A prolonged shut down could bankrupt us; public order might break down…

UPDATE: Medical experts say the covid-19 virus has a higher death rate than the seasonal flu. It spreads easier, with even those without symptoms carrying and spreading it. A vaccine is expected to be at least a year off before the population at large can be immunized.

Everyone staying home and business at a virtual standstill would bankrupt the economy in a short time, that is if this all (stay at home orders) lasts more than a couple of weeks, a Wall Street Journal opinion piece warns. The government itself will not be able to sustain us for long.

I don’t want to be an alarmist but I am concerned that if this virtual lockdown of the nation continues for long and people run out of money and food and so on public order is likely to break down. The other day I heard that gun shops were doing land office business. I can see why people might want to protect themselves, even though I am not a card-carrying gun rights advocate. My interpretation of the Second Amendment differs from them (but I accept that the common attitude among many is that citizens simply have a right to posses guns — there has to be some restrictions and there are.)

What we need is steady leadership. We do not have it at the top. But I think that state and local officials are stepping up to the plate.

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My last post was a little over a week ago (March 10, 2020). All I was worried about at that time was getting my hands on some hand sanitizer. Never did. I still have some left in a small plastic bottle. Toilet paper, I have some left at home but I am on the road. So far the restrooms have that.

So what can I say about this covid-19 virus pandemic, this world-wide crisis? I can say it is without a doubt the biggest deal of my whole 70 years on earth. I think about it almost every waking moment and not at the same time. I mean I am a truck driver, and I have found myself lucky so far. My job as of now continues unabated. What comes next? I have little idea.

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Well, this just in: California’s governor has just ordered all residents to stay home. Essential services or activities are exempt, I think. The order will not be actively enforced by police, it was reported. But the fear or belief, it was reported, is that up to 50 percent of the state’s population could become infected with covid-19. Most would not suffer serious consequences. But those with compromised immune systems are in danger, for example. The thought is that social distancing in the extreme could cut down drastically on the spread of the disease.

— —– —— —— —— —–

One thing I have realized is that I have little stomach left for the conspiracy believers and the Cliff Clavins (the blowhard ignoramus of a postman on Cheers) who spout off their own ideas, such as: it’s all a hoax, or it’s no worse than the flu. I’m not sure what it takes for them to believe otherwise or whether they really believe what they say. I guess our own president was a non-believer or he thought expressing doubt would make it go away. We could only wish. And who knows? Maybe it will all blow over soon (does not seem like it, though).

It is a come to Jesus moment for us all. A time to take stock of our life. Yes, we probably will get through it (most of us), and let’s hope we learn something, and are stronger for it.

I think our great Trump, who is now a believer and claims to have been from the start (yeah, whatever), has likened it to a war. He’s probably right. We should face it that way and marshal all of our resources against it, pull out all of the stops.

But just like WWII, the big one, we let our defenses down. We had let our military atrophy. We or someone in government, could that be Trump? cut spending on epidemic preparedness. He claims he knew nothing about it. Maybe so. But we were caught flat footed. But unlike WWII we are not an island away from the rest of the world. Not today. We are all interconnected in commerce. And the virus was literally jetted to us and all around the world from its birthplace or where it first appeared in China.

So just cut off China. Well too late. Also we depend upon China for so much of our goods for everyday life, including — news to me — much of our medicines, either the pills, or other mediums of medicine themselves, or the ingredients, that often come from there.

President Trump in the beginning tried to minimize the epidemic turned pandemic, calling it a Democratic Party hoax. And I stole the following paragraph from an article in National Review:

On February 26, President Trump described the coronavirus situation this way: “You have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” On March 17, he described it this way: “I have always known this is a real pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

——-

Trump, while beginning to take the whole thing seriously, still makes racist remarks about the “foreign virus” or the “Chinese virus”. While the communist Chinese government deserves harsh criticism or rebuke for trying the keep the epidemic secret, it does no good for the president to use bigotry to stir up the white nationalists, well except perhaps for his own re-election purposes. But we need the cooperation of the Chinese here. They probably know more about this thing than we do.

And of course we are dependent upon world trade for our whole economy it seems. But with the virus, nations, including our own, are resorting to isolating themselves.

And this has never happened. Businesses all across our own nation that are non-essential (and how do you figure what exactly is essential?) are being pressured or forced to close, throwing millions instantly out of work. Republicans of all people have even agreed to a scheme to send nearly everyone, maybe millionaires or billionaires excluded (not sure on that), checks, upwards of $1,000 or more (per month maybe, or at least once or twice — who knows?) to keep the economy going or at least to stave off starvation. Of course $1,000, although always welcome, would not pay the rent for most people these days. But you see, the money people are in a bind. They can’t throw us all out of work and keep making money.

And where does this money come from? It is printed I guess (since Vietnam when we abandoned the gold standard in order to finance a war without requiring a war tax — easier to sell politically). Paper based on nothing more than the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Do we have or does the world still have faith and credit in the U.S.? We all hope so.

And up side is that with all the increased hand washing and hopefully better personal hygiene over all, not only may we not get the covid-19, we might not get the flu or a cold or other ailments or not pass it along to others.

There is some nonsense precautions, or at least to my eye. Tried to get my personal coffee mug filled at a truck stop this morning. I was told, no, they only will serve you with their own re-usable, disposable mugs. Starbucks is doing that too. Well the reason I went to using my own mug a long time ago (not always but a lot) is that I did not want to have to use one of those lids that we all have to manhandle to get separated from the others. Also who says those disposable cups are not contaminated? I’m not getting the logic on that one. Not a big deal, though. Just glad someone is open.

So many stores are having to close. None of us knows how long this will last or how long our government can keep us going.

And yes, to all you doubters or conspiracy freaks: it is possible all this will blow over soon (but again it does not seem like it). But I don’t think all the doctors and scientists and medical personnel around the world are conducting a hoax. I have to put my faith in them more than you. You just know what you know… because?

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