COVID’s metamorphosis

If you see what I did there, I tip my cap.

Living in a region with some early cases and a few fatalities from the Wuhan COVID-19 virus, my perspective might be more immediate than some. My reactions, however, were unlike and yet like those of others. Based upon the data, I began with the following assumptions:

  • Since COVID could be contracted from an Amazon packer’s paws seven days before, while hand washing and other basic hygienic precautions might slow it down, it would erupt in surprise locations with a payload soon to hit.
  • My wife and I would ultimately contract this virus, with some chance of mortality. We would be fools to ignore it.
  • Whatever government might say would be targeted at manipulating behavior, not keeping people healthy. True of any government at times; truest of all of this one now.
  • People would expect the government to save them, and would discover that it cannot.
  • Most people would react irrationally to that realization.
  • People who did not believe in science were not about to start now.
  • People who believed in thoughts and prayers were going to find out just how well such things worked.
  • Financial media would immediately attribute any stock market faceplant to coronavirus. Any stock market recovery, somehow, would not. Few would question the fundamental association between high markets and sudden selling behavior.

Most of the above has come to pass so far, except for us catching the virus. In addition, people have been:

  • Cleaning out supplies of staples such as toilet paper. Costco is making bank.
  • Avoiding crowds: crowded stores, big public events, anything with many people.

Around here, we haven’t changed anything except for better hand washing and adding a couple of supplements aimed at immune boosting. Compared to many, I seemed to be under-reacting. Everyone else seemed more affected than me. And then I realized some things all at once.

I always keep on hand excellent stocks of basics. Maybe once a year I take my pickup to Costco, and I come back with the bed mostly full. I have no shame about buying five big bundles of paper towels, four tubs of dishwasher pods, twelve cans of coffee. I grew up in a household that constantly ran out of the basics and did everything cheap cheap cheap cheep cheep cheep cheep. I refuse to maintain a similar household.

I don’t like crowds; my normal life is based on avoiding them where possible. When I can’t avoid them, I exfiltrate from them as quickly as I can manage.

America, welcome to my regular life.

4 thoughts on “COVID’s metamorphosis”

  1. Common Sense is a rare thing. Glad you have it. I was supposed to go to Ann Arbor to visit my son (yes he got a job in Michigan). I’m pretty unsure about crossing the border now. (from Canada)

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. I can easily imagine a Canadian thinking twice about crossing the border under the circumstances. We simply don’t have the level of responsible governing you do. Thanks for swinging by the blog!

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  2. Well said, except for the government part. Having worked for federal and state governments, and having prepared an emergency plan in anticipation of the H1N1 virus, I can confidently say that there is a lot the government could and should do. That is, if adequately funded and staffed, as it used to be.

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    1. There is a lot it could and should do, but it isn’t possible to police every person’s behavior, nor is that desirable. Nor did I say there is nothing government could or should do. I said that government isn’t going to save people from this, and I stand by that. If government helps, great, but sensible people should consider doing what is in their power to improve things, rather than just waiting for government to come save them. Even if government wanted to, its resources are likely to be overwhelmed.

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