers. Technically we are in a recession. Businesses are still closed. Protests are larger and more frequent than anything after the 60s.
A Civil War between Trumpers and Trump haters. Those who wear masks religiously and those who religiously oppose it due to a perceived infringement on their freedom and absence of risk of catching the virus. Those who believe in science, global climate change, lethal pandemics, proven vaccines, universal health care and those who don’t. The country hasn’t been more divided in my lifetime. I understand divisive hot buttons like gun control or abortion, but vaccines? global climate change? science? Unbelievable.
A New Civil Rights Movement The Americans are getting woke thank to not only the George Floyd video, but so many other incidents of police brutality. Even pancake syrup, a Disney ride, and a band name are getting changed since they realize the connection to white supremacy and racial oppression. This new CRM won’t have any government assistance in terms of legislation beyond police reform however so that’s why I doubt that it will have much real lasting impact.
So no, this isn’t like any war in my lifetime. It is a life altering historical moment that will have an impact on this and future generations. Even if Biden gets elected, it will take him years to fix the damage that’s already been done to this country. The US has made no progress in the last 100 days on mitigating and controlling COVID-19. So in another 6 months I’d expect the virus situation to be worse and the economic climate to me much worse since people will run out of money. In January 2021 Biden will have an America in chaos. If Trump gets re-elected then more and more Americans will die of the virus or be plunged into poverty.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said that Obama and 2 Ebola deaths in the US = failed leadership
Trump and over 130,000 deaths in the US doesn’t = failed leadership
Scrub to 4:30
May 17, 2020 Day 62 of SIP (1.4M+/89K+)
There is no way to social distance at a movie theater, bar, restaurant, club, gym, or a sports arena and for it to be profitable. Moreover, how can a person wear a mask and eat and drink at a restaurant? It’s not really possible. Would anyone want to wear a mask when they’re huffing and puffing at a gym? Not sure how this will be resolved. A quote from a restaurant owner: “There is no interest or excitement on my part to having a half-full dining room while everyone is getting their temperature taken and wearing masks, for not much money,” he told Bloomberg News so a lot of eateries are just going to close or move to a really, really small space, probably just a kitchen and window and do take out only or maybe have some outdoor seating, but that will only work in good weather. This will probably be the new norm. Maybe plastic or glass walls between tables. Expect some architectural changes coming to restaurants all over. Expect portions to shrink and ingredients to be downgraded so they can be profitable.
How about sports arenas? This is a super spreader location. This video gives a good explanation of how just one asymptomatic infected person can spread the virus all over. This past week at the park I go to I’ve seen 20-30 people playing basketball. Not one had a mask on! Uggghhh, this is going to be a long dark road ahead of us.
May 11, 2020
Well, expect this virus to be around a long time thanks to these patriots! In the video shot by this reporter, you can see no one is wearing a mask or social distancing! Is this May 2019? But the thing that got me was that this breakfast cafe has a bouncer! What breakfast cafe has a bouncer? Well, C & C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen! This of course is not the only group of people who feel the pandemic is not deadly so expect this virus to last a while. Within a month I’d guess this one Mother’s Day opening will be determined to be a super spreader event with contact tracing. Patriots or Covidiots? A Covidiot is “someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety. Some do more than ignore and even flaunt their defiance and their guns publicly. A person who hoards goods, to the detriment of their community.” A patriot is a person “who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors” so who here is the enemy? The CDC guidelines and their county’s health department?
Heard this from a friend. High tech companies like Google, Linkedin are telling their employees that they will be working from home the rest of 2020! Oddly Apple is moving to get their employees back in the office.
May 8, 2020 – Day 53 of SIP (1,279,546/76,706)
Today is the first day of the partial reopening here in California. According to the LA Times these businesses can open with curbside service: Bookstores, Music stores, Toy stores, Florists, Sporting goods retailers, Clothing stores, Other “low-risk” retailers which are all places I almost never shop at. I’m expecting all the states that are opening back up will of course have a higher morbidity and mortality rate due to the Coronavirus. I hope not, but why wouldn’t they? More chances to spread and catch the virus. Today’s numbers are staggering when compared to the last entry below. 1.3 million infected in the US! Weather is getting much hotter, up to 80F here. I plan to shelter in place only going out to exercise. The official unemployment rate was released today, 14.7% so not as bad as I expected and with states reopening, it will probably top out below 20% and then start dropping. At some point I guess people want to get back to work and a normal life even if it increases their chance of catching the virus and dying. A month from now, I predict the US won’t be in any better shape than it is today. Will make another entry on June 8, 2020.
April 21, 2020 – Day 36 of SIP (746,625/39,083)
This graphic shows just how contagious this virus is. The yellow A1 circle spread it to all the others after sitting there less than an hour. Scary! Some states are opening businesses up this month including Georgia’s gyms, hair and nail salons, body art and massage parlors. All places where social distancing of 6′ or more is impossible. The workers will catch it and then spread it so I predict by May 15-June 15, there will be a spike in infections and deaths until the governor or mayors close things back down again. When the mayors and governors are giving the residents conflicting signals, that’s really a failure of state government.
April 17, 2020 – Day 32 of SIP (661,712/33,049)
I picked this date since it’s a week after my last entry but for no particular reason. These are the numbers as of today at 4:00pm. It’s been over a month since I’ve been further than 3 blocks from my house walking, running or biking. I haven’t driven since the SIP. I now wear a mask whenever I leave the house just in case I can’t maintain 3 meters of distance to the next person. Of course I always worry about my housemates contracting the virus and bringing it into the house. With all the talk of reopening the economy, stores etc, I don’t plan to go out in public even with a mask. I’ll feel safe to do so when there is a vaccine and we have herd immunity meaning the majority of people are vaccinated. A lot of the predictions I made on 4/2/20 below are unfortunately coming true.
April 10, 2020 – Day 25 of SIP (459,165/16,570)
All of the suffering and death in the US due to COVID-19 could have been avoided. Watch the video of President Obama on Dec 2, 2014.
April 5, 2020 – Day 20 of SIP (310,000/8,500)
The California Stay Home order.
Not sure how long the SIP will last, but for things to get back to normal, as in the way things were prior to January 2020 it may be 24-48 months. This is based on an interview with Bill Gates who predicted things won’t “go back to truly normal until we have a vaccine that we’ve gotten out to basically the entire world.” Given that a vaccine would be 12-24 months away, plus 12-36 months to produce it in quantity and then vaccinate a large enough percentage of the US and global population for us to feel safe, we won’t be able to live life normally until April 2022 at the earliest! Two years! Even then, people’s behavior will change. They’ll wear masks in public, wash their hands all the time, do video doctors visits, won’t congregate in large crowds or small crowded spaces like a bar, movie theater, sporting event, etc. What should we do until then?! My ideas are in my prepping page.
Don’t trust what the federal government says. Any number of deaths or infections is way undercounted due to lack of testing. Advice about protection is also understated. As of 4.4.2020 the WH just started to recommend using masks, but what about all the asymptomatic spreading because people felt safe without them before this announcement?
April 2, 2020 – Day 17 of SIP (200,000/5,000)
A huge thank you to all the people on the front line fighting this pandemic. The doctors, nurses, paramedics, health care workers, grocery store clerks, grocery delivery people. Thank you. The Amazon, UPS, FedEx, USPS, truck, Uber, and Lyft drivers are also keeping society running as well as it could. I’m sorry to anyone sick or who has lost loved ones during this pandemic. I hope we will all get through it.
The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered as the most significant event in our lifetimes, much like WWII was for my parents generation. It will be a marker in history. Pre-pandemic, pandemic, and post-pandemic will be historical timeframes used to describe the economy, consumer behavior, retail, investment behavior, education, sports, the travel and cruise industry, medical care, life in general. In January 2020 I walked through 80% of this Night Market below. Three months later, I look at this picture and think, no way even with a mask.
These are my predictions for American society during the COVID-19 crisis and 1-12 months after the threat is “officially” declared over. The USA has over 200,000 infections and over 5000 deaths as of today 4.2.2020. These numbers will unfortunately rise exponentially. The text below is rather disturbing. There is some good news at the end.
Consumers and social issues
There will be unforeseen social issues arising from being under a SIP order since March 17, 2020. Some of which are outlined below, but I’m sure there are several others I haven’t thought of. The longer the SIP order goes on, the more of these issues will be revealed and the more severe and widespread they’ll become.
- Anti Asian American racism and hate crimes will increase exponentially and be tolerated by the federal and local governments. I would say Anti Chinese American, but you know that Americans cannot tell the difference and will direct hate at any Asian American they see lumping then all into one group to hate. This will take the form of micro-aggressions to violent hate crimes. Lisa Ling and Andrew Yang discuss hate crimes targeting Asian Americans. 100 assaults on Asian Americans are being reported every day since the pandemic started. An example: Stabbing of Asian-American 2-Year-Old and Her Family Was a Virus-Fueled Hate Crime. These hate crimes will be restricted by the SIP orders throughout the country. Once these orders are lifted, we will see these Anti Asian hate crimes skyrocket.
- RMVE’s or “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” are gearing up so be careful if you are Asian.
- Gun sales will skyrocket. The problem is that lots of novices will buy guns and there will be a spike in accidental shootings and deaths in the months ahead.
- Asian Americans will buy the more guns per capita than they have in history. This will lead to the Trump Administration to consider limiting their firearm purchases, but will quickly realize it will violate the 2nd and 14th amendment and will quickly back off seeing as it was Trump’s own statement about the “foreign virus” and “Chinese virus” and the subsequent rise in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans that produced the problem and demand to buy guns in the first place. Trump will ask his advisors, “What’s the 14th amendment say?”
- The crime rate will initially drop dramatically. However, as time goes on, the crime rate will rise sharply and stay up unless something is done to intervene. The people living paycheck to paycheck will run out of money in 2-4 weeks. They will then run out of food in another 2-4 weeks. So 1-2 months after the shelter in place was ordered 3.17.20, we will start to see a rise in crime, mainly robbing grocery stores and then it will escalate to robbing the closed stores. Police will be called initially but then the national guard will be called in if the local police cannot handle the crowds. Chaos will ensue unless the governor figures out what to do. Yes, I know some will get unemployment but the system will be overwhelmed and checks will be delayed for a good percentage. Things could get real bad. Prepare…
- After the crisis is over, people will not go to the movies, like a 50-80% drop off. Predictions will be that people will have pent up demand and come to the theaters like crazy. This won’t happen. People are used to watching movies on their computers and TV’s and won’t want to take a chance by going to the theater. Theaters that survived the pandemic will go under in the post pandemic economic environment. Studios will have to rethink distribution. They may settle on something like a very short theatrical run of 2-4 weeks, then onto their own streaming site like disney plus, etc for a pay per view for another month, and then free if you subscribe. After that dies down, they will distribute on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon prime. This will upend and transform the industry. Much like the extinct Blockbuster video stores, 50% of movie theaters will close before April 2021. Studios will have to financially back the theaters in order to get them back in business. The anti trust laws from 1948 will be overturned and studios will either be able to outright own or at least finance movie theaters. This may lead to the elimination of independent movies having a theatrical run. Consumer demand though won’t be there so there will be a 50% reduction in the number of movie theaters in business post pandemic regardless if they have movie studio financial backing. However, drive in movie theaters will do better than they were in pre pandemic times since people can socially isolate in their cars.
- When people sneeze or cough in the theater, other people will freak, move, or leave the theater entirely. Some will come to the theater in a mask. This will lead to even lower attendance at theaters.
- A name brand 50″ or larger 4K TV is only $400-$500 at costco. Home theater installations will take off as people install them as a substitute to going to the movie theater AND live sporting events.
- Attendance at live sporting events will plunge.
- Shopping online for groceries will become a permanent thing for a large percentage of people who didn’t do it before. Maybe not 100% of their groceries but 50% or more will be bought online.
- Alcohol sales will skyrocket during the crisis and die down after it’s over.
- Consumer behavior will be tough to predict. Some will buy goods and services like crazy post virus that were not available to them like visiting beaches, national parks and other socially distant safe activities. There will be pent up demand so we will see spikes in sales for certain goods, but there will be a dramatic and long lasting decrease in sales in movie theater tickets, sporting events, anything where there are large crowds. This is difficult to predict though.
- Common people will turn into mild to serious preppers with 3 months of food and water on hand. Weapons, guns, batteries, propane tanks, bbq’s, canned and frozen food, refrigerators and freezers will all sell like never before.
- Online classes will be how at least half of people go to school and college impacting their socialization skills.
- After the pandemic is over, there will be a small marriage boom, partly due to pent up demand and partly due to people thinking “We could have died in 2020 so I’m going to propose to her.” 4.28.20 okay, so I was wrong, like really wrong… U.S. Marriage Rate Plunges to Lowest Level on Record
- There will be pent up demand for weddings so venues, bands, photographers etc will get booked like crazy.
- A drop in the birth rate. Though some are cooped up together and people expect a baby boom, there are many couples that don’t live together. Moreover, the time at home will also make people think if they want to have kids and many won’t want to after living through seeing 100,000-240,000 Americans deaths facilitated by government incompetence. Moreover, they will think about having a baby in a hospital 9 months from now and wonder, will it be safe then?
- Divorces will increase since people have to stay with their spouse all day. If they have kids it will rise even sharper. This can also be correlated with how big their house is. The smaller the house, the higher the divorce rate. Sadly, I was right…
- Dating will be transformed. People will want to see negative test results for the virus from potential dates and proof of vaccination. Intimacy will be put off like the 40 Year old Virgin. Okay, maybe not that long…
- Retirement will be postponed since 401k’s will lose 20-40% of their value and social security solvency will be in question. This of course will be a problem for entry level workers and new college grads wanting to enter the workforce. The LA Times wrote a similar story on 4.17.20
- This crisis will impact the working class severely especially the ones that can’t work at home. This will impact people of color disproportionally and increase racial inequality. However, working class whites will also be bankrupted by this crisis.
- This will further segregate the Asian American community along class lines, the Chinatown and suburban Asians. The restaurant workers versus the professional engineers that can work from home.
- Lawsuits will be tied up in the courts for years. Contract lawyers will be in high demand. For instance, networks paid billions of dollars to televise live sports that aren’t being delivered. Do they get a refund? Is the coronavirus an act of God? Well, explain Taiwan then? You can see both sides, so that’s where the lawyers will fight it out and get rich.
- Mental health issues will rise exponentially as the demand for services overwhelms the service providers. This will be overlooked in mainstream media until the suicide rate spikes. Being cooped up in your house or apt for months at a time is one thing, but the fear of catching the virus, the fear of the unknown, being laid off, losing health care benefits when they are needed the most will push people over the edge into depression, anxiety and even suicide.
- Suicide rates will increase. The people living paycheck to paycheck, homeless, near homeless, food insecure, anyone on the edge before the crisis will be at risk. They lose their jobs, medical insurance, and housing within a month or two. They have a month or 2 at most before things get desperate so May 1, 2020 and certainly by June 1, 2020 we will see a social crisis.
- However, there will be a moratorium on evictions, so now the landowners won’t be able to pay their mortgage and foreclosures will proceed.
- The government will possibly protect the landowners somehow, but then the banks and mortgage companies will go bankrupt.
- Domestic violence will increase due to being stuck at home together with no escape, a rise in stress, the loss of a job and medical benefits, is too much for abusers to handle.
- A rise in domestic violence murders. Unfortunately, I was correct.
- There will be a huge backlog of court cases since they didn’t get heard during the crisis stressing the whole system and delaying justice.
- There will a huge backlog of surgeries and other medical procedures that were delayed due to the pandemic. This will cause health consequences.
- Pets – Sadly thousands will be abandoned when their owners lose their jobs and housing. The shelters will be overflowing. People won’t want to adopt. Shelters will have to put down thousands of strays and abandoned animals. Happily I was wrong! 3/25/20 NBC News’ Joe Fryer explains how stay-at-home orders across the country are leading to soaring pet adoption rates.
- When people die in the hospital, loved ones won’t be able to be close to them to say goodbye due to contagious nature of the virus. This will compound the grief they already feel.
- The idea of “going away to college” will not have the same meaning since many parents, especially parents in Asia will no longer want to send their kids away to live in a dorm. The students will hate the lack of socializing and parties and face to face classes. Most classes will be online. Students will find new ways to socialize.
- The whole idea of American Exceptionalism will be destroyed.
- Vices will increase substantially especially if it was a former bad habit. Drinking, smoking, drugs, over eating, everything but prostitution.
- Sex workers will have an extremely difficult time if they can’t transition to streaming online shows
- In general, the overall US populations physical health will decline due to lack of exercise. Their mental health will also decline due to not getting out into nature, and living 24/7 with people with no break can drive a person crazy.
- As people become more desperate, crime and social unrest will increase and overtake the local police departments who are understaffed due to officers being at home due to the virus. I’m guessing late April this will start and become much worse in May. People will bum rush grocery stores, take stuff, and run out. Note: They would pay if they had the money, but have been without a paycheck for more than a month now. The security guards and police will be overwhelmed for the first wave but will be prepared for the second wave. It will get progressively worse as the months of unemployment and SIP drags on with mass unemployment and people running out of food.
- Tenants may stop paying rent since some cities protect them from eviction. This will be problematic and some will abuse it though they haven’t lost their jobs. Moreover, landlords will still file unlawful detainers on tenants ruining their credit and ability to rent in the future. Tenants still owe rent and late fees unless the city or state specifically says that late fees are not enforceable during the pandemic. This of course will cause landowners to default on their loans causing other problems.
Added these after the first draft:
- College majors, students previously considering being doctors or nurses will switch majors or at least reconsider their career choice. I suppose this pandemic may make people want to be immunologists and dive into medicine.
- ATM use will go up as visiting bank branches in person will go down.
- Religious people that gather at places of worship will have a particularly difficult time. When they most need to socialize with other members during this time of crisis, they will be prohibited from doing so by the government. When the organizer violates the social distance mandates and invites members to congregate, a super spreader situation may happen.
- The real estate industry should take a huge hit. Talked to my friend who sold his house in March but can’t move into his new place or out of his old one since he can’t get any movers! Had to negotiate with the buyer and seller. I imagine now that we’re into this SIP for over a month that buyers would dry up.
- Birth rates – I fully expect them to plummet. Some articles said there would be a baby boom, I don’t agree. Would you want to go to a hospital in April, May, or June 2020 and deliver a baby? Do you know 9 months from now things will be any different? If there is no vaccine and herd immunity then I’d stay away from a hospital. With Depression like unemployment levels, would you want to have a kid without a job?
- There are people staying away from hospitals and med clinics that are making their medical problem worse and harder to treat. This LA Times article from 4.22.20 tells some sad stories of people who delayed treatment.
- 4.22.20 Anti Asian Racism get commodified by Lululemon. I’d expect more of these to pop up with A&F next.
- Auto theft and burglary will skyrocket, but only for those people who don’t have a secure garage to park in. CNN 4.21.20
- Students will sue universities for a refund since they didn’t get the college experience they were promised or use any facilities that the university had to offer. Taking classes online, well, you could be anywhere right? Universities will resist, the lawsuits will go class action. Not sure how this will play out since they don’t want to look heartless, but refunding part of the tuition is one thing, but lowering it for the foreseeable future is another. Universities will start cutting staff, faculty, programs, etc.
- The academic achievement gap will only get wider due to kids not having access to computers and broadband. cnet 4.24.2020
- Coronavirus gives online education a big boost, shows high-priced colleges are a scam. Fox News 4.25.2020 This is an opinion piece and yes it’s on Fox News. I read Fox News occasionally. I don’t think anyone would disagree with the first part of the headline but the second? Hmmm, actually there is some merit in his argument. I know some ftf (face to face) professors who are way below average so far below they should not even be in the profession. Now take a great professor with engaging lectures and class exercises, have him record those lectures and give live Zoom class meetings, lectures, discussions, and the online class could be pretty good, even better than an average ftf professors class. Comparing that same professor ftf to online and I see a decline in educational quality, but not that much. Professors will get better at teaching online since it is a requirement to stay employed. I can see a larger % of classes moving online after the pandemic is over. The reality? Professors won’t want to teach ftf unless the population has been vaccinated so this could be 2 years away or more. This shift to online classes will make a parent question the value of a ftf education for their child especially when the tuition is so expensive. Is a class from a professor at a prestigious university teaching the same class as a professor at a community college worth it? Take a math class. Will the student learn that much better or more at a university? For one 4 unit class it would be $500 a unit at a prestigious university versus $50 a unit at a community college, so $2000 vs $200 for the same class. Will the school matter that much when it’s online? I think there will be a shift away from these expensive universities to community colleges during and after the pandemic.
Are the big name schools a scam? No, but for the first 2 years of college you can get a much better value at the community colleges. This has always been true, but due to 100% online classes, this gap has narrowed significantly. The university experience, living on campus in a college town, the energy and experiences are something that a community college can’t really replicate. Most community college students live off campus so that same university community isn’t there. With 100% remote classes, university students won’t be receiving any of those university benefits. Then it comes down to what is the the value of the university vs community college on an academic resume and if it’s worth the extra money? Given that the student would transfer to a university as a junior, the first 2 years at a community college won’t even degrade the academic resume at all in my opinion. Several people don’t even put that on their resume, just the university they graduated from. When the HR rep verifies the degree at the university, it will check out so at the end of the day, I expect community college enrollment to increase during and after the pandemic.
- Productivity is difficult to quantify but several people I’ve talked to have said their productivity has been down 25%-75% depending on the day since they are working at home, anxious about the pandemic, are distracted by kids at home, and are frustrated with the Trump administrations unbelievably incompetent handling of it.
- All these pet adoptions are great, but a lot of these pets will be abandoned or given back to the shelter when people realize how much work it is to have a pet and the money it requires. With the unemployment rate at near Depression levels, this will of course be a factor.
The Economy and businesses
- Massive unemployment the likes we haven’t seen since The Great Depression 25% nationwide and 50% in communities of color will happen in waves. April 1, 2020 to May 1, 2020 we’ll see a jump, and every month thereafter. Why? companies will try to do the right thing and hang on and not lay off or furlough workers but the longer this goes on they will have to come to grips with reality and layoff or furlough their workers. Some of these workers will be absorbed into Amazon warehouse workers, delivery workers, stock workers, clerks, etc but there won’t be enough jobs created compared to those lost. This will be far worse than the Recession of 2007-2008 and will approach the unemployment numbers of The Great Depression. 4.8.20 update – Dicks, Tesla, and REI will furlough most employees. 5.8.2020 update – Official unemployment rate is 14.7% so not as bad as I suspected.
- Massive numbers of small businesses and restaurants will go bankrupt.
- Stimulus packages will sound good politically but will fail the people that need it the most. $1200? Great, but that can’t even pay a month’s rent for a studio in my city. Moreover, when they arrive is critical for people living paycheck to paycheck. The deposits could take up to 2 weeks to 5 months so they will not arrive in time to pay April rent on time and maybe not May’s rent either. At that point these folks who desperately need it will be evicted and homeless. They are also sent directly to a bank account, but that’s a problem for those who don’t have a bank account! Massive numbers of personal bankruptcies will ripple through the economy. People living paycheck to paycheck are not just who you might think. Even NBA players may live paycheck to paycheck.
- Rent strikes may seem like sticking to “the man” but in reality, landowners may not be able to afford the mortgage and sell the house or apartment. Then the new owners will raise the rent or evict the current tenants leading to more disruption in communities. Landowners who have enough cash to get by will, but the relationship with the tenant will be fractured and they will be evicted as soon as legally possible.
- The stock market will continue to fluctuate widely but will then crater and stay down when quarterly reports come out and the crisis drags on. DJIA will fall below 20,000 and stay there for months as this drags on.
- The companies that were doing well before and during the pandemic where workers can work at home and still be productive will continue to thrive. My guess is Amazon, Apple, Costco, Netflix, and if you can buy the stock from the company that successfully develops a vaccine for the coronavirus you’ll make a lot of money. Any grocery delivery type stock should do well. Oh gawd, remember webvan and peapod? Tesla will crater down to $200-$300 but after they are back producing cars and model Y sales take off, their stock will shoot up to $500-$900.
- The cruise business will collapse. I took a cruise in 2017 around all the Hawaiian islands and loved it. No driving. No having to look for a hotel or airbnb. I planned to take many more even around the world. Now? I can’t imagine taking another cruise in the post coronavirus world.
- Every company with anything do with death will be stretched beyond their limits, mortuaries, coroners, funeral homes, cemeteries. People will not be able to mourn at funerals or wakes due to social distancing and fear multiplying the grief.
- Morgues will be overrun and have to use other means to preserve the bodies like rented refrigeration trucks
- Cemeteries will recommend or require cremation to save space due to the sudden rush of business.
- At some point, there won’t be enough capacity for the people dying in one hotspot and families will have to go further away to bury their loved ones.
- All the occupations that are needed will require people to come out of retirement or graduate early and help out with the effort to fight the impact of the virus – doctors, nurses, lab techs, coroners,
- There will be three 8 hour shifts for occupations that didn’t require it before like coroners, grocery stocking, grocery delivery, software engineers with knowledge of streaming tech, online course content creators,
- Producers of perishable foods like milk will have an extremely tough time.
- The camera industry – So people are not going to be buying cameras or lenses for a while. There is not much need for new equipment when shooting in your backyard. No Summer Olympics, Wimbledon, weddings, graduations, proms, NBA basketball games etc so pros don’t need anything new. The rest can use their phones. Expect CIPA numbers to be absolutely disastrous. Sales were already down every month of every year for the last decade or so, but now I expect some companies to merge, sell off their imaging division, or go under. If Minolta can sell and Samsung can close their imaging division, so can others. I don’t think the smaller companies will be able to withstand this catastrophic blow to the economy. Canon and Sony will survive. Not sure about the others…
Added these after the first draft:
- I didn’t see this one coming, The Postal Service, On The Verge Of Collapse, Is Begging For Funding 4/10/2020
- Coronavirus strains cash-strapped hospitals, could cause up to 100 to close within a year 4.25.2020. I didn’t see this coming since I figured they’d be in higher demand than ever.
- Sporting events and concerts will really have no fans until a vaccine or cure can be found. So that is April 2022! CNN
- Self serve buffet type restaurants will be a thing of the past.
- The history books will not be kind to Donald Trump quoting his news conferences as they juxtaposition the infection numbers and deaths.
- The numerous mistakes, taking action weeks and months late will be statistically analyzed to determine how many additional American lives were lost on the low and high end because of Trump’s inaction, lies, downplaying and mischaracterizations the pandemic etc.
- Trump will go down in history as the worst US president ever, and the one that caused more American deaths than 9/11 (3000), the Iraq War (4424), and the Korean War (36,914) combined. Hopefully he’ll avoid the Vietnam War (58,200), WWI (116,708), and possibly WWII (405,000)
- Voters on the fence will realize Trump is a liar and an idiot and not vote for him. A democrat will be elected. The election will still be very close.
- Trump voters and supporters will by and large still support him and believe him when he says it is the fault of China, the CDC, the WHO, and the Obama Administration and that he did a great job. He may lose 10-20% of his supporters but that’s it. Yes, even after 50,000-250,000 Americans die in 2020, The Trumpers that survived the pandemic will still support him. This will astound the Trump haters, but will be consistent with Trumpers believing what they see and hear from Trump and Fox News. The Trumpers that do leave will ask basic questions like, “if other countries like Taiwan could wear masks, quarantine people, practice social distancing, restrict immigration, perform tests for the virus in large numbers, why didn’t the US do this sooner and prevent loss of life?” They’ll realize the answer is Trump.
- At some point, Trumpers will have people in their family or social group die forcing them to re evaluate Trump’s narrative blaming the Chinese, the CDC, the WHO, and the Obama administration especially when other countries, especially Asian countries have recovered like South Korea and China or were never significantly impacted in the first place like Taiwan. Even Fox News watchers will start to realize Trump failed the American people and experience cognitive dissonance. Some will retreat back into being a Trumper hating China, Chinese, the CDC, Dr. Fauci, and the Obama Administration even more, but others will wake up and abandon their previous held world view about Trump, coronavirus, and the death that surrounds them.
- Fox News will continue to spin the death and destruction as the fault of the Chinese, the CDC, the WHO, the Obama Administration, but when someone in their news room dies, family members, they will find this narrative increasingly difficult to stick to.
- The longer the virus lasts and the more people get infected and die, the more difficult it will be for Trump to lie and blame and revise history since it’s on video what he has said about the virus.
- News stories about Trump calling Alex Rodiguez for advice on how to handle the coronavirus will astound the rational people but be ignored by the Trumpers.
- When Trump is asked about why he didn’t put the nation on a stay at home order like Bill Gates recommended, he will say it wasn’t necessary, though this will quickly be subverted with a fact check, Dr Fauci’s guidance, and then Trump will verbally attack the reporter or ignore him and move on to someone else.
- The city by city or state by state stay at home order won’t work. The hotspots will just pop up in a new place that had zero to only a few infections. Of course nothing will be said about the lack of testing and how these numbers are always much lower than the real infection rate. This may lead to states preventing people from entering a city, county, or state to keep “foreigners” from bringing the virus back to our state.
- The Trump Administration won’t know what to do about the massive unemployment and bankruptcies not thinking through a proposed solution. For instance, a rent moratorium for 3 months. Sounds great for renters, but how exactly are the landowners supposed to pay their home loans? Or a mortgage moratorium for 3 months but what about the banks and mortgage companies going bankrupt? I’m guessing Trump doesn’t remember the exercise in Econ 1a or 1b about how a dollar flows through the economy and how everything is connected.
- These stories may sound like a great thing, a win for the health care workers that need protection, but at some point, people will understand how profoundly the Trump Administration failed to provide the needed PPE to health care workers. New England Patriots team plane flying 1.2 million N95 masks from China to help ease coronavirus shortages. Why are these people doing what the federal government should have done months ago? If the feds properly prepared, this wouldn’t need to be done in the first place.
- I am extremely worried about Mexico. The government and people don’t seem to be taking this seriously. I assumed at the start of this pandemic that peripheral countries would be devastated and core countries would come out okay. This has clearly not been the case. I think it’s only a matter of time before peripheral countries see a widespread death and destruction. Oddly, where Americans would hoard toilet paper, Mexicans are panic buying beer.
In summation, this crisis will be a total shit show for America. The Trump Administration will make it much worse due to their incompetence yet deny any scientific factual evidence directed at them in press conferences trying to spin the narrative that it was unforeseen, no one could have known, it’s the fault of China, Obama, the CDC, the WHO, but we’re doing a great job! When asked about Taiwan, they will plead ignorance. All the while the DJIA falls below 19,000, the US falls into a deep recession, unemployment is at near Depression levels of 25%, store and restaurant closures, personal and business bankruptcies, domestic violence spiking, homelessness spiking, depression and anxiety being diagnosed in record numbers, while Americans are getting sick and dying by the 10,000’s even 100,000’s. Trump will continue to deny reality and then blame others for mistakes that were clearly his. This will be a social crisis with a magnitude no one alive has ever seen before.
Any good news?
- Air and noise pollution will drop dramatically due to factories and ICE cars being idle. CNN agrees… This may lead to permanent changes, not sure what though and probably won’t happen under the current administration, but at least it gives us data that scientists can study.
- Maybe animals will take over cities like I am Legend? Rats will be all over the streets near restaurants since with their main food source eliminated they’ll have to be more brazen and aggressive to find food. Okay, maybe this isn’t good news, but it’s not really bad either.
- Bicycling will actually rise in popularity as one of the few acceptable activities that people can do to exercise and maintain social distance. This will spur bike sales and repairs. Yes, bike shops are open since they are considered essential.
- Mobile bike repair trucks will see a sharp increase in business. They can keep socially distant and are considered an essential business so they can keep open.
- Gun shops will stay open depending on the city you’re in. Local city government will acquiesce and let customers pick up firearms that have waited through the waiting period. New sales? Depends on the city.
- Video game console, games, and online gaming will all have a spike in sales and subscriptions.
- Streaming sites will will all have a spike in subscriptions.
- Grocery stores, pharmacies, food delivery, Costco delivery, instacart, Amazon and other commerce sites will thrive during and after the crisis.
- Drive in movie theaters will do better than they were in pre pandemic times since people can socially isolate in their cars.
- Home theater sales will rise during and after the pandemic. People will set up home theaters in their homes due to no risk of infection, existing subscriptions to streaming sites, and the relatively low cost of big screen TVs of $400-$600.
- Infrastructure improvements – Due to very low traffic and ridership of public transportation, Caltrans workers are getting a lot more work done. 4.20.20
The people that will thrive after this crisis? The ones that were already doing fine before and could work at home during the crisis so their income wasn’t impacted. The rich who can socially isolate themselves in their big houses or vacation homes. Software engineers, online therapists and teachers, all will thrive. The ones who know which stocks to buy and sell during this wild market. Everyone else will suffer and will lose their job, housing, health insurance, and pets. This pandemic will transform American life for the rest of our lives.